Paper Towel Math


As if all this weren't confusing enough, the paper towels also came in half sizes and thirds so that instead of using a whole sheet, you could select a smaller sheet for a smaller mess. That being the case, if you routinely only used half a sheet, did 2 actually equal 7? And when I say 7, I randomly chose a number because as I mentioned before, I'm a math dummy and it seemed that now we were getting into fractions, which I definitely forgot while in labor with my second child.

Meanwhile, back in the paper towel aisle of hell, I still had no idea how many rolls of paper towel to buy to get the best deal. I was pretty sure the paper towel math might make my head explode -- which wouldn't have been a total tragedy because we had all this paper towel around to clean it up -- and I wasn't confident the store employee could figure it out either.

He stared up at the skyscraper of paper towels and scratched his head, then finally spoke.

"How many rolls do you want?" he asked.


"Then buy six."

"If I buy six, it says it's more like 18, which is definitely too many," I said. "But if I buy 2 = 5, that's almost six rolls, even if it's actually only two, right?"


"Sounds right; I think you should get two," he said.

"Why?" I replied,

He smiled. "Because clearly you're on a roll."


Tracy Beckerman is the author of the Amazon Bestseller, "Barking at the Moon: A Story of Life, Love, and Kibble," available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online! You can visit her at To find out more about Tracy Beckerman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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