Matthew Reddin

About Matthew Reddin

Matt Reddin has been writing nonsense about film, TV, books, music and live theatre for a touch over 20 years. He’s gone from the halcyon days of street press in Perth, to regional dailies, national magazines and major metropolitan newspapers. Now, in between bouts of sporadically yelling at clouds, he vents his creative spleen at

The day Australia went mad over toilet paper

Despite no-one telling us to do so, the nation has been wracked by the panic-buying of toilet paper. Why? I believe I have a clue. 



The gag we’d do, back in the day, was to walk up to an unsuspecting kid in the schoolyard and inform him that “…they’ve taken ‘gullible’ out of the dictionary!”. If the fates were smiling on you that morning, the kid would ask “why?” and then you’d laugh, and carry on with your day.

Now, it seems the entire nation has fallen for it, en masse, except it’s not about an entry in the Oxford English, but that *somehow* the onset of COVID-19 means that everyone will unexpectedly, at some point, collectively (one presumes) begin shitting themselves into a coma. And, that when this nationwide avalanche of runny-bum is at its apex, only those savvy enough to rob the shelves of Australia’s standing supply of toilet paper will be able to have a clean botty. And, one presumes, *somehow* be spared the onslaught of this disease.

I mean, there’s zero scientific reasoning or evidence to support this, but since when do the cretinous Facebook news-sourcing populace ever let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory? I mean, wake up, sheeple. That’s just what the Illuminati wants you to think. Et cetera.

I ran out of Corn Flakes this morning, so I popped down to my local Woolies for replacement cereal, as you do. And, knowing that there’d been a flurry of (to put it mildly) fuckwits mass-purchasing toilet paper, I was curious to see if this sub-mental trend had found its way into the quiet inner northern suburbs of Melbourne. And, sadly, it had. Entire shelves bereft of stock: no toilet paper, no tissues, no flour, no powdered milk. 

Slow clap. Brilliant. Well done, everyone. That’ll teach the Chinese (that’s the villain du jour, right?).



People are talking about the 2011 film Contagion right now, for its thematic similarity to real-life events. But the film which sprang to mind for me was actually Men in Black. Will Smith’s would-be agent says to Tommy Lee Jones’ veteran one, “People are smart. They can handle it.”

To wit, Tommy Lee replies, “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

Once again, the movies giving an insight as to the human condition. I’m getting’ all worked up here at how inane this all is. 

How about a fact? 80% of the toilet paper in this country is produced locally. If we stop importing everything from China, we’ll still have Sorbent. Cool your jets, you idiots.

Here’s another one: panic buying antibacterial hand sanitiser is all lovely, but for the fact that COVID-19 is a virus and not a bacteria. You want to stop the spread of a virus, wash your hands with hot or cold water, and use soap, and be vigorous. A squirt of Purell won’t make any difference, but go right ahead and buy a crateload, dipshit.


Somehow the onset of COVID-19 means that everyone will unexpectedly, at some point, collectively (one presumes) begin shitting themselves into a coma.


Hey, speaking of money, I’d give a bunch of it to have purchased stock in Asaleo Care, the parent company of Handee Ultra, Purex, Sorbent. They’re only up 1c per share at the moment, but lordy that board must be rubbing their tummies with glee right now. Sales are all-but-literally through the roof.

Also, if you feel the need to ASK if GARGLING BLEACH will fight Coronavirus, then you just go right ahead and gargle with bleach, tiger. It’ll most certainly cure you of the virus, and any number of other things, too. And, bonus points for doing the gene pool a favour. 

Nobody, not the media, not the government (not even this government, incompetent and breathtakingly corrupt as they are) has been telling people to panic buy toilet paper. Or paper towels, flour and powdered milk. The media’s been reporting the mass outbreak of what I can only assume is ludicrous idiocy on the part of the Australian people, which itself seems to have fed more panic rather than restraint.



So, who is to blame, and while we’re at it, why? Which anti-vaxxer/doomsday-prepping/anti-5G campaigner got their knickers in a twist on Facebook and decided that loo rolls were the thing we needed to hoard? 

What the actual – and I say this earnestly – fuck? And, someone please tell me, what mentally deficient moron thought it was either truthful, sage-like advice or something that needed to be spread? 

I’d weep for my country; my stupid, stupid country, lest the fact that I’d have no fucking tissues with which to dry my eyes. 

Go to your room, Australia. 



Share via