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Cleaning the Corner: Montgomery business that de-toilet papers Toomer’s busier than ever

Rite Way workers clean Toomer's Corner they morning after the Iron Bowl.

Patricia Lamar will be watching the BCS National Championship Game on January 10, not because she wants to. It’s part of her job.

“We typically just have to watch the game and see,” she says. “We’re on standby.”

Patricia Lamar is the district manager for Rite Way, the Montgomery-based commercial janitorial service Auburn University has contracted with for more than a decade to de-toilet paper Toomer’s Corner after Auburn football victories.

Or NCAA eligibility rulings. Or BCS announcements. Or even – there were two strands – when offensive coordinators decide not to go to Vanderbilt.

“We’ll get calls then, like when Cam won the Heisman and they called us, and when Auburn got the No. 1 in… what’s it called… the BCS, they called us. But usually just after a game.”

Lamar dispatches an 8 to 10 member crew early Sunday mornings to remove the toilet paper from the walkways and lawn at the campus entrance, as well as the two oaks trees there. (The two Rite Way employees TWER spoke with the morning after the SEC Championship game both drove from Montgomery – and both were Bama fans). They hose the paper out of the trees. They shovel it off the ground. The job can last into the evening.

How much does it cost? Lamar wouldn’t say. But if the university pays by the hour – or by the pound – she insists that the clean up from the celebration after Auburn’s come from behind win over South Carolina in September would have been the most expensive.

A recent WSFA News report stated that Auburn city workers were responsible for clearing the campus of the toilet paper. Lamar saw it and laughed.

“I was watching that and I was like, now wait a minute. I don’t know who told’em that, but if that’s what they think, OK.”

Lamar said the city assists with the cleanup, but only where the celebration spills over onto city property… which is happening with increasing frequency. Rite Way’s duties are also expanding: this year, toilet paper is routinely found stretching from Toomer’s Corner all the way to Samford Hall, and as far down the Magnolia Avenue edge of campus as Arbys.

It’s been that kind of season.

“We have to deal with every piece of toilet paper,” she says. “And while we’re cleaning it, they’re still rolling it. They’ll come and roll it while we’re there.”

Photo by George Thomas.

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About Jeremy Henderson

Jeremy Henderson is the editor of The War Eagle Reader and co-host of Rich and Jeremy in the Mornings on Wings 94.3 FM in Auburn. Follow him on Twitter: @wareaglereader / @jerthoughts / @RichandJeremy

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