A Wednesday American Factoid

…Americans typically use twice as much toilet paper as Europeans — as much as an arm’s length each pull, Thorne says. The company decided the best length is about 20 inches — or precisely five standard toilet paper squares, though the machine can also be adjusted to churn out 16 inches or 24 inches, depending on the demand.

The machine they’re referring to is Kimberly-Clark’s latest mechanical wonder ~ the TP dispenser ~ which, I am relieved to say, at 5 sheets per whiz (of the mechanical roll, not the act necessitating the sheets) obviously wasn’t developed with Cheryl Crowe.
World traveler major dad informs me that such a marvel was already in use in Singapore in 1979, in the form of a little Singaporean responsible for doling out the appropriate amount per pooper. Which was, in this case, very Crowish ~ one sheet. Being Marines, it resulted in major dad’s buddy (6′ 4″ corn-fed redhead) snatching the whole roll from the terrified ‘headboy’ to use as he saw fit (“You’re sh*ttin’ me! I can’t wipe my NOSE with one sheet!!“) and then tossing it over the stall wall to major dad in a text book perfect example of military camaraderie. The unused portion of the roll was gallantly returned to the toilet police, minus more than the alloted two sheets.
(My experience in the Orient has been the exact opposite. Whatever toilet paper I had access to came from what I could fit in my tennies before heading out to the ville, so I am green with envy.)

15 Responses to “A Wednesday American Factoid”

  1. The_Real_JeffS says:

    If the Euroweenies are still using the sandpaper quality jungle money they were back in 1983, I’m not surprised they use less per, ummmmmm, head.

  2. Considering my experience in Scotland with that same fluffy, 40 grit sheet, I’m surprised they have anything left to use it on.

  3. Dave E. says:

    This all well and…er, not so good. The real question though is; Do they print page numbers?

  4. John says:

    The Russians printed page numbers. But what better use for Pravda was there?
    And you can pretty much tell by the smell of humanity on any public transit that Americans are more fastidious than Euros.

  5. John says:

    “Whatever toilet paper I had access to came from what I could fit in my tennies before heading out to the ville”
    Ah the joys of public bathrooms in Japan. My wife always said that using the public heads anywhere south of Nagoya was an adventure – you never knew if you were going to get a high tech toilet that you were afraid was going to come out with a sandblaster atachment to clean your ass, or an old-fashioned slit or trench toilet with a stench that burned into your sinuses with the fire of a thousand blue-hot suns.
    Good times.

  6. You know, this wouldn’t be an issue if Sears still printed a catalog.

  7. Kate P says:

    Love the photo. I had been wondering what happened to the Apple computers we learned on in high school. Once we finished the drawings of ionic columns there wasn’t much more we could do!

  8. Dave E. says:

    My Dad still has a sample of tp he brought back from a visit to Moscow around 1988. It actually has little clumps of wood that didn’t get properly turned into pulp in it. I know a bit about how paper is made and I didn’t think that was even possible. Imagine having to worry about slivers from your tp. No wonder the Soviets were so damn surly.

  9. John says:

    Dave E. – I am being literal about using old Pravdas for TP when I was in the USSR. It was better quality than the actual TP.

  10. Mr. Bingley says:

    That photo makes me cry.

  11. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Well, it’s a perfectly reasonable use for a Mac, Mr. Bingley. If you want to go high tech, have the little beastie print inch marks as it dispenses the TP.

  12. The_Real_JeffS says:

    You know, this wouldn’t be an issue if Sears still printed a catalog.
    There’s always the New York Times, Ken. Or maybe the Washington Post.

  13. ricki says:

    …and people ask me why I have no interest in world travel.
    I’m also irritated by the Charmin commercials where the mama-bear basically tells her cub not to use too much t.p. How much more busybody can you get than monitoring how much a person required to wipe their bum?

Image | WordPress Themes