It’s time to get real about how much we don’t want to talk about what’s going on in the bathroom.
There’s a reason we have doors on our stalls in this country. And there’s a reason why some companies still call it bath tissue, the most euphemistically euphemistic euphemism of all. Whether I enjoy the go or not is no one’s business. So I really don’t need middle-aged women with sensible haircuts and an extra 15 pounds telling me it’s time to “cut the cutesy stuff” and face facts: Our butts get poopy. And we deserve good toilet paper. I know my butt gets poopy. And I know I deserve good toilet paper. I just think it’s a private issue, between me and the toilet paper executives. Through written correspondence. Please stop talking about it.
I’m no prude, but I don’t want to hear about ass wiping at all when I watch TV. I’ve chosen my TV shows very carefully. None of them talk about how well I’m wiping my butt, or whether I’m leaving little bits of TP behind or whether it’s as hard and scratchy as a cheese grater. But I haven’t figured out a way to control the content of the ads and I’m too lazy to get TiVo or other devices that allow me to skip the commercials altogether.
I have an invisible shield that I put up whenever a commercial comes on for Tampax, Depends, Viagra, Cialis, ExtenZ, Trojan condoms, Summer’s Eve, Beano, Dulcolax stool softener, Immodium, Monistat, Preparation H, and now I’ve added toilet paper to that list. If it’s applied or inserted anywhere between the waist and the knees, I don’t want to see it on my TV.
It used to be safe to watch toilet paper commercials. In the old Charmin commercials, the toilet paper never left the store display and Mr. Whipple’s watchful albeit-obsessive eye. Quilted Northern honed in on the pattern and cellular makeup of its toilet paper. Cottonelle compared its toilet paper to your grandma’s crocheted afghan, calling it just “one of the comforts of home.” The commercials were so innocuous, if you were an alien who came to earth and were watching commercials for toilet paper you would have no idea what it was or what it was used for.
Toilet paper commercials used to be the master of advertising a product without directly addressing its actual uses. But while other companies have adopted this marketing technique with gusto, (I get Ethan Allen catalogs that I think are trying to sell me furniture, but some of the pictures are just of beautiful women with brooding pouts in sparkly ball gowns in the forest. Screw the entertainment center, I want that dress.) the toilet paper marketing geniuses decided to go all straight talk express. Yeah, thanks for the info and I appreciate the effort, but I’m good.
When I was in New York a few years ago, shopping in Manhattan on Black Friday (Yes, I know, I’m awesome. I still have the commemorative scar and bunion), one of the most popular draws was the Charmin public restroom exhibit in Times Square. If you’ve ever been to Times Square, you know that restrooms are few and far between, unless you count the alleys, which are a popular pee-spot for the crack whores.
So Charmin had the bright idea that they would open up a bunch of public bathroom stalls. While you waited for your turn in the john, you were entertained by the blue and red Charmin bears, who encouraged you to play the toilet-paper-themed games and contests they had going on.
Here’s a picture of some of the toilet-paper related antics I got to see at Charmintown:
That guy was really having a great time. Who says seasonal work is a drag?
Other than one game where we were asked to pick strong or soft, it was easy to forget that we were talking about toilet paper. Occasionally someone’s number would get called and they’d go into one of the stalls and we’d be reminded, oh, yeah, we’re here to pee and poop.
I miss those days. There’s just too much information about the uses of TP now.
While I haven’t seen this commercial on my own TV, I found this on YouTube - a commercial for what turns out to be a butt-wiping baton. Enjoy. And be glad you don’t stay up so late that this comes on your TV screen.
Labels: Charmin, commercials, embarrassing TV commercials, Times Square, toilet paper commercials