A small town in Bavaria has finally run out of toilet paper, 12 years after a bungled order by the local council left it with a massive stockpile.
“The final roll has been used up,” Erwin Karg, the relieved mayor of Fuchstal, announced this week.
The sleepy town of 3,800 inhabitants found itself lumbered with a mountain of loo rolls in 2006, after a money saving initiative by the council went wrong.
The town spotted an opportunity for savings by bulk buying toilet paper in advance, but a council employee mixed up the order and managed to buy two lorryloads.
The first anyone knew of the mishap was when the first lorry turned up. Council staff managed to cancel the second lorry when they realised what had happened, but still found themselves stuck with €6,000 (£5,100) of loo rolls.
To make matters worse, the budget toilet paper was grey and single-ply, and had a tendency to turn yellow over time, with the result that few local residents were keen on taking it off the council’s hands.
Instead, a team of four council workers set to work stashing the loo rolls in every storage space available, including the town hall, the fire station and local schools, where for years caches of toilet paper could be found in practically every cupboard.
There was a silver lining to the debacle, in the form of considerably better savings than the council had planned for.
“We managed to save more than €1,000 (£850) because the price of wood went up the following year, which in turn made toilet paper more expensive,” the mayor told Germany’s DPA news agency.
But he said the council would not repeat the bulk order. Instead it has placed a rather smaller order — and for higher quality, white two-ply toilet paper.
“It’ll probably take me another twelve years to get used to it,” joked the mayor.