January 24, 2012

Moby Dick toilet paper


Even the editors who rejected his manuscripts didn’t go this far: You can now use Herman Melville‘s magnum opus, Moby Dick, as toilet paper. Typing the canonized favourite onto bog roll wasn’t actually intended as an insult, so far as we can tell; rather it’s the product of a long-running joke and a lot of spare time, by the admission of the creator. If you’ve ever wondered how many toilet rolls Moby Dick would fill — and frankly who hasn’t? — here’s your answer:

There are four full rolls, one roll (epilogue) is about 1/5 of a roll, and one half-roll

All of the rolls of TP came out of a brand new — clean — package of 2-ply cottonelle

With a starting bid of $399.95, it’s a safe bet that whoever buys this won’t be keeping it in the bathroom cabinet. Almost the weirdest thing about this listing is how compelling the videos at the end are, giving proof that each roll is printed to the end. Who knew that unrolling toilet paper could be so gripping?

The whole bizarre situation has reminded us of the news, two years ago, that author of The Ring Koji Suzuki had had his new novel printed on toilet paper. Are these the only known instances of this happening? What other weird forms has the printed word taken of late?


Ellie Robins is an editor at Melville House. Previously, she was managing editor of Hesperus Press.