Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toilet Paper, and profits

Firstly, I advert to you (to quote my personal hero, Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington) a new blogger. Read his thoughts on the New Zealand radio game here:

Toilet Paper. I have a theory that our toilet paper reflects our society. When I was a lad, lo these many years ago, there were two brands of dunny paper available. One was a rolled product, the other was a leafed tissue. The rolled product, in comparison with its main competition, was soft. But that's only because the leafed and boxed tissue was, in fact, wafer thin steel. Think of wiping your tender bits with Alfoil, and you'll get the idea. Actually, no: Alfoil would be more absorbent. The actual inter-leaved bog-fodder was, I think, waxed, so as to be waterproof. The rolled paper was a blotting paper, but terribly fragile. You had to layer it seven times before you could be sure your strong leading finger didn't burst through as you laboured after that last little crusty bit. This was bum-paper fit for those who survived Nordmeyer's Black Budget, and who looked forward to the liberating adventures of the 1960s. Dig it, baby. Groovy. The only crack then was the one you sat on.

As time went by we lost that folded stuff, and went like totally rolled, man. The cosmic bliss of 1970s bum fodder swept us to new outa sight galaxies of wonderment and joy. The 1980s, with all its excesses and stirrings of environmental conscience, saw two main styles of bum paper: extra wide and fluffy for the Moet and Asti set, and recycled cardboard for the hand-knitted brown onion-skin-died sweater wearing types who drank Hawaii Blue Wine Coolers. The 1990s brought us choice. Many, many rolls, some perfumed, all soft, most suitable for the trendy bleeding hearted liberal botty.

The 2-noughties have given us the double-roll, for the price conscious. And now, After The Crash, we see something new: the budget roll that looks almost exactly the same as its luxurious predecessor. It's the same paper. It's the same length. It's the same price. But it's narrower. Our modern arsewiper has been on a diet. It's standard, practical, marketing. You don't put the price up, you shrink the product. Only problem is when one wipes a fat ass like mine, one needs to use all one's origami skills to maintain coverage. I can't use the standard three sheet wipe. I have to go to five, and cunningly fold it to make sure I nail all the little nuggets. For this I blame both Helen and Johnkey. They're both thin, with tight little puckered ass-holes that are also teflon-coated. They don't need the luxury of full-width shit-paper. I wonder how Rodney gets along? He surely has to wipe his mouth after taking a dump...

LISTENING TO: Tracey Chapman, "Telling Stories". I like. And Wayne Mason "Sense Got Out". Brilliant.

READING: Nothing new...

WORD OF THE DAY: Parasang. It's a unit of measurement, equal to 30 stade. There are around 8 stade to a mile, or 5.5 to a kilometre. You do the arithmetic. But I'd really like to have someone ask me the "How far to.." question so I could say "Oh, seven parasang, 3 stade. Or so." The stade measurement gave us the word was the length of the running track at the ancient Olympics. Just so's you know.

More Rats. Please... tell me what you think.

And so, every year, on November 5th, Jayne Francis pelted the sky with just six flaming cricket balls, and the taniwha’s slumber remained undisturbed.
The nation, however, wasn’t at rest. The war with Germany and Austria exercised everyone’s minds. The German Army, rushing pell-mell toward Paris, had apparently mis-read a coded message and been turned South-West, exposing their flank to a French counter-attack. The Parisian battalions had rushed the 40 kilometres to Marne by any means possible – including over 600 Parisian taxi-cabs laden with troops – and had commenced the business of rolling the Germans away from Paris. After a short pause to draw breath, the Germans regrouped, and started the so-called race to the sea. They collided with the British Expeditionary Force, and the first trenches were dug deep. In the ensuing battle at Ypres, 75,000 British and 135,000 Germans were to be killed or wounded in what was to be hailed as the second great victory for the Allies in the war. This battle was still being fought as Jayne Francis sent her cricket balls into the sky at Northridge, and two men discussed whether her Callithumpian celebrations were appropriate.

Chapter Two.
April 15, 1915.
Arthur Tomlinson was not a complicated man. Orphaned at just five years of age, he’d been raised by his Godfather, Gerald Smith. Smith had been Arthur’s father’s closest friend and hunting companion, and had known the lad since he wet his first nappy. He had, it must be said, been unutterably lucky to escape the house-fire that killed his parents. He had been outside at the time, parked with his bum on the sweet grass, back leaning against the back of the outdoor dunny. His face had been shining up into the sky, and he’d been trying to count the stars.
He recalls vividly that he gave up counting at 99, as he wasn’t too sure what came after that. Nine made ninety, so perhaps ten made tenty, followed by tenty-one, tenty-two? It was while pondering this enormous question that he realised his eye had slipped, and he had to start counting again.

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