Today islanders rely on the internet to purchase many items. In the past Ocracokers ordered from Montgomery Ward or Sears & Roebuck catalogs. It was always a happy day when the packages arrived on the daily mailboat.
The story is told that many years ago an Ocracoker decided to order some of that newfangled toilet paper, a novelty on the island. He asked his daughter to draft a letter to Sears requesting several rolls of toilet paper.
Days later he received a reply form Sears. Sears only sold toilet paper in specific quantities, he was told. "Please consult page 126 in our catalog," the letter explained, "and place your order referencing the catalog number."
The islander's reply was classic: "Dear Sears," his daughter wrote for him, "if I had one of your catalogs I wouldn't need any of your damned toilet paper!"
If you want another laugh, check out this brief French commercial for toilet paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH_YInXvpoU.
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is a transcription of a
letter describing the September, 1944, hurricane, its aftermath and
cleanup. You can read the letter, with vintage photographs added, here: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news102117.htm.