Thursday, July 14, 2005

Gold-threaded paper of the gods

I've been thinking about toilet paper recently. Not a lot- I wouldn't say I've become obsessed with it, just enough that I feel that it's time to speak out about it. Not a lot of people have the courage to tackle this issue, but if I don't step forward, who will?

Toilet paper is the primary example of why we have too much stuff. Too much choice, actually. You can easily make an argument for other products- toothpaste and soap come in different flavors/scents and textures; There are subtle differences between Coke and Pepsi; even plastic baggies can have zip seals or whatever. Toilet paper is unique in that it comes in so many different varieties, and yet, in the end, it's still used to wipe one's backside. Do we really need that many choices? In fact, I'm rather curious why anyone would buy "premium" toilet paper. Certainly, there is the sandpaper variety that most schools and businesses use that's made, I think, primarily from recycled glass and nails, and you can avoid that. I don't even think that's available to consumers, and even if it was, I'm not sure how they would market it. Perhaps, "Buttscraper toilet tissue: Now with 50% less chunks."

On the other side of the coin, they offer toilet paper that basically promises to feel like an angel using her heavenly tongue to lick you clean. I think I saw this the other day in the store, and the packaging was certainly attractive:

Caressoft premium toilet tissue is made from hand-stiched cotton grown alongside the finest grapes in the Chardonnay region of France. There, it is lovingly picked by the widows of war heroes and shipped by carriage across the Bering Strait. Once it reaches our Beverly Hills holding facility, it is washed in melted glacial waters from Antarctica and dried with imported sand from the Sahara desert. Master artisans weave the tissue using golden looms, and Orthodox religious leaders bless the tissue as it is stitched by one thousand Betsy Ross re-enactors. Once it is hand-rolled by former Presidents and heat-sealed in our fusion reactor, it is ready for it's final journey via Pony Express to your store.

That's all fine and good, but it's like 8 bucks for 4 rolls, and while I'm generally one who treats his ass to the finest things in life, unless it's reusable, I've got to pass on that. You need to have perspective on things like that.

On a different subject, I woke up the other day and thought about something and became kind of irritated. I was thinking about so-called "accidental inventions", like rubber vulcanization, penicillin and gravity. There's two things wrong with the idea of an accidental invention. First of all, I'm skeptical that those inventions are "accidental" at all. I know how it is- your wife is bitching to you about how Edison just invented the goddamned lightbulb and the Invention Board is starting to doubt that you can come up with anything and that your coal-powered dresser was just a fluke and not that good anyways, so you "accidentally" leave your bacteria samples out by the window. Not because you're desperate; no, it's all a mistake. "Oops, I spilled rubber on a hot stove." "I'm not shaking this tree in anger; I'm inventing!"

The second point is that even if these were really accidents, why would you tell anyone that? Stick to your guns and tell them that it's what you were trying to do. You might as well look like a hero, rather than a klutz. Even worse, these accidental inventors are lauded as if they did something impressive. It seems like luck to me, and that's why I'm proposing a Nobel Prize in Luck, to cover these people. The winner every year, however, might be that overweight nerdy guy who somehow has managed to nab a woman who is out of his league. You know the guy.


At 9:07 AM, Blogger Knows It All said...

The thing that bothers me the MOST about toilet paper marketing is those damn "cha-cha"ing bears. It's so gross. THey like appears from coppping a squat behind a tree and then dance the cha-cha to shake of the , well for lack oif a a better word...dingle-berries. Sick. not making me want to buy toilet paper. Which we are all going to buy anyway, so what's with the expensive marketing?

At 11:29 PM, Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Is Mahd trying to tell us he has “accidentally” invented a new type of toilet paper, and this is a clever marketing strategy for the 'Mahd-roll'? ;)


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