An entire roll always seemed too much to my Auntie Agnes.
'Moderation in all things', she would often say to me during elevenses or the popular war time comedy drama 'M*A*S*H' as we sat around the telly on the Queen's birthday holding hands. Of course she drank like a fish and moderation was not
really a word she used when it came to gin or even the vodka she kept next to her pillow - but these things shouldn't be of any real concern especially when talking of the dead.
Auntie Agnes was a stickler for all things, especially her unmentionables - but I shall mention them anyway. It was sometime after the 1984 holiday in Spain - when she proclaimed she had invented 'Tapas Toilette.'
'Tapas' I soon found out was any of various small, savory Spanish dishes, often served as a snack or as a meal - the portion sizes being of dimunutive quantity yet quite filling when served en masse.
I won't go into her 'Bullfighter's Bidet' that was also a Spain/Lavatory crossover, but to say the least she became quite entranced by their particular culture and how to apply it all manner of arse sponging.
'I need to go potty', I whispered through infant lips.
'Number 'un' or number 'dos'?' she would reply clicking her castanets, her beady eyes darting between my lap and the door to the smallest (and now Spanishest) room in the house.
A covered tray was handed to me and I was prompted in, with the door pressed shut firmly behind me. From wall to ceiling and even the floor were all types of Spanish decoration, from Madrid to Barcelona and back again, but I was too full of three helpings of cous cous trifle to pay much attention.
I recall the movement overall to be of little consequence and not of any particular length of time outside of any normal toddler - but I do remember quite clearly what I found when I removed the cover from the tray that auntie Agnes had provided.
In true Spanish tapas format, my aftercare items were small yet many. At the top of the tray were three single pieces of toilet paper, one scented, one soft and one with an interesting olive motif pattern. Three tiny portions of soap, each about the size of a roasted almond, were also laid out in various colours and scents. Next to these were some rather odd items including 1 quarter of a tissue, the head of a toothbrush with the handle completely missing, a small glob of toothpaste on a ceramic dish the size of a pea, and what I later learnt to be half a tampon.
My presumed sexuality, number of teeth and wiping regime now in question, I returned to the sunroom divan to catch some mindless soliloquy by Alan Alda on how he made his entire career impersonating Groucho Marx - but in a tent in Korea.
After this one and only 'Tapas Toilette' incident, Auntie Agnes mysteriously never brought it up again. But I presume this is because mother had her committed and we sold her house to pay for my brother's Singapore drug importation trial.