It is no secret that 2020 has been a very memorable year so far. But fears over the coronavirus and what will happen in the weeks to come have led to a welcome way of coping: laughter.
And the current health crisis has brought out some of the funniest memes and social media posts in the history of the internet.
You might be wondering how anyone could make jokes about such a serious subject. Yet the jokes are not about the virus itself or the problems it has caused. Instead, they are about how we, as human beings, are behaving during such strange times.
Americans are great at being able to laugh at the absurdities of human behavior. Evidence of this can be found online in our toilet paper memes.
The soft paper we use in the bathroom is our new favorite subject on the internet because, well, it is becoming so hard to find.
Recently, stores nationwide have been experiencing huge shortages as some Americans hoard the supply. But the stores are finally starting to wise up – they are limiting how much shoppers can buy.
The shortages have led to some of the most creative jokes we will – hopefully – ever have to see on this subject.
With that in mind, here are four great toilet paper, or “tp,” memes on social media this week.
How to catch a hoarder
Anyone who has ever seen an old-fashioned mouse trap might enjoy this first joke. It has been appearing all over social media for a few days. The picture really speaks for itself. It is of a huge trap, large enough to catch a person. Inside the trap sits… Well, what could it be? Naturally, a roll of toilet paper!
As you could probably imagine, the idea is that anyone buying up a lot of toilet paper will run directly into the trap and be caught.
And, of course, if you catch the hoarder, it will lead you to the toilet paper supply of your dreams. Or is that wishful thinking?
What’s in your panic room?
Next up is some panic room humor. A panic room is a room set up in a home or business to provide a safe shelter or hiding place in case of a home invasion, weather disaster or other threat.
Many of us can relate, even if only humorously, to the thought that a panic room is not a bad idea in times like these. Usually, people put things like food and water, medicine, guns and video cameras in a panic room. But not in this meme. In the picture, the person has filled the safe room with only two things: a toilet and toilet paper. The message reads, “I finally finished my panic room.”
Let us hope they never have reason to use that room.
Save those CVS receipts!
And now for a joke about an American company.
CVS is a business that most every American knows. Its stores can be found throughout the country. Many people go there to buy things like medicines, beauty care and cleaning products, snack foods and…toilet paper.
And anyone who has shopped at CVS over the past few years knows that, when you buy something, the store gives you a very long receipt. Some people use these pieces of paper to save money on future purchases, but some shoppers do not use them at all. They throw them away.
In our next meme, the shopper has second thoughts about the uselessness of such receipts. This time, the person has kept them and put them in the place where the toilet paper used to be. The meme reads, “Those CVS receipts are finally paying off.”
So, the receipts have a whole new use, if you know what I mean.
Guilty as charged: the Charmin bear
Our final meme for today is probably a favorite for many of us. It uses humor from the old television series Scooby-Doo.
Americans who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s will remember Scooby-Doo. The show was about a large dog and his group of friends, all of them young adults. Together, they would drive around in a vehicle and solve mysteries. Every story ended the same way: with Scooby and his friends catching the criminal and pulling off his mask.
In our final meme, the group leader, a young man named Fred, says, “Let’s see who is really behind the coronavirus,” and pulls of the mask.
Turns out, the inventor of the coronavirus is a famous mascot in the world of advertising: the Charmin bear. Charmin is an American manufacturer of toilet paper. The Charmin bear has been appearing in its advertising campaigns for years.
It’s too bad that the innocent and friendly animal is not who he seemed! In the end, he just wanted to sell us more toilet paper.
I’m John Russell.
Alice Bryant wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
cope – v. to deal with problems and difficult situations and try to come up with solutions (gerund: coping)
meme – n. n amusing or interesting picture or video that is spread widely through the Internet
post – n. a text, image, video or something else places on wall on social media or on a website
absurdity – n. a state or condition of extreme silliness or foolishness
hoard – v. to accumulate for preservation or future use in a hidden or carefully guarded place
receipt – n. a piece of paper on which the things that you buy are listed with the total amount paid and the prices for each
mask – n. a covering for your face or for part of your face