Monday, July 16, 2007

Sparing a square for humanity

Rocketradio regular Bert Bananas recently wrote a post about the rampant abuse of free napkins. He concludes that we have evolved into a disrespectful society of "gimme-gimme people", with a strong sense of entitlement to free condiments and paper products. I heartily agree with Mr. Bananas, and apparently, so does Kimberley-Clark, the makers of darn near every commercial toilet paper dispenser on this planet.

You may have heard about the growing "movement", made popular by unpopular celebrities like Sheryl Crow, to limit the amount of toilet paper we use in public restrooms. Well, the hard-working scienticians and marketeers at Kimberley Clark have been working for over a year on an automated TP dispenser that will control our wasteful ways, and have "scientifically determined" how much TP is "enough". Story from Associated Press:

Kimberly-Clark turned to focus groups and years of internal research to
determine just how much is right.

Americans typically use twice as much toilet paper as Europeans - as
much as an arm's length each pull. The company decided the best length is about
20 inches - or precisely five standard toilet paper squares, though the machine
can also be adjusted to churn out 16 inches or 24 inches, depending on the

"Most people will take the amount given," says Richard Thorne, Director of
Washroom Business at Kimberley-Clark. Waxing philosophical, he adds, "People
generally in life will take what you give them." The company believes most
people will be satisfied with five sheets - and use 20% less toilet paper.

Sean Nichols, one of the lead marketers for the device, says he's banking
on the "coolness, the newness of the unit."

So today I learned:

1) My personal toilet tissue needs are generally greater than the average population.

2) That there's a job title called "Director of Washroom Business", and a shift in my job search parameters may be in order.

3) Some douchebag marketing guy thinks that people will find cheapskate TP dispensers "cool".


T said...

Proctor & Gamble, (the makers of 90% of all toilet paper products), is bitterly opposed to such a dispenser.

pistols at dawn said...

I expect that soon, Mexican and Indian food will be outlawed as well.

Have they ever considered that Americans have crappier (literally) diets, which is why we're such largeasses? Isn't the American way a road littered with buffets and fast food drive thrus?

You know, the Saudis use almost no toilet paper, but then again, I don't know of too many people who want to shake their hands.

The Guv'ner said...

I was about to kind of say what Pistols said (damn you Pistols!)

If you have a particularly narly Texmex dish you might need the whole roll! And the little cardboard innard thing too. And maybe the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Although even my butt isn't a fan of the NYT.

pistols at dawn said...

I like the idea of your butt turning up its nose (such as it is) at the NY Times.

I also like the fact that our mind headed for the same kind of poop joke, which just proves that great minds think alike. Conveniently, so do ours.

Blank Field said...

El Pistolero took a cheap shot at the hard working hoards of Saudis who are trying to scratch out a subsistence level existence by tending to our need for crude oil. Gawd bless them each and every one.

It is a well known fact among people who have read the Jewish Leon Uris (which pre-existed the Irish Leon Uris) that Arabs do not use their right hands for anything 'unsanitary.' The tiny scraps of paper they use to wipe their Arab ass-holes are ALWAYS held in the left hand. (Well, maybe not ALWAYS, like if you're mad at someone...) As a consequence, when dining communally, should a Left Hand be seen grabbing a drum stick, or a slice of gudha, or anything from the buffet, the owner of that hand will suffer some consequences... In other words, it's quite kosher to shake hands with an Arab.

pistols at dawn said...

Bert, that's an excellent point. What most people forget: Saudi Arabia was originally a dense, lush forest until the rapacious Bedouin need for ass-paper depleted it within a decade.

Chris said...

Personally, I use the perfect amount: enough.

Bert Bananas said...

Obviously, as long as McDonald's lets me have all the napkins I can stuff into my layered mu-mu, it doesn't matter how few squares are offered.