Folk Tales

“Auntie, we’re bored. Will you tell us a story?”

“Of course! Gather round, children.”


“Everyone comfy? Okay then… the year was 2020. It was the year that changed everything. The year that half the world’s human population was wiped out. The year that saw every animal on the endangered species list begin to thrive again. The year that toilet paper became the universal currency.”

“Auntie, we know all this. We learned it in school.”

“Children, I survived 2020 and I’m here to tell you that the “books” are leaving some things out.”

“Like what?”

“Like, do you kids know what we did with toilet paper before 2020? We used it wipe our asses.”

“Omigod, gross! You’re making that up!”

“I wish I was, children, but I’m not. We wiped our asses with it. And sometimes we bunched it up and used it to blow our noses, if we were out of tissue.”

“Even twelve-ply?”

“Well, we didn’t have twelve-ply back then. We had to use three-ply and fold it until it became twelve-ply.”

“Ooh weird.”

“Yup, and before 2020, people who peed in the shower were considered “weird” and “gross”. We used to do our business into a bowl that flushed into the sewers along with our toilet paper below ground. Then it was treated and released into-“

 “Wait. Your pee and poop and currency went into the sewers where the Carnivores live?”

Yes but remember, toilet paper wasn’t currency yet so we didn’t know any better. And the carnivores didn’t live underground back then. See, 2020 was also the year that the human diet became 100% vegan. Except for the humans who were already vegan. They became Carnivores and they wouldn’t shut up about it. Eventually they were driven underground. We all just figured we’d survived so much, we couldn’t be expected to deal with their pamphlets and superiority complex, too.”

“What did you use as currency before toilet paper, Auntie?”

“Mostly cotton and different metals, which we called “money”. And we would use the same “money” over and over again, it wasn’t single-use like it is today. We wouldn’t even wash it, unless we forgot it in our pants pockets and accidentally ran it through the washing machine.”

“That sounds so unhygienic. No wonder half the population died.”

“Yeah, looking back, it was pretty stupid. We should’ve saw the plague coming, really. But oh, how we treated money was just one of a million signs we ignored, children. But we’ll keep those stories for another night.”

“Aww. C’mon Auntie!”

“Sorry children. Now good night, sleep tight and…?”

“Don’t let the COVID-19 bugs bite!”

“That’s right, kiddos! Now slather yourselves in Purell and tuck into your sensory-deprivation pods.”


Toronto Stand Up Comedian Darcia ArmstrongDarcia Armstrong is a stand-up comic with a style that’s been described as “Story telling with punchlines”- whatever that means. She is a Second City graduate of both the stand-up program and comedy writing program. She has performed on some incredible stages across the Ontario, her favourite being the common rooms of homeless shelters throughout the GTA. Darcia was a semi-finalist at Comedy Brawl Toronto and a finalist in Clash of the Comics. She co-produces several shows across the GTA as part of Black Sheep Comedy.

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