You've stopped at your favorite grocery store, the one you've gone to at least once a week for years. You wave at the lady in the vegetable section and ask how she's doing. There's the fella behind the meat counter. You stop for a minute and visit (well, the best you can visit at six feet apart). And there's the young guy stocking the cereal boxes, you know him because he went to school with your oldest daughter.

Ah...some normalcy in a world that's gone a little bit more than a little bit bizarre.

And then it happens. You walk to the paper products aisle and suddenly it's changed. You've stepped into the Twilight Zone.

There's no toilet paper. Oh I know, 'bathroom tissue' for some folks, but it was toilet paper for my dad, so it's good enough for me.

You just wanted to pick up a 2-roll, but...but...but..

Gone. Wiped out, so to speak.

Why? you ask yourself, why in the world are people hoarding, of all things, toilet paper?

Well, there's a good reason. Or, at least, a reason.

I still get my cherished Time Magazine the old fashioned way, by good 'ol mail. And this week the issue was pretty much, of course, Coronavirus. Just about every angle was covered, including why people are hoarding toilet paper.

According to some high falutin' folks, including professors of psychiatry and behavioral science and others in the know, it's really pretty simple. In the words of Professor Mary Alvord at George Washington University:

'We all eat and we all sleep and we all poop.'

Ahem...ok.

Essentially the article says that as far as food, well, if we we really love is sold out, there's a bunch of other choices. Sleeping? Well, if you're not comfortable, get another pillow, another mattress, another blanket.

But toilet paper? If it's all gone, if the shelves are empty, well...we don't want to go back to leaves. And so we stock up. Hoard, if you will.

Apparently we feel a whole lot better if that spare room is overflowing with toilet paper.

It's a psychological deal, I guess. Which. to my 12th grade educated brain, is why it's crazy.

Time Magazine contributed To This Article

Enter your number to get our free mobile app