Sunday, February 18, 2007

Seriously. I Mean, It's Toilet Paper ...

Yesterday, I went to Target. I am firmly a Target girl. I won't set foot in a Wal-Mart. KMart just feels sad, like a slightly older uncle trying hard to be hip. Meijer is just too flippin' big. Does anybody really need one store at which to buy propane grills and picture frames and windshield washer solvent and plants and yarn and boots and jeans and shampoo and potholders and greeting cards and soup, and get shoes repaired and do banking? Maybe if I was a working mom, I'd appreciate the one-stop-shoppedness of it all, but the mere thought of walking into Meijer exhausts me because God help me if I go in on the "wrong side." If I go in the non-food side and then think, "Well, as long as I'm here, I might as well pick up some Triscuits," I have a quarter-mile trek in front of me. Screw the Triscuits. (That is the first time I've ever had occasion to write that sentence. And I suspect it will be the last. But it was fun while I wrote it.)

So I went to Target. Ah, Target. Home of affordability and good design. Even the television commercials are cool. The parking lot was crowded, being a Saturday afternoon, but I was unprepared for what awaited me - or didn't await me - on the shelves. Everywhere I looked, gaps. A lone item here, a couple of items there. Had I, somewhere between the two automatic doors, entered a wormhole that spat me out in Soviet-era Russia? There was no line outside the store. No babushka-d women hunkering down against the cold waiting for their turn at ill-sized men's shoes. No suspiciously parked black Mercedes sedans. What the hell?

I wheeled my cart to the paper-products aisle. When did Puffs decide that all tissue boxes should be designed to coordinate with prison cells? Dear God, they're depressing. Not that it matters much to me. I have a tissue cozy (as cozy as stainless steel can be), but I carry the tissue torch for my non-cozy brothers and sisters of the world. What are they supposed to do? Endure the hideousness? Isn't there enough strife in the world? Must we gaze upon an ugly tissue box as we evacuate our sinuses?

I needed toilet paper. I'm a Charmin girl. The six-pack bundle of four-roll packs. Or so I thought. I stood before the Charmin like a tourist trying to decipher a map in a foreign subway. When did it become this difficult to buy toilet paper? Why are there so many classifications? In other parts of the world, toilet paper is a luxury. Here, we have an embarrassment of choices, but why? I'm not talking about one-ply versus two-ply. Everyone knows one-ply is for suckers. I'm not talking about quilting. If your ass is that chafed, you might wanna have that looked at.

No, I'm just talking about how many sheets can be crammed onto a roll before said roll no longer fits in your bathroom. I stood before the Charmin, searching in vain for my usual pack o' 24 rolls, and tried to crack the code. Big, Giant, or Mega. Regular was out of the question. There were no Regular rolls to be had. No, I had to choose between Big, Giant, and Mega, all in various roll combinations, all designed to last longer so I needn't spend precious milliseconds of my life changing rolls.

OK. Raise your hands if you've ever found yourself cursing at your toilet paper for eating up too much of your life. Do you keep your toilet paper in a safety-deposit box? Do you have to drive to the bank and find an officer with a matching key to help you access your stash?

Thankfully, Charmin supplies a chart on its web site to take the guesswork out of it all. You might want to print it out and tuck it into your wallet for the next time you're faced with this newly monumental decision.

I ended up buying the 12-pack of Big rolls, which, as the chart below demonstrates, does in fact equal the 24 Regular rolls I'd been buying in the past.

But the package doesn't fit neatly on my closet shelf.

Where's an old Sears Roebuck catalog when you need it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. For future reference you may want to know that the "Mega" rolls are so large that they do not fit on a standard toilet paper holder. Charmin sells an "extender" for your holder. Good news, you can even coordinate with your bathroom decor!

We live in a scary world where these things are priorities!

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

"We live in a scary world where these things are priorities!"

Well, like they say, no job is finished until the paperwork's done.

Groan yourself.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hunter said...

I like the sizing guide: 1 regular roll = 1 regular roll. WTF else would it equal?

That's why I love Costco. You go and pickup about 300 rolls of TP and you don't have to worry about it for 6 months. Sure, you might end up with six months of sandpaper-city, but that makes you appreciate the nice stuff you get the next time.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

Jeff - Once at Costco some teens were ahead of us in line to have their receipt checked. The contents of their cart? Nothing but TP. Tons of it. The receipt checker looked at the cart, looked at them , then at us. He stroked his chin and said "hmmmm!" The teens swore that they just needed TP. Yah, sure.

At least they were being thrifty with their shenanigans.

8:20 AM  

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