Tag Archives: toilet paper

And another month has passed.

The month of May has always been close to my heart. My mom’s maiden name is May. My eldest brother was born in May. And, you know, flowers are nice.

Three weeks ago I went into one of those fast-food breakfast chains, bought a bagel with cream cheese and a medium hazelnut coffee, and then rushed back onto the street to catch a subway and a train out of the city. As usual, I was completely lost in my head. More than likely a little hungover. Slightly worried about missing my train. And drifting back and forth between allowing the universe to guide me wherever it sees fit and completely freaking out in an effort to figure out what to do with my life.

Anyway, I wandered onto the sidewalk, paper bag and styrofoam cup in hand. I waited at the curb for the red hand to turn to a white stick figure, at which time I would follow my fellow Queens pedestrians across the blacktop. As I stood there distracted, I heard a man yelling out behind me. It was obvious, for some reason, that the yelling was meant to get my attention. “MISS! HELLO, HELLO! MISS!” He was so frantic and excited, as though I’d just missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity, or you know, dropped an earring or something. So I turned to see a man waving and smiling at me as he leaned out of a convenience store window.

At the time I just thought, “Hmm. Men are so strange.” Which is probably a thought I have a good two to three times a day. I didn’t particularly recognize the man, so I just assumed he was a bored stranger in the middle of a 14-hour shift who was cat-calling to pass the time.

Have I mentioned how much I love cats?

Have I mentioned how much I love cats?

About a week later, train out of the city successfully caught, and then train back into the city also caught–I walked out of my apartment building on a mission to buy toilet paper at the 99 Cent Store next to the Strip Club. To get there, I had to pass the stoop next to my apartment building on which a middle-aged man sits each night. We small talk, chit-chat–you know, like real neighbors. He asks me when I’m doing laundry next. I ask him what kind of beer is in his brown bag. Put simply: we bond.

That particular night, though, I really didn’t have time to shoot the proverbial shit. The 99 Cent Store was about to close, the Strip Club was about to open, and yeah. Toilet paper was at a premium. So when I gave a distracted “Hello,” and continued walking, I was not in the mood to deal with his, “HELLO! MISS, MISS! HELLO!” But he was just so excited, so frantic, that I stopped.

And it was then that I learned my neighbor with the nightly stoop-sitting ways is the very same man who works at the convenience store next to the fast-food breakfast joint. He told me that his co-workers saw the whole ordeal. Heard him announce, “I know that girl!”, only to have that girl turn away and cross the street, her eyes showing no signs of recognition.

I apologized profusely. Our non-English-speaking super also leaned on the stoop, his head cocked, his lips curled into a perplexed smile. My neighbor shrugged off my apologies and said, “Next time you’ll know. You can have a soda on me.”

Five minutes later, toilet paper in hand, I walked by my neighbor and my super again. We all smiled in recognition at each other, but I already knew that I would likely never take my neighbor up on his free soda offer. I headed towards my own stoop, anticipating entering my bathroom where I’d replace the old roll with the new roll. My super waved. I waved back. My neighbor held up his brown paper bag, and in a one-sided toast, exclaimed, “Goodbye, Miss! Goodbye!”

Charmin Toilet Paper: Insane or Ingenious?

What goes on at Charmin headquarters??  I think I’d like to be part of a meeting in which it is completely normal to say toilet paper over and over again.  I just found out about these 20 free toilets Charmin has in Times Square until the end of the year (two are even handicap accessible).  One blog applauds Charmin for “solving a genuine issue for the neighborhood and its millions of tourists (lack of access to clean, free toilets)…”  Well, yeah, but come January 1st it’s back to waiting in line at Starbuck’s or McDonald’s.  I’m not sure you can call that solving anything. 

But it makes complete sense to me that this experimental marketing comes from the same people who produce provocative commercials like this one:

My Brother, the Truck Driver

Darren drove through Saskatchewan

and into North Dakota today. 

That’s when

he phoned home.

 

He didn’t mention what his truck was carrying,

but I’d imagine kitchen cabinets, men’s trousers,

two-ply toilet paper, 52-inch plasma screen televisions,

or, like me, a torch for you.

 

2.

Lately I’ve been concerned about my imagination—

always getting away from me like

a yappy dog no one bothered to housetrain

and is now pissing all over the carpets

and the upholstery of my brain.

 

Case in point, I can picture you—

on that carpet,

on that upholstery—doing unmentionable but not unimaginable things.

 

I will mention that we should ceremonially drown carpet swatches

in merlot in honor of the parlor we’ll never decorate.

We should likewise burn pepper grinders

in honor of the family dinners we will not eat

and the daily grinds we will not succumb to—because

if you asked me I would leave today.

Before we take root.  Before

Saskatchewan is no longer attainable and my arm kind of hurts,

so down goes the torch.