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FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS

‘Twitters from the Atlantic’ readers will no doubt be delighted and will celebrate with me in knowing that Venezuela’s National Assembly has at last backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shorta…

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In Venezuela toilet rolls are almost impossible to purchase, other than on the black market

‘Twitters from the Atlantic’ readers will no doubt be delighted and will celebrate with me in knowing that Venezuela’s National Assembly has at last backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shortage, indeed a blockage, of this essential household item, which we all take for granted.

Although Venezuela is rich in oil, it relies heavily on imports, but currency controls have affected its ability to pay for foreign imports. Sadly, toilet rolls are currently in very short supply in Venezuelan shops, and I understand that they are almost impossible to purchase, other than on the black market, where the quality is variable.

However, the new President, Nicolas Maduro, who won a narrow majority in April’s Presidential elections, has come to the rescue, although he blames the country’s shortage of toilet paper upon a conspiracy by the opposition and rich and evil members of society, who have bought up the country’s annual allowance at a knock down price, resulting in a phenomena, which is commonly and crudely termed by economists as ‘bog roll inflation.’

Although we are currently witnessing violent protests concerning the recession and Spanish football teams, just imagine the chaos and resulting anarchy if we popped into our local supermarket for a few rolls of supersoft, only to be told that the opposition was cruelly withholding all supplies. I suspect that would be the time that most expats would be putting any available copies of the Daily Hate to its proper and intended use.

All this excitement about toilet rolls has reminded me that the sewage pumping station in our village has finally given up the ghost, or should I say, ended its triumphant mashing days in the village pumping station. Some villagers have cruelly suggested that the narrowness of pipework leading to the pumping station, in an effort by builders to reduce costs, has contributed to the problem, whilst others suggest that the existing pump is just not able to cope with all the local effluent, as well as excessively thick toilet paper. No doubt, this issue will be debated for years to come.

For many days now, there have been anxious faces in overalls, accompanied by anxious faces in suits, peering into a newly dug hole adjacent to the very smart, newly painted building, that houses this precious, but grossly under valued machinery.

There has been much shaking of hands, and exasperated gesturing of hands before anyone has so much as picked up a screwdriver. Local residents have been seriously concerned that a trip to the loo was about to mean a drive to an adjacent town, should the village flush fail to function.

All is not lost. I am pleased to report that a new and much larger engine has been shipped from Peninsular Spain, at great expense, and just been installed.

However, disappointingly, it continues to be accompanied by much shaking of heads and dramatic hand gesturing by both overalls and suits alike. However, to the great relief of villagers, I can report that all flushing functions remain on line and fully active.

Meanwhile, I am sure that I speak for many in celebrating the fact that Venezuela now has its own supply of toilet rolls, although I cannot speak for the operation of its pumping stations, which I understand are few and far between.

Despite the comments from unkind cynics, I suggest that this should be celebrated as a real triumph of democracy, as politicians are at last listening to and meeting the true needs of its people.

Meanwhile, may I suggest the greater use of the dreaded bidet, or supplying Izal, which under no circumstances could be described as ‘a soft tissue’, to reduce excessive consumption? I guess they are just longing to see the Andrex puppy advert on TV!

If you enjoyed this article, take a look at Barrie’s websites: www.barriemahoney.com and www.thecanaryislander.com or read his latest book, ‘Twitters from the Atlantic’ (ISBN: 978 1480033986). Available as paperback, Kindle and iBooks. iPhone/iPad Apps: ExpatInfo and CanaryIsle now available from the Apple Store.

© Barrie Mahoney

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/39210/

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