Charmin Strong vs. Soft: Used, Very Good!

Cartoon toilet paper with muscley biceps and another toilet paper holding flowers

You can buy used toilet paper on Amazon. I didn’t go looking for it. Let’s get that assumption out of the way. But I was ordering some Charmin (why is there a Soft or a Strong? Aren’t they same? Don’t we want some degree of both?) and I automatically scrolled down to the bottom to hit the buy now button, I noticed something.

“Used, Very Good.”

What the fuck? I clicked on it, of course. Sure enough, an 18-pack of toilet paper is listed as Used, Very Good. Used, Very Good is how I once described myself on a Tinder profile, but I wouldn’t use those words for toilet paper. How is used toilet paper a thing? And why is it only a dollar cheaper? Shouldn’t someone be paying someone to take that from me. It’s ranked as very good; is that same as never been on someone’s ass?

I bought it, obviously. It’s sold by Amazon Warehouse, so I’m 99.9 percent sure this is going to arrive still in the packaging. not like it was from some random-ass dude’s shop. I for sure would have passed on that. Actually, as I type this, I realize that’s not true.

During the first week of the Covid lockdown, and the Great TP Shortage of 2020, I remember not being able to sleep, because who the fuck was that week. When doom-scrolling at 3am, I read that people were Ebaying toilet paper. Naturally, I got up and went online to see and saw a 4-pack of Cottonelle for $40. We were low on TP, so I was tempted to buy it, but my dignity wouldn’t let me spend that on toilet paper. Instead, I had a mental breakdown when we ran out of toothpaste. What fun!

But it’s been pretty exciting today, waiting for toilet paper to arrive. I ordered last night when we had 1 and 1/6 rolls left. And then early this morning it became one roll.

There is so much riding on this toilet paper delivery. And by the way, I could easily walk down the street to Walgreens for toilet paper but fuck them for not selling abortion pills in 30 states. I could have also walked or driven to any other store slightly further away, but I wanted to see what was up with Used, Very Good toilet paper.

Shouldn’t it have been labeled, Never Used, Perfect, But Someone Returned It? I guess that’s not in the drop down menu.

The day rolls on as the toilet paper roll slowly but not too quickly, becomes smaller and smaller.

At 6pm, my inbox dings with a message. “Your delivery is running late.”

Panic sets in.

“What do we do?” We had just eaten dinner, leftover pizza and a salad for nutrional fiber, which I was beginning to regret if this delivery either didn’t show up or showed up somewhat used. We were comfy. We were full. I was boycotting the nearest toilet paper supplier. Why did the 16-pack of Chrystal Light arrive but not the toilet paper? What kind of sick joke is the universe playing on me?

I think of insane scenrios:

“What if we get norovirus tonight?”

“What if another pandemic happens in the next 3 hours and the toilet paper is once again taken from us?”

“Can we flush coffee filters?”

“Can we flush paper towels?”

“Can we flush t-shirts?”

“Do we need to flush?”

But suddenly: Ding! “Your package is here!”

It’s like Christmas for my colon. Excited, I shuffle outside in my slippers, wretch open the door, and a sizable retangular box sits unassuming on the porch.

I carry it inside, looking for the scissors, (“Where are the scissors?!”) and begin slicing through the packaging tape, revealing the inner box is damaged.

Oh no.

I cut away the mangled cardboard and packaging tape and suddenly 3 perfectly intact bundles of 6 rolls of TP – completing the 18-rolls ordered- come into the light and bounce to the floor unharmed. Because they are Charmin Strong.

We breathe a sigh of relief as I carry our babies, who should have been labeled New, Just Repackaged Because Why Not, to their new home in the bathroom.

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