I normally lean toward the Libertarian side of things, but I firmly believe the federal government needs to step in and get some sanity back into the toilet paper industry.
We normally just buy the Kirkland Signature “2-Ply Bath Tissue” at Costco. It comes in a large bundle that will last a standard family the better part of a month or more, or a family with teenagers for about three days. We had some poor planning recently, and ran the supplies down below restocking levels.
I would have just gone to Costco and bought more. I mean, it’s not like it’s 2020. I’m sure they have a mountain of it on those pallets next to the paper towels. I couldn’t though, since I was taken off of the family Costco account years ago in a successful coup by my wife and mother-in-law. My wife cited some trumped-up accusations about uncontrolled spending in the tool aisle, but my arguing was futile. My card was revoked.
My wife didn’t have time to get to Costco, and the situation was getting almost 2020-type grim, so I was forced to buy toilet paper at our regular grocery store. Standing in that aisle, reading the brightly-colored rolls, trying to make sense of Charmin’s toilet paper math, it became clear that we need a governing body to regulate this nonsense.
Toilet paper math has apparently become like tent math. Come to think of it, I don’t know why the federal government hasn’t stepped in and done something about the tent makers’ capacity claims either. If beds were advertised like tents, a queen mattress would sleep twenty-six adults comfortably.
Angel Soft caught my eye right away, boasting an impressive 9 = 36, when comparing their mega rolls to “regular” rolls. I don’t know what constitutes a regular roll, but I’m quite certain it is not my standard Kirkland roll. I was almost sold on 9 = 36 until I saw that Charmin Ultra Soft Mega had 12 = 48. Then they threw me another wrench, because on the Charmin Ultra Soft Family Mega, 18 = 90. I couldn’t do the comparative math in my head, so I didn’t know if that just meant there were more of the same rolls in the bigger package, or if the Family rolls had a higher multiplier.
Then I saw Cottonelle Ultra Comfort 12 Super Mega = 72 regular, which was smacking the hell out of Charmin Ultra Soft Mega non-family pack, but Cottonelle was advertising 3X more absorbency, and I wasn’t sure if the absorbency multiplier was baked into the roll math or not.
Just as I started to get really confused, Scott threw a new dimension in, claiming 36 rolls = 39,600 sheets. They have apparently increased the sheets per roll from their old crossed-out 1000 number to an impressively larger 1100. (Larger in both quantity and font size.) I went back to try and figure out what Cottonelle and Charmin were rockin’ in the sheet count game when I realized all of these had different ply and texture ratings.
Why the hell are we messing around with different plies, thicknesses, and levels of softness? The human ass is fairly universal, and no one on the planet is looking for sandpaper to wipe with. Cut the nonsense - all toilet paper should feel exactly like our regular Kirkland Signature 2-Ply Bath Tissue.
And don’t even get me started on single-ply scented bamboo toilet paper!
Anyway, I settled on Charmin something or other, with a mega roll to regular roll to package price ratio I could live with.
I got them home, opened a package, and began to stack them behind the toilet next to the two remaining Kirkland rolls. That’s when I realized these TP SOB’s are playing with more than just the marketing math. They actually made the rolls skinnier! Meaning, the center cardboard toilet paper roll is about half an inch shorter than the Kirkland one.
They are busy touting all their ridiculous roll and sheet math, all the while making the sheets physically smaller. That’s a bunch of what toilet paper is used to clean up!
Big TP has run amok and governance is clearly needed. This whole thing is really starting to chap my ass. Literally, and figuratively.
I really need my wife to go to Costco.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen
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