(a serious subject)
| So many people would try to convince us that we are a wasteful culture, the fact is that we are. We manufacture millions of rolls of toilet paper a year because we have been convinced we need it. Some attributes of modern toilet paper are extravagant and take advantage of the sensitivity of our softest quarter. Toilet paper is one of the wonders of the modern world that few people would want to live without. The invention of toilet paper was definitely an improvement over the former methods of tush toweling, such as The Sears catalog and corn cobs among others. The soft quilting perfumes and variety of stupid colors often promote shocking abuse.
The race to create the most comfortable toilet paper has resulted in a wide variety of thicknesses and different degrees of quilting. This assortment makes it possible for the quality to vary from brand to brand. Some toilet papers, like Charmin or Nice'n'Soft, can be considered the Cadillacs or Limousines of the restroom while other, more generic papers show more resemblance to their corncob ancestors or steel wool than to true toilet paper. The generic paper often finds itself in industrial or institutional applications because of its inability to compete against other softer tissues. The institutional uses I am describing are schools and hospitals, places where most people are uncomfortable enough without having to worry about a raw rear end.
Texture is not the only quality that toilet paper has been bred for. Since its invention toilet paper has expanded from plain white to a virtual cornucopia of designer colors. You can find it in almost any color you need, but strangely the more expensive brands have reverted to the old standard of white. The generic brands sport white as well but they have it at a more reasonable price. The mid-range papers have colors ranging from pastels to fluorescent orange. My preferences lie in the range of industrial beiges or whites.
I think that in any essay written on toilet paper one serious subject must be addressed. In this case, I must deal with toilet paper abuse. Few people are willing to admit that they abuse and overuse common household toilet paper, but the fact is that many people in America, including myself, are guilty. The consequences of paper abuse can be calls to plumbers at odd hours in the night for clogged drains, and the disappearances from public bathrooms often lead to embarrassing shortages. The symptoms of toilet paper abuse are as follows: loud whirring noises from bathroom stalls: a conspicuous lack of toilet paper in the addicts bathroom; and the final and definitely most destructive symptom is the uncontrollable need to cover local structures and plants with toilet paper.
Toilet paper and other hygiene items have made great advances during the past century. Increasing variety is leaving consumers with tough choices to be made. The softness and colors of toilet paper have made using the facilities a much more enjoyable experience, but as with other technologies toilet paper has the potential for abuse. Toilet paper brings with it not only improved hygiene but also the possibility for vandalism and misuse. Is there any question that toilet paper is one of the wonders of the modern world? Who can really argue that we don't need it?