Bath Tissue Blues

Bath tissue has been bugging me lately. I’ve written previously about bath tissue pricing. I was at Wal-Mart considering whether to buy 12 double rolls which equaled 24 single rolls, or 24 double rolls equivalent to 48 single rolls, when scanning for package pricing, there was this interloper of 18 roll packs. Even if 18 = 36, how do you compare that to 24 or 48 without carrying a pocket calculator?

I go for soft. (Notice we no longer have colored tissue which might work evil on our bottom(less) parts with their #4 or #3 or #unknown dyes?)

I tried extra strong (absorbent – whatever) but it seemed to be too thick for our 30-year old pipes to enjoy, never mind the 30-year old septic system. So I switched. From something I really loved but could find at only a few outlets, to something lighter, thinner, that had an all-too-cute motto involving slightly more-than-middle-aged men performing unseemly acts in supermarkets, or woolly bears doing things in the woods that one cannot smell if indeed no one is “there.”

Last shopping trip, the 48 aka 24 aka 12 pack rolls were either unavailable or not on sale. We opted for the 24 = 24 pack. The plastic packaging was just as large as, or larger than, the other; but presumably the same amount of relief-producing soft stuff was inside.

Till I opened it yesterday morning. Six four-packs inside. Each four-pack was slightly smaller than a Coleman camping pillow. More like an airline pillow. Good lower back support on a long car trip. By the time I’d wrenched the contents out of the second layer of plastic wrap, they were squashed. A little flat. Smaller still.

I loaded the tiny little roll onto the bathroom dispenser, trying to ignore its pathetic insignificance. All seemed well. Everyone (both of us) was able to use the little professionals’ facilities and go along to work. Since I work at home, I noticed its diminishing presence every couple hours. By 3:00, it was gone. Over. Finis!

Unlock and reload.

How do they manipulate the numbers, because they print square inches and possibly even cubic inches on every pack? I’m sure I never used a whole double roll in one day (at least not since “my friend” stopped visiting years ago).

My eye was glued to the replenishment supply. How long would it last? Till bedtime? Till morning?

Today is our second day with two rolls on the hook per day. With only one person home most of the day. OK. I confess. I. drink. water. But not that much. Just enough to keep two lumberjacks alive.

I haven’t done the math. But there’s no way these two little potato-sized rolls equate to one of the gargantuan 12 = 24 rolls we usually use. The 12 = 36 rolls are not even in the running. Eighteen? I’m still mad at Wal-Mart about that. Stores should make it easy to comparison shop. It’s not like they can let you use the product and report how much is necessary “per serving.” But they could at least say “this equals that” or “this is an aberration; buy the one you’re used to.”

Most of all, I’m disturbed I’ve spent two days thinking about how quickly a roll or two of kiss-ass paper disappears. Is this weird?

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26 Responses to Bath Tissue Blues

  1. Dee says:

    and I thought I was the only one going crazy with this same issue…I like how you share your perpective of it though…had me laughing. I just agree with so much of it!

  2. Belinda says:

    hysterical…. love it. I used to work for a ‘paper company’ which helped to create and perpetuate this problematic paper issue. I can’t tell you how much I loved the marketing meetings in which we discussed whether the paper with ‘ripples’ really did help to ‘grip the road’ and whether cleanliness was closer to godliness and whether soft or strong was perhaps a paper crime.

    Then the marketing meetings digressed to topics on products relating closer to your regular or sometimes more irregular ‘visiting friend’ and which product was really the most helpful. Can’t tell you how much fun it is listening to a man market THIS stuff.

  3. Lin Ennis says:

    Great to see some others think about these things, too!

    Thanks, Belinda, for the insight into marketing meetings about toilet paper. It never occurred to me to think about what those might be like! 🙂

    Was tinted tissue already gone when you worked in the field?

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