Weapons Of Ass Destruction

So, this morning I was thinking about toilet paper.  (Never mind what I was doing at the time.)  And it occurred to me that toilet paper is the keystone to civilized behaviour in the western hemisphere.

You know I’m right.  All you have to do is walk into a public washroom that’s out of toilet paper, and you realize how superficial our veneer of civilization really is.

I know lots of countries get along just fine without TP, but I want to be there to see the expression on the first westerner who finds nothing but a pitcher of water in the bathroom instead of a cottony-soft roll.  Or, hell, I’ll settle for seeing their faces while they watch this video.

You know what bothers me most about this?  Water might be “very-very clean”, but it’s also very-very wet.  And there’s nothing to dry off with… except maybe the hand towel… if there is one… not that I’d want to touch it…

Yep, toilet paper rules the modern western world.  All our technological toys are as nothing next to it.  People may profess utter dependence on their electronic devices, but would you rather be caught without your technology or without toilet paper?  I’m thinking that sleek new iPhone isn’t very absorbent.

Centuries ago, people used whatever was at hand.  Apparently wealthy Romans used silk or goose necks.  (I presume the necks were no longer attached to the geese.  I’ve been around geese enough to know you don’t wanna let those suckers anywhere near your tender bits.)

Grass, leaves, and pine cones worked for indigenous people, though I assume their elders passed down critical wisdom like ‘leaves of three, let it be’ and ‘use the pine cone with the direction of the scales unless you need a hemorrhoidectomy’.

In earlier America, corn cobs were a common choice.  Apparently they were quite comfortable when fresh, but after they dried they became weapons of ass destruction.  No wonder everyone heaved a sigh of relief when Sears and Eaton’s started printing their mail-order catalogues.

Today, toilet paper engineers are the unsung heroes of the western world.  These amazing folks create a product that’s strong enough to withstand zealous scrubbing of regions better left undescribed, yet designed to fall to pieces seconds after contacting water so your toilet doesn’t plug.  Soft enough to prevent abrasion, yet not so soft as to leave Klingons circling Uranus.

And it’s not just the engineers who should be lauded.  Then there’s the next step:  convincing consumers to buy.  First the marketing geniuses have to come up with umpteen ways to say ‘our product wipes your ass best’ while avoiding any scatological reference whatsoever.

Then they create ads inexplicably featuring fluffy kittens and cartoon bears.  Those commercials bring out the worst in me.  Every time I see them, I think of the joke about the bear and the bunny taking a dump side by side in the forest.  The bear turns to the bunny and says, “Do you have a problem with shit sticking to your fur?”.  The bunny says, “No”, and the bear says, “Good!”, grabs the bunny and wipes his ass with it.

I can just see the tagline:  “Soft as a bunny, strong as a bear”.

And now you know what it’s like to live inside my brain.

Sorry about that…

* * *

I’m driving 800 miles again today so I won’t be able to respond to comments until tomorrow.  “Talk” to you then! 🙂

33 thoughts on “Weapons Of Ass Destruction

  1. I love, love, love the inside of your brain! Quite an entertaining place to be. I think it would be a perfect conversation starter at parties: what would you choose if you had to pick one, your favorite electrical device or a roll of toilet paper…

    I remember in the nineties, when I was backpacking in SE Asia, where no TP is found in toilets, I always had a roll with me and zero devices, as this was before the internet.


  2. Pingback: I Never Thought I’d Ever… | Author Diane Henders

  3. Diane, you are absolutely right! That feeling of realising there is no toilet paper coupled with the wish that you’d realised it two seconds earlier is a shocker. A very good learning experience, however.

    So I’m led to believe.


    • Hahahaha! Thanks for my morning belly laugh! You’re absolutely right; I didn’t think of that. Now my subversive sense of humour wants to hack into one of those animated cartoons and put an asterisk in a strategic spot… (_*_)


  4. This just goes to show you can find anything on You Tube. I will be watching for people’s left hands for ever now. Thanks for that. Klingons circling Uranus….still laughing hysterically.


  5. Well now you’ve drawn my attention to it, I find myself giving it serious thought! Very ass-tute! 🙂
    They’ve got a lady with a British accent on one TP ad currently and she says “bum” which I would guess came from an executive decision in a board room on how to make the message sound posher 🙂


    • Yep, that gave me a shudder when I read it. I hope it was a technical inaccuracy and they actually used spruce cones – they’re much softer. The thought of a Ponderosa pine cone has a major pucker factor.


  6. Bah! Perfect reading material for my morning coffee Diane! As soon as I read it I recalled a commercial for Bud Lite. I think it was the “This Bud’s for you – I love you man” campaign.
    My favorite one was the one with a guy replacing the toilet paper in the stalls of sporting event bathrooms … endless lines of drunks, dirty … well you can imagine.
    Anyway, at the end it was … “Today we recognize the toilet paper replacer man. This Bud’s for you!” Or something along those lines. I have to go do a YouTube search now to see if i can find it. LoL
    Thanks for the chuckle and safe travels to you! 🙂


  7. Oh mercy! I didn’t sleep at all and decided to log in this a.m. to check #8’s status before I try to catch a Zzz or two. So glad I saw your new musing and had to say thank you for a huge laugh. I can lay down now and nap with a smile and a chuckle.


    • I’m glad you got a laugh! And I just updated Book 8 – it’s still plugging along in beta reading. So far it’s going well, but even though I know how important this phase is, it’s hard not to be impatient. 🙂


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