BETTY WHITE AWOKE the day after the apocalypse. She rubbed her eyes and stretched, without any urgency, because she had seen many mornings and did not know yet that the world had ended.

She climbed from her bed and opened the blinds. The light bounced from her face like the breath of angels. Nothing outside seemed out of place in the brief glance she afforded it. Betty White began to whistle as she went up the hall.

She passed the potted flower on the table in the hall. She said, “Good morning, Rose,” as she had done approximately 30,000 mornings before. Rose, like Betty White, had managed to live an exceptionally long time, for no apparent reason, and showed no signs of stopping.

She closed the bathroom door. From behind the door, she could still be heard whistling for another couple minutes. Then the whistling suddenly stopped.

“SON-OF-A-BITCH!!”

The door blasted open and Betty stormed out of the bathroom. She did not look happy. After a moment of furiously searching about, she slipped her gnarled old feet into a pair of fuzzy pink slippers.

Betty didn’t bother shutting the front door. She was really pissed off.

Her fist was a persistent hammering on her neighbor’s door, but the neighbor did not answer. She went to the next house, and the house after that, but none of her neighbors were answering their doors. She wasn’t even sure anyone was there.

Finally, the old guy who looked like Christopher Lee, and lived on the block behind her, mumbled and grumbled his way over to answer the door. He seemed like he hadn’t seen the sunlight in a year.

“Can I borrow some toilet paper?” Betty said.

The old guy who looked like Christopher Lee shook his head, his eyes got big, and he said, “Oh no, I’m afraid there’s no more of that. They took it all after the rest of them vanished.”

Betty was cross now, even though she still looked pretty sweet. “What are you talking about? Vanished? Who took the TP?”

“Those people,” he said, “Don’t you know, it’s the end of the world. A virus, it makes everyone’s brains dissolve, then they just vanish. The only thing that can stop it is toilet paper, but they took it . . .”

“You mean they broke into my house while I was asleep, just to take my toilet paper?? What kind of world are we living in where a person cant even wipe their ass??? Who did this?”

The eyes of the old guy who looked like Christopher Lee were awash in fear. “They call themselves the Charmin Bears,” he said, “That’s all I can tell you. I’ve already said too much.”

He shut his door and slipped back into his house, but Betty White didn’t care. She was already marching back to her own house. She was really super-duper pissed off now, even though she still looked pretty sweet.

She slammed the front door behind her.

Ten minutes later, it swung open again. The sounds of George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” filled the front yard. Betty White stepped back out onto her porch, but she wasn’t looking so sweet now. She was wearing some Oakley shades and there was a bazooka slung over her back. There were sidearms and knives down her leather-clad legs.

She cracked her knuckles.

“Nobody takes my toilet paper,” she growled, “Not even a bunch of bears. You’ve gone and done it now, folks. I’m coming for you, motherfuckers.”

And that’s exactly what she did . . .

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