Tuesday, August 28, 2007

From the deparment of What the Fuck?

I did the weekly shop on the way back from Suffolk yesterday - well you've got to take your opportunities whenever they present themselves. Mostly it was as near a pain-free experience as any trip to the supermarket can be. But on the list was bog roll (or toilet tissue, to the more sensitive of you), and this always gives me pause.

I think the Romans had it right here. A sponge dipped in vinegar and plenty of running water. Gets your arse clean no problems. Modern toilet tissue is a strange commodity, sold on almost any criteria other than its efficacy at cack-removal. Softness is, obviously, high on the list - 'like wiping your arse on a kitten' is one of my favourite advertising strap-lines.* Though it should be remembered that kittens, whilst cute and fluffy, also have claws. And would probably not appreciated being used for dewinnettage.

There's the puppies, as well - we'll draw a veil over them. And the bears, too - at least there's a vaguely amusing pun in their use, since they are renowned for shitting in the woods (though not as much for their anal hygiene). I find the scary suit-wearing toddler more off-putting than anything else, but then I consider using any child below the age of consent in an advertisement to be perilously close to pederasty, and indeed all advertising to be the work of the devil himself, so perhaps I'm not the best to judge here.

But toilet paper is required, so toilet paper must be purchased. I can't bring myself to buy the cheap supermarket own brand stuff - it's a false economy. So my choice is usually swayed by whoever has the best bogoff deal at the moment. And so it was yesterday.

Having only paid attention to the price/quantity ratio, it wasn't until this morning that I noticed the latest twist in the drive to make people pick one brand of soft paper over another. And I quote:

However your bathroom is decorated, there is a gentle tone of ****** for just the right finishing touch

Available now in White - Warm Natural - Gentle Pink - Aqua

tuggable huggable softness

I've removed the brand name for reasons of my own. But really, what's the world coming to when the most important consideration regarding your choice of bog roll is how it will fit in with your bathroom decor? Do people really co-ordinate the colour scheme of their most private room to such an anally retentive degree? ** And what the hell is 'Warm Natural'? Is it a colour, or the sensation you feel the morning after a particularly good curry? Also 'Gentle' Pink? Is there a rough pink out there? An uncultured pink that hangs around on street corners wearing a hoody and drinking cider? Aqua is, I presume, a poncey way of saying blue, but I could be wrong.

I notice that this particular brand is 'by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen.' I doubt that I will ever have the chance to see what colour goes best with the gold taps in Buckingham Palace.

There was a trend, in that absence of good sense and taste that was the nineteen-seventies, to remove functional, solid, white, cast iron and porcelain bathroom suites and replace them with fibreglass items of quite incredible vulgarity. Avocado and Aubergine were favourites - again with that curious inability to call something by its real name. A friend of mine in Aberdeen bought a flat with a matching bath, basin and toilet in what can only be described as Apres-Guinness Shit Brown, though I think the manufacturer preferred to call it 'Dark Chocolate' for perhaps obvious reasons. At least it hid the stains, though not, sadly, the limescale.

I can see the logic in choosing bathroom stationery to match such terrible lapses in judgement, though it is the same, twisted logic that allowed Nazi Germany to flourish and which justifies the war in Iraq. But hang on a moment, people. Even if you're in the unfortunate position of having inherited a bathroom from this era but not the funds to rectify the mistakes of your ancestors, you can take it from me that white toilet paper goes with everything. There is no need for Gentle Pink, Warm Natural, Aqua, Apple Blossom, Ivory Mist, Squashed Beetle or indeed any other colour.

The sooner you stop buying into this stuff, the sooner they'll stop doing it.


* though it should be added this appeared in Viz magazine, which wasn't aimed at the most high-minded of individuals. Still, even students have to wipe their arses occasionally, so full marks for exploiting a niche.**
** pun intended.



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4 Comments:

Anonymous norby said...

The brand that uses the puppies-they have a special pack of toilet paper you can buy for your kids. It has paw prints that go along the paper then stop when the kid has unrolled enough paper. Because I have nothing better to do, I've often found myself wondering, enough by who's standards? And no, I don't know how many squares it is. I've thought about buying a pack, but I've got just enough pride left not to.

The worst part about this brand is that now if you save up their UPC barcodes you get points that you can send in for stuff. Not stuff worth having, but toys. I know we Americans are materialistic, but are we really so materialistic that we need toys from a toilet paper company?

August 28, 2007 8:37 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

My dad tells a story of when he was at school after the second world war. His housemaster was very keen on economising and insisted that boys use no more than three sheets of paper after using the toilet - one up , one down and one to polish.

Mind you, this was that horribly shiny, crinkly toilet paper that was surely invented by someone with a very sick sense of humour.

We get the toys here, too. Cute little stuffed furry puppies. Oddly enough they're much better at getting your arse clean than the paper;}#

August 29, 2007 7:57 am  
Anonymous norby said...

I don't know what bothers me more-the implication that you've ordered the toys or what you may be using them for.

Eew.

August 29, 2007 6:25 pm  
Blogger HAMLETRAY said...

We had Izal Germicide in the 50's cos thats basically all there was . Trouble was it used to slide and spread rather than do any cleaning ! If we ran out then it was torn up newspaper - not much different but you could have a read before it was needed !
Ray

September 03, 2011 4:47 pm  

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