Crappy Situation: Venezuela Is Running Out Of Toilet Paper
When it comes to sanitation, Americans are spoiled. We have so much toilet paper in this country of anal-wipe abundance that we can afford to slap politicians' faces on it in protest.
Hugo Chavez toilet paper on sale on Calle Ocho
Not so in Venezuela, where a TP shortage currently has government officials and opposition leaders blaming each other for the crappy situation. Newly elected president Nicolas Maduro has even accused private companies of toilet paper speculation.
So spare a thought -- and a square of your finest quilted tissue -- for Venezuela today.
The run on toilet rolls isn't the first shortage in the oil-rich south american nation. Past scarcities have included basic foods like milk, butter, coffee, and cornmeal.
This is the first time, however, that the economic crisis has hit Venezuelans at the other end.
"This is the last straw," TP-shopper Manuel Fagundes told the Associated Press. "I'm 71 years old and this is the first time I've seen this."
Economists were quick to blame the shortage on price controls set by the Venezuelan government.
But Alejandro Fleming, Maduro's commerce minister, insisted that the shortage was the result of "excessive demand" caused by "a media campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country."
Only in Venezuela could an election be equated to Colon Blow.
The government also tried to carve an opportunity out of the crisis.
"The revolution will bring the country the equivalent of 50 million rolls of toilet paper," Fleming promised. "We are going to saturate the market so that our people calm down."