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You can get a lot of things printed on toilet paper, though the overwhelming majority of the world wants nothing other than quilted patterns. It's understandable. While a Hello Kitty or Chuck Norris design on your roll can make your bathroom feel cuter or safer respectively, we don't always want to do the deed with it. Nonetheless, folks out there are going against the grain. One is a pun-ridden and explicitly named company that prints your Twitter tweets on your custom roll. The other is the Baltimore Firefighters 734 union.

While anyone who's seen The Wire won't be surprised, it turns out that there's strife within the world of Baltimore politics. When recent conflicts with the mayor's office over the closing of several fire companies came to a head, a few firefighters went to the loo. Shortly, images were circulating online - one of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's face on a roll of toilet paper, and another of Fire Chief James Clack's visage in a toilet bowl. As neither is readily available on the internet, one is left to imagine both instances were photos or superimposed images, as opposed to masterworks of a talented portrait artist.

Naturally, it didn't take long for everyone to overreact, making it clear that tensions were at a breaking point because all it took was a roll of toilet paper...

While Rick Hoffman, president of the firefighters union, has publicly condemned the images, some members are saying that he sent mixed messages by taking too long to do so. Most troubling may be his role in the suspension of Lenore Scharf, who was removed from her position as the union's first vice president after Hoffman asked the board to do so, based on gray circumstances following the incident, according to The Baltimore Sun.

One thing is clear - the firefighters currently facing disciplinary action for the toilet paper protest are on Scharf's side, and want her on theirs, hoping she'll be their union representative.

"This woman has been tirelessly, tirelessly at bat for so many people for so long," Rodrick Jackson, a firefighter/paramedic union member of 10 years told the source. He lauded Scharf for her regular advocacy of union members.

While fingers remain crossed that troubled Baltimore can finally find some peace, one is left to wonder if things might have been different had Rawlings-Blake's face shown up in a classier chrome-plated toilet paper holder, surely a symbol of respect.



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