Idle Eye 62 : The Big Tissue

Has anyone noticed that toilet roll tubes are shrinking? Anyone? I’ve been giving this one some thought of late (as a former owner of thirteen gerbils, my attention to such matters is somewhat more devout than you might otherwise think) and I cannot for the life of me imagine why. You reduce the circumference of the tube, ergo the volume of tissue necessary to fill the gap increases. And surely it is more cost effective to expand the cardboard by an insignificant fraction than to manufacture the extra sheets? To say nothing of all that extra perforating and, if you’re posh, quilting. We’ve all got used to the stealth techniques employed by supermarkets and the like with their swingeing reduction in product proportion, but this is blatantly a false economy & somebody’s head should roll.

And then there’s the matter of quality. Does anyone remember back in the day when you only needed a couple of sheets to wipe the slate clean? Because they were the thickness of a small sandwich or a baby’s mattress? Or how about Izal medicated, the robust choice of municipal buildings, schools and the more progressive public conveniences? So hardy was it, in fact, it could stop a Sherman tank in full flight if lined up correctly. Well without putting too fine a point on it, nowadays you could copy the entire works of Charles Dickens onto the paper necessary for just one go. And the end user (oh stop it!) lives in permanent fear of finger pop. Don’t think we haven’t noticed, Mr Andrex! And no amount of impregnated aloe vera is gonna make up for all that chafing.

But fear not, my friends. I put in yet another narratively convenient call to Nibs earlier and he assures me that the exceptional tissue provided by the Idle Hour has maintained its triple A status for another year. And, as one of the lucky few who has stood sheet to cheek in the traps, I can vouch for the same. These bountiful beauties are organic, responsibly sourced, line caught & hand stitched by Vestal Virgins on the foothills of the Appenines for your sanitary convenience. No horse DNA, no artificial sweetners, no CFCs, no nonsense. And a free drink at the bar if you can punch a hole through the middle. Pre-application, obviously.

Finally, a word to the ladies from Nibs himself. Apparently you lot are whipping through the stuff like it’s going out of fashion, and, being a gentleman of good character, he is loath to drop by and investigate. Vast industrial-strength tubes regularly vanish into thin air, and whilst he is aware that there are many bottoms to feed, demand is seriously outstripping supply. May I suggest that you ‘make room’ before you leave the house? We are living through a time of unprecedented austerity and it’s only fair that you do your bit. And us blokes promise to wipe up the oversplash when we get in. Right lads?

12 thoughts on “Idle Eye 62 : The Big Tissue

    • Dicky. It’s true, I am that beast. Thirteen of them, mainly ladies, all named after butter/marg brands. Because they’re so much easier to tell apart when you anthropomorphise them, right?

    • Troon. I beg to differ. Any longstanding player of the game ‘Big Nut, Little Nut’ (Howman, if you’re reading) will tell you the little critters operate as individuals. To clarify: When nuts of varying proportions were offered through the middle section of their three-storey home, the results were, at best, erratic. If, as you say, they thought as a team, we could have expected a more stable outcome. Just putting it out there…

  1. Hi Douglas, I,m glad you,ve raised the issue of shrinking toilet roll tubes.This may not seem an important issue to most people but to us gardeners they are invaluable, well useful anyway. I use them for planting beans, peas and sweet pea seeds.This enables you to plant the whole thing without disturbing the roots.I only noticed when saving tubes ready for spring how much narrower they are.This means less compost and restricted root growth.I hope you can use your considerable clout to lobby manufacturers to reverse this iniquitous practise.

    • Sheila. Nice to have you back. You have my word, if the power of the written word can halt the evil emperors of stealth, I’ll be in there like a rat up a drainpipe. And what a splendid, inexpensive method you have devised for growth encouragement. Have you ever considered a job in the cabinet? I think you’d give Mr Osborne a run for his money (if indeed he has any left).

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