Saturday, September 17, 2011

That's Tubular, Man -- Not!

Notice something a little odd about that picture to the right? I mean, besides the obvious that I'm taking pictures of toilet paper rolls in the bathroom? There's no tube! That's right, the cardboard tube that has proven so useful to haunters in making candles, paper mache body extensions, etc. is fast becoming a thing of the past.

I've seen some TV commercials touting the tube-less TP roll, but this is the first one I've actually seen in nature, so to speak. It's a bit distressing really, since I rely on these tubes for so many projects. But it brings to mind several other haunter's helpers that we're likely to see disappear sooner or later, including the incandescent bulb and newspapers.

Of course it's the dim bulbs in Congress have brought about the demise of the ubiquitous and utilitarian light bulb, moving the technology on to LED light (compact fluorescent lighting [CFLs], are really a transitional technology). Yet a study was just released showing that prolonged exposure to white LED lights is not healthy because it doesn't help the body produce melatonin. So it looks like politicians have forced us to replace one option due to "environmental" concerns but gave us one that will produce health problems. The Law of Unintended Consequences when Congress is in session strikes again!

But it's the advent of the Digital Age that will bring about the newspaper's eventual end. While I don't actually expect to see newspapers cease publishing in the next few years, or maybe in my lifetime (though, with the way I'm going these days, that may be one and the same), it's easy to see with the Internet providing a primary source for news and with mobile communication devices becoming more prevalent and useful in delivering news now, today -- and not a day after it's occurred, let alone a week later -- the clock is ticking on newsprint.

Which makes me wonder where us prop builders will get our materials from in the future to make paper mache? Oh, there will be other papers to use -- a full roll of TP (without the cardboard tube) -- will be helpful. Magazines will be around, though the glossy paper is less than optimal, and kraft paper too will be there. But the unique properties of newsprint will be sorely missed I think.

Haunters being the resourceful bunch we (you) are, I'm sure satisfactory alternatives will be found. But as when any tried and true method, product, or way of life is supplanted with something new and modern, perhaps we should bow our heads a moment in contemplation of their passing.


  1. I'm looking good, it seems. While my daughter wondered if maybe I was Patient 0 in the Zombie Apocalypse I'm very hopeful I'll be discharged today. I guess it can be said at worst tomorrow, but definitely the storm has passed. Thanks for asking.



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