YOUR TOILET TISSUE ALLOCATION

It has taken years of secret research, consultations with focus groups, and trial-and-error engineering work – but, at last, the corporate scientists have come up with the answer we've all been anxiously awaiting: five sheets.

It has taken years of secret research, consultations with focus groups, and trial-and-error engineering work – but, at last, the corporate scientists have come up with the answer we’ve all been anxiously awaiting: five sheets.

That’s the amount of toilet paper that Kimberly-Clark Corporation has determined that its new product – the world’s first-ever, hands-off, fully-automatic, wonderama, electronic tissue dispenser – should dole out. Wave a hand in front of one of the device’s motion sensors and – zzzt – out zips your five-sheet allocation.

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A Kimberly-Clark spokesman excitedly says that this gizmo will help the corporation capture the $1 billion-a-year “away-from-home toilet paper market.” Pointing out that washrooms in restaurants, offices, airports, and other places already have automatic faucets, flushers, and towel dispensers, he notes that “the one part of the room where there’s not an automatic option is toilet tissue.”

Oh, great – as anyone knows who’s been to washrooms in those places, the machinery constantly goes on the fritz, and now they’re going to extend this same electronic “convenience” to toilet paper. I think the CEO of Kimberly-Clark should have to list his personal cell phone number on each machine, so we know who to call when it refuses to give us our five sheets.

By the way, what if you want six sheets? Oh, said the enthusiastic corporate spokesman, “People generally in life will take what you give them.” So, Kimberly-Clark is betting that America has devolved from the rebellious spirits of the Boston Tea Party and the Declaration of Independence to a people so compliant that we’ll meekly accept whatever amount of toilet tissue our corporate providers allow.

I think that Kimberly-Clark’s honchos are in for a surprise. My guess is that this corporation is going to find quite a few of its electronic dispensers ripped from the walls of washroom stalls all across America.

“Company rolls out electronic toilet tissue dispenser that spits out 5 sheets per wave,” www.statesman.com, July 12, 2007

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