Thanks to Hannah for the Charmin Bear :)

Won’t Get Fooled Again

I’m not a big brand person, I just don’t really pay it much attention.

Take toilet paper, for example.

To me, the entire idea of going to a grocery store or supermarket and buying toilet paper is just weird if I think about it much.

First of all, how many rolls?

If you go for the gusto and get the 24 roll pack, you barely have room in your cart for anything else and the first thing anyone sees is someone who goes through a lot of toilet tissue.

Classic 4 roll pack? Single dude with no prospects.

Those strange paper-wrapped single rolls? “I have no idea where I’m taking a shit next!”

Me? I’m an 8–12 roll guy. It says “I’m regular, I know how much paper to use, I’m organized, and I’m prepared for the massive toilet paper consumption of a female companion.”

As I mentioned earlier I’m not a brand-sensitive guy. This can sometimes lead to frustrating situations. I’m not a dude who needs double-pillow, infused with lotion, packed with tiny clouds by migrant wizards kind of toilet paper, but neither am I a fan of ultra-thin see-through semi-gloss either. I require both a mild friction and some structural integrity to my paper. I neither wish to just spread it around nor have my finger punch through the paper mid-wipe.

So I do a quick scan and grab what I believe is at least mid-quality butt paper. Here’s what’s frustrating: I never remember what brand I had before, but I know it was some kid or baby laying on a pillow or some shit that I would never consciously relate to wiping my ass.

I avoid the brand with those happy-ass looking bears on it because, well, fuck a bear using toilet paper. If I’m wiping my ass somewhere there are bears present, I definitely don’t want to be using the brand they seem so psychotically and giddily drawn to. Actually, even if I’m just shitting in the woods for some reason, I don’t want to be reminded that there could, in fact, be a fucking bear around.

Today the body of an unidentified white male has been discovered near town, apparently the victim of a bear attack. The police have commented that bears do not typically pull a man’s pants down around his ankles before mauling. This and toilet tissue packaging found nearby point to a probable ‘shitting in the woods’ scenario just prior to the, as yet unnamed, man’s death.

The toilet tissue itself has not been found. Back to you, Ken. How’s that weather looking for this weekend?

Anyway, so I grab an 8-pack with the kid/baby chilling on a cloud… or a pillow… maybe it’s a big-ass wad of the toilet paper, I don’t recall exactly.

So, weird, yeah, you roll your cart up to the check out and and put your mildly embarrassing food items on the belt, a depressing assortment of microwave dinners, the Reese’s for your non-existent ‘friend’ (okay, two packs of Reese’s, shut up), the yes, I’m a grown-up, leave me alone Axe antiperspirant you still buy because you saw a funny commercial once that promised sex, and, finally, your big ass package of toilet paper.

I’m going to eat some really awful food (maybe even a frozen burrito!), which is going to give me horrible shits... but have no fear! There shall be NO interruption in the ass-wiping process THIS day, my friend! Oh, glorious future!

Later on, at home, I feel the prompting and head to the bathroom. I spot the empty toilet paper roll, toss it on the floor behind the toilet, because I am a dumb filthy animal, and proudly place the new roll, not on the perfectly good toilet paper roller thingy, but on the back of the toilet, man-style.

I say proudly, because I usually don’t realize I have an empty roll until I’m sitting there, done with my business, holding the little cardboard roll with just a wisp of paper glued to it, wondering if I could somehow manage to wipe with it without getting shit on my hand and with leaving a most unsavory mess behind (almost a pun!). It’s impossible. Trust me… and don’t ask.

I really hate the pants-around-my-ankles-legs-bowed-so-as-not-to-squish-it-around walk to get a fresh roll, and I never quite figured out how to just put the damn extras in the shitting area.

I once tried to communicate with my cat (who, for some reason, thinks that me taking a crap is him-time) via a combination of baby-talk, promises of treats, and some Professor X-style telepathy.

Don’t scoff. He went and sat in his litter box looking at me. I’m sure something got through. I’ll have to explore those possibilities later.

So I’m doing my thing, pleased grin on my face, feeling pretty damn organized, like, I got this. I hum a little self-satisfied tune and reach for the paper, unrolling a bit.

What I am holding in front of my disbelieving eyes is something I can only describe as ultra-thin printer paper that has had a light dusting of 400 grit added to it. Son of a bitch.

Not only did I have to wipe three times, but my asshole has now been sanded, polished, and buffed to a raw painful gleam.

I look angrily at the packaging the paper came in. Okay, a baby laying it’s head on a cloud. Then I notice… that’s one ugly fucking baby… are it’s eyes crossed? Or maybe it’s a little old man in an adult diaper? For a moment I think maybe it’s Gandhi or Buddha laying on that cloud, sending me a message: the pain of this world is a fleeting thing… yet my ass is still sore. It has not fleeted yet.

The brand says Superfluff. Oh, you lying bastards. Somebody’s ass is goin ta hell for that whopper.

I think the baby on the last pack I bought was actually cute… wait, no, I remember, it was a little girl with golden curls and it was a quilt she was laying on… no, it was definitely a cloud, and she had dark hair. Maybe. Shit. I can’t remember, but it sure as hell wasn’t a picture of a cross-eyed butt-ugly man-baby on it. I would have noticed… I think.

So I go to the store the next day, intent on getting better paper. I’m prepared to tear a little hole in the plastic and feel the stuff before buying. I figure if it’s rawhide paper, that hole will deter some other poor soul from accidentally buying it, and if it’s good, well, I’m buying it.

I walk down the aisle and stand in front of the biggest selection of ass-wipes I’ve seen since the 2016 presidential disgrace. I really look this time. I see the bears grinning menacingly at me and a few budget varieties with just a pitiful unimaginative brand name (probably used by Shaolin Monks training to develop a bullet-proof asshole. ‘Do you know… Iron Ass?’ ‘You’re looking at him!’).

Then I finally understand. Aside from the bears and the kung-fu paper, every other brand appears to have a child of some age between fetus and holy fuck, kid, how many questions can you possibly ask before passing out? laying on some sort of representation of how soft they claim their toilet paper to be, a cloud, a blanket, a teddy bear, Christina Hendricks’ breasts, etc., and one cross-eyed butt-ugly man-baby laying on… actually, now I think maybe it’s laying on a pile of shaving cream or, possibly, whipped cream. Either way, it creeps me out.

I ended up with the bears. I know, I know, but after all this thinking about it, I’d rather have a weirdly happy bear staring me down than an adorable little girl with a bow in her hair, laying dreamily on a pillow watching me take a shit.