Sunday, September 10, 2006

Don't "short sheet" the Charmin

“What the hell are you doing?”

“Gathering evidence.”

“You’re taking photographs of rolls of toilet paper?”


“Um... I’m afraid to ask...why?”

“Because they short sheeted the Charmin.”

“They what?”

“The Charmin, The Charmin. Look I cut this off of the packaging. They used to have 528 square feet of toilet paper and now they only have 501 square feet. Plus each sheet used to be 4.5 inches wide the new sheets are 4.27 inches wide. That’s almost a quarter of an inch of wiping area... wiped away.”

“You measured the Charmin?”

“I didn’t have to measure it. I could tell as soon as I picked it up. Plus like I said, it’s right here on the packaging.”

“You spend way too much time in the bathroom.”

“Don’t you get it? We’re paying the same price for 27 square feet less of toilet paper. Toilet paper that no longer feels right when you use it.”

“Calabrese you are an idiot. It’s toilet paper for Christ sakes. No one cares about toilet paper.”

“There are thousands of men like me. Middle aged men that have very few pleasures left in life. Well one of our pleasures is our Charmin. We don’t want it messed with.”

“So what the hell are you going to do? Write President Bush?”

“You’re damned right I am, and Congress and the Senate. I’m going to send them my photographs. Maybe they can’t stop Al Qaeda, maybe they can’t stop the insurgents in Iraq, maybe they can’t protect our borders, but they can stop Proctor & Gamble. You don’t think the president of the United States get’s the kind of toilet paper he wants? You think Donald Rumsfeld wants a short roll? Hillary Clinton?”

“Please tell me you’re not using your last name. They going to think you’re an idiot. No one is going to listen to this.”

“No, they will listen because they are Americans. There is a growing obesity problem in this country. Our collective asses are getting bigger and they make the toilet paper smaller? Congress needs to act.”

“I don’t know you.”

“How do we know that shorter toilet paper doesn’t cause global warming? Did anyone do an environmental impact study on this?”

“Global warming? You really have gone insane.”

“Think about it. Shorter sheets mean we’ll use more toilet paper which means we’ll cut down more trees to make toilet paper which contributes to global warming.”

“What are you going to do tell Al Gore?”

“I am going to tell Al Gore and Michael Moore. He’ll probably want to do a documentary on this.”

“You... it... I think I’m going to change my last name.”

“A man has to fight the fights worth fighting.”


“Honey, we live in a world that has bathrooms, and the toilet paper has to guarded by men like me. Whose gonna do it? You? Miss “it’s just toilet paper?” I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You laugh at my Charmin, and you curse me. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That my fight against Proctor & Gamble, while tragic, probably saves lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that bathroom, you need me in that bathroom. I use words like thickness, softness, and one-ply. I use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending my toilet paper. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a woman who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very toilet paper that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a roll, and wipe your ass. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think.”

“Jack Nicholson? You’re quoting Jack Nicholson from “A Few Good Men” to defend your obsession with your toilet paper?”

“You’re goddamn right I am!”

“Who care’s about less than a quarter of an inch of toilet paper? Idiot! This is a non issue.”

“A non issue huh? Let me ask you a question? Have you ever left a restroom and seen the sign that says, “lavos sus manos”?”

“Of course.”

“And has it dawned on you that occasionally people that work in restaurants may not speak Spanish?”

“What has that got....”

“What if the only thing that’s keeping you safe from salmonella is that one little less than a quarter inch piece of toilet paper? HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THAT????”

“What did you have for breakfast today?”

“Dammit woman this is a public health issue!”

“Whatever Calabrese I’m not playing this stupid game with you anymore. It’ll just end up in your blog anyway and I don’t want to have anything to do with this.”

“You can’t stand the fact that I’m making a difference. People will remember me because of this. I am the Robin Hood of the Bathroom fighting for the little man to be heard. People will rally to me around this. You wait and see. One day you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and hear men shouting from the rooftops, “WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO WIPE WITH THIS ANYMORE!!!!”

“Uh huh... I can stop your whole movement, this whole revolution, in two seconds.”

“I don’t think you can.”

“Really? Okay tomorrow morning I get the sports page.”

“Uh... um... crap...”

In case you think I was joking about the Charmin check this out:

Here's the comparison of the old roll versus the new roll.

Here's the packaging.

Is this stupid? Of course it is but the fact remains that Proctor and Gamble is charging the same price for a lot less. Is it deceitful? I'll let you answer that question for yourselves. I sent an e-mail to the Charmin division of Proctor and Gamble and here is their response:

"Thanks for writing. At P&G, we try to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible so we can offer our products at an affordable price. Sometimes, though, costs of materials increase, and we're faced with a tough decision. We can either raise the price of the product, or reduce its size, as we did in this case. Your loyalty to our products is much appreciated, and we hope you'll continue to use them in the future."

I'm just curious, did anyone even ask to see what we prefer? Maybe we'd pay an extra dime. They just changed it and this isn't the first time. It just reeks of someone trying to sneak something by us.

What would Mr. Whipple think?