By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL/Designated Writers

REDNECK RIVIERA — It was a sound, well-conceived strategy and I apologize to no man for it. But sadly, I am now suffering the consequences of my actions.

Back during the great paper plague — your toilet, your towel, etc. — every Thomas, Richard and Harold was gathering up what they could when it came to items on that aisle at the grocery store. It was a free-for-all like none we had seen before. And one fateful Sunday morning, I stumbled upon a six pack of paper towels that I was going to keep me in business for awhile.

I didn’t even care what brand it was. As it turned out, I should have.

Socked it away for when the current supply ran dry, but amazingly it never did. As I kept hitting the paper towel lottery, these guys stayed in the back of the pantry.

Hey, here’s a bright idea! I’ll bring it along during the summer vacation! As any condo renter knows, they usually give you one roll to start your week-long stay and after that, you’re on your own. So bringing some with you is one less item to have to buy at Publix.

This week it’s been a sad lesson to learn, one sheet at a time.

You can’t begin to comprehend how bad the paper towels I bought in March are. It is physically impossible to tear a sheet off and not have it break off halfway down. Time after time I’ve tired, as if somehow the paper towels are suddenly going to improve.

I’m suffering from perforation anxiety.

What really scares me is how close I came to actually having to use these in a non-vacation situation. I was about one roll away a few months ago and these guys were on deck. Think of the spillage possibilities. The dead cockroach that would have needed to be eradicated. Bacon grease that needed to be drained.

Having to live under these horrid paper towel conditions has been no day at the beach. Even at the beach.