8.07.2007

The Great Toilet Paper Conspiracy


When I was growing up, it was routine around our house to hear our father yelling from behind the bathroom door for Mom to bring him some toilet paper. My sister and I knew that whenever we saw our father head down the hall with the Marietta Daily Journal under his arm, we’d have about an hour before the shouting commenced. We’d finish watching whatever episode of Daktari or Flipper was on and then head over to Ricky Railey’s to help him hunt for snakes.

Often, our father would have to sit there, with nothing left to read but the Richway circular, while Mom drove over to Big Apple. And inevitably—eventually--she’d come back with a big roll of Scott tissue. For some reason, the self-righteous tirades she had to endure never prevented my mother from repeating the offense.

Interestingly enough, once my mom was divorced and living on her own, she never ran out of TP. She prided herself on it. She bought it in bulk at Sam’s, even though it was just her and her Schnauzer Jigs in the house. And years later, after my own divorce, when I bought Scott because it was on sale, my mother, who was living with me and the kids at the time, suggested I save that shit for sanding furniture and offered to pay for Charmin.

Having been raised to associate running out of toilet paper with passive aggression, I really try to keep plenty of tissue on hand. I’m better suited for pure aggression, anyway--for dumping an armload of dirt and mulch in the front seat of Biggy’s car, for instance. Besides, anything that requires my making a special trip to Publix is more likely to punish me than him.

One six-roll pack used to last this family two weeks—this was back when Jack ate prunes and Sadie stuffed her bra. And before Lola learned the fold-over. Suddenly, we’re going through a roll a day per bathroom, which means three rolls a day. There hasn’t been any surge in usage. We haven’t switched to whole grains. Each of us eats enough cheese to stop up a storm grate. So the only explanation I have is this: THEY are putting less paper on a roll. They’re also using fewer fibers per square and winding it looser. I can't keep up now.

It’s the same thing that happened to coffee about ten years ago. Rather than raising the price, they started putting 13 ounces in a can instead of a pound. Now, it comes in 12 ounce bags. Pretty soon, Maxwell House will come in a bag the size of a sachet, with a little star on the label that says,” Same price since 1962!”

It'll have a peel-off coupon for a roll of Scott tissue on the back.

5 comments:

mamoo said...

even to this day,26 years later, i never run out of toilet paper.

Jennifer said...

I like Scott! I get the Scott, Naturals, the "softblend fiber with 40% recycled content." So soft and white. It makes my ass really happy. My grandma used to buy purple toilet paper. That was sexy, like wiping yourself with a handful of flowers.

Mamoo, you shoulda just made that man sit there with a dirty bum till hell froze over!

Collin said...

I skimp on lots of things, but I like luxurious, overpriced, non-eco-friendly toilet paper. I want it so soft and toilet-clogging it feels like I'm wiping my ass with silk. :)

ads. said...

Speaking as a papermaker, we do make paper a lot more cheaply these days...lots of filler and higher moisture content. Since paper is sold by weight, it is cheaper (per lineal foot) to sell "water" than it is to sell fiber(...more money for the execs). And all that "fluff" means more thickness, but less footage. Sorry- don't kill the messenger. I don't make ass wipe though, just glossy magazine paper- a bit rough on the old tushy!
Also, we do use recycled material, but it makes a paper machine run like crap (pun intended). I always feel funny about about using recycled toilet paper. I could cut out the middleman and just wipe my butt with GARBAGE.
Oh yes. My wife stocks more toilet paper than Russia, yet I'm still left stranded- as no one knows how to replace the rolls....must be a guy thing.

Andrea said...

well, if you really want answers, I can try to get them for you..when I'm not a sleepy PC student, I'm slaving away at Kimberly-Clark's prototyping and digital textile printing lab, working on those very Cottonelle and Scott papers.
Chances are, bored employees are just playing mind games with you to see if you notice the difference in roll size :) walking around with Depends on our heads gets boring after a while, so we have to think of new ways to amuse ourselves :)

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