June 1998
s m u g
by Kristy Nielsen


Mister Scott Tissue

I have a confession. Last week I discovered that the nice check-out lady had thouroughly rung up everything in my cart except for a plant hanging off the side. I did not go back and demand to be charged.

Why is that easier to admit than my next confession? I ripped off the man, the corporate conglomerate and there's something almost sexy about that. Plus, no one got hurt and a very nice ivy found a good home. No shame. You want shame? Try admitting that you have an obsession with toilet paper.

When I was a poor college student, I used to go on toilet paper missions with one of my housemates. We'd go out on a Friday afternoon to a few local bars which we knew were expecting big crowds later. My housemate sat at the bar and asked the bartender a million questions to keep him distracted while I slunk into the bathroom and filled my backpack with rolls and rolls of toilet paper. There were seven of us in that house and we had to do this weekly. I am sorry for the women who had to drip-dry later after a few beers, but you know what? That wouldn't have happened if they carried toilet paper with them, which I always do on a bar night.

From the general need to always have toilet paper on hand, I graduated to a specific brand: Scott Bathroom Tissue. I kind of like that they call it tissue. It sounds sort of lady-like. What I really love is the bargain. A four-pack of Scott Tissue will run you $3.69, which is more than Charmin ($3.49), Northern ($3.39), or earth-friendly Green Forest ($3.09). However, check this shit out: the Scott Tissue four-pack provides 38 square feet more toilet paper! Do the math. This is a phenomenal deal. God help me when I find one of the economy 24-packs. My little heart goes all a flutter. Three thousand three hundred square feet of toilet paper! The package actually has a plastic strap so you can sling the entire thing over your shoulder and march your pretty little bargain-hunting butt to the check-out.

Right on the package they tell you it's more for your money but I think the average consumer reads that and thinks: They're trying to trick me! Believe the opposite of whatever they say! In this case, they're telling the truth. The flat out honesty also seduces me. There are no pictures of kittens or rosy-cheeked babies. Who wipes their kittens? And shouldn't that baby be in a diaper? Scott Tissue is for wiping your ass, not for caressing your face, squeezing sadistically ala Mr. Whipple, or matching to the undertones in your wallpaper. I once shat at the house of a friend who had pink toilet paper. The color bled into the water convincing me that I had blood in my stool and was dying of cancer. I do NOT need to be rubbing red dye number anything on my private parts, thank you very much.

The complaint I've heard from those not instantly converted into Scott Tissue Loyalists is that it isn't soft enough. To them, I say this: When you want to tackle a dirty job, you do not use a cotton puff. You need something with a little backbone, a tissue that can stand up, rise to the occasion. It's not about caressing your bum-bum. It's about getting the shit off! Scott Tissue isn't so rough that you'll hurt yourself. You do not need to pass Wiping 101 before purchase. And it's not going to fall apart on the tough jobs.


My current roommate stood aghast one day in front of the hall closet. "You've got enough toilet paper to last through Armeggedon!"

"It's not like it's going to go to waste," I said. "Well, actually it *is* going to waste, but you know what I mean. There's no expiration date."

"What do you do---build towers to worship?"

The Scott Tissue Tower. Sounds beautiful. Also, I suddenly realized, it sounds like a person. Mr. Scott Tissue.

We commenced a mock talk show where he played the interviewer and I gave voice to Mr. Tissue.

"Mr. Tissue, do you have a response to your ex-wife's declaration that she never loved you?"

"Well, frankly, I feel like I've been shit upon."

"Can you explain that?"

"I was there for her morning, noon, and night and then she just crumpled me up and threw me away. It made me feel cheap."

"So you're saying she used you."

"It was a crappy thing to do. I will no longer be the butt of her jokes."

"Any last comments, Mr. Tissue?"

"Ladies, front to back. Always front to back. And gentlemen---let's put those seats down when we're done."



in the junk drawer:

and such
and such

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