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One Sheet at a Time

 There has been so much happening over the last months that it’s hard to piece it all together. The world’s health was at a precipice; the country’s moral compass was not heading true north. Those things will hopefully be worked out, they have to if we are all to live together with each other. My thoughts run to the more mundane today, and perhaps this thought has occurred to you, too, during the quarantine. Allow me to set the stage.

One of the mysteries of the pandemic has been the unexplained shortage of toilet paper. Many have offered possible answers including breakdowns of the supply chain; a mix-match of commercial vs retail customer needs; and, a conspiracy that hoarders had stockpiled all the remaining sheets of usable toilet paper. I don’t think the mystery has been solved yet, but at least the toilet paper seems to be flowing again, no pun intended. But while the shortage was in full effect, you had to make do with whatever toilet paper you could find. Some of the stuff was industrial grade material that literally felt like you were sandpapering your rear. As the supplies began to come back on-line, some brands made it to the shelves faster than others.

 Personally, our family has been a Scotts brand family. I don’t know why, don’t know when it all started, and don’t know if it was tied to a marketing brain-washing gimmick, but whatever it was, we bought only Scotts. I do remember thinking that the single-ply rolls seemed to have many more sheets than any other brand, and I felt like we got more for our money. I also had an aversion to the television commercials for Charmin. I mean a blue bear cartoon family talking about wiping their butts just didn’t seem right to me, especially the tagline, “my hiney’s clean.” I don’t know, it just increased my loyalty to Scotts.

But, not that butt, Scotts was late to store shelves and I was forced to buy Charmin. And the rolls felt thinner with less sheets than Scotts and I felt like this was going to be better than sandpaper stuff but not nearly as good as Scotts. But as the quarantine wore on, I found that the soft double-ply Charmin held a special place in my, no not heart, but you know where. In addition, I found through investigation that although Scotts boasted many more sheets than Charmin, that due to the single-ply nature, that a usual clean-up took many more sheets than a typical Charmin clean-up. Fascinating stuff, I know!

So, now it seems that I have shifted my allegiance from Scotts to Charmin, and I have the pandemic to thank for this illumination. And I believe that given the nature of today’s world, if one can shift their thinking from Scotts to Charmin, that almost anything is possible in terms of how we see the world, and that change is truly possible.

I, for one, can’t wait for all this to be behind us, so to speak, and that all this shyte is over with so that we can live in peace and harmony with each other. But I guess we all just have to take it just one sheet at a time.

By Lou Pastina

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