Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quality Toilet Paper

Quality Toilet Paper:The Secret Behind Every Happy Family

By Vicky DeCoster

Everything changed in our house the moment I brought home a twelve-pack of expensive toilet paper to replace the generic facsimile I had been purchasing for years from the large discount chain store down the road.

Oh, I knew we’d come a long way from the early days in America when settlers were forced to use corn cobs and pages torn from the Sears catalog, but I was quickly growing tired of the incredibly shrinking double roll that was now actually half-a-ply thickness and the size of a single roll due to secret width shrinkage by toilet paper CEOs who obviously thought they were more clever than the consumer. When I realized we were all using approximately eight feet of paper during one bathroom visit, I called my accountant to inquire if we could deduct the cost of toilet paper off our tax return as some sort of home office expense. But when my teenage son informed me that he just couldn’t successfully teepee his high school friends’ houses anymore with, as he called it, “that cheap stuff you call toilet paper,” it was just the kick in the chaffed bottom I needed. As a result, I decided—recession or not—that it was time to invest in toilet paper with superior absorbency, soothing aloe, and the thickness of my pillow-top mattress.

After spending way too much time in the toilet paper aisle mulling over moistened or perfumed, lotion or Vitamin E, designs or solid colors, and softness or durability, I returned home that morning with a twelve-pack of what I, after careful consideration and detailed research, considered to be pure luxury. No matter that I had to take out a second mortgage on the house to pay for those twelve rolls with double-digit plys, I just knew that with one swipe of that expensive paper, our bottoms would surely think they’d died and gone off to spa heaven to be pampered dramatically.

As the children and their father helped me unload the car, I heard a collective gasp as the designer toilet paper package was unveiled in the trunk. “Did we hit the lottery and I don’t know it yet?” my husband asked as he threw the package to my son who immediately informed me he might be out a little late that night and not to worry if I was missing six rolls out of the twelve in the morning. My daughter grabbed the package away from my son and ran to the bathroom where after a few seconds she shouted gleefully, “I only need two squares not half a roll!”

It’s been a few weeks now since we switched toilet paper brands and I have to tell you, we’ve never been happier, wealthier, or softer. Best of all, one roll now lasts days, not minutes, my accountant started returning my calls again, and our need for soothing ointment has dropped dramatically.

That second mortgage was definitely worth it.

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo! and The Wacky World of Womanhood. Vicky’s been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she is working on her third book of humorous essays. Visit her at

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