Dear Charmin, I Have Questions

Dear Charmin Toilet Paper,

I love you. I do. And I feel like it’s important to say so right up front. I love you, and I have good reasons. You’re soft. You’re dreamy. You’re durable. And you’re not likely to break under pressure, which I always admire because I can’t do that. At all. Like, not even a little.

Oh, no; I definitely break under pressure. This very day, for example, one of my kids looked me in the eyeballs and said in a vaguely threatening monotone, “I know you do,” after I assured him I do not have chocolate hidden in my bedroom. Like this:

Him: Do you have chocolate hidden in your room?
Me: Nope.
Him: I know you do.

And you know what I did next, Charmin? I cracked. Immediately. I lasted 3 — maybe 4 — seconds, tops, before I said, “OK, FINE,” and “JEEZ,” and “Stop giving me The Eye like you’re a Sicilian grandmother; I’ll show you the chocolate,” which explains why I’m now bereft and utterly chocolateless. ALL the chocolate. Gone. POOF. Adios.

You wouldn’t have done that, Charmin. You wouldn’t have broken under pressure. You would have been able to keep your crap together like it’s your literal job. 

I love you, Charmin. I love you, although I confess I usually use inferior products under the guise of “saving money” even though you and I both know money is not saved when one must use 10 linear feet of transparent paper-like product (make of one part cardboard to three parts air) to equal two squares of Charmin. Let’s not judge me for pretending to save money, though; OK? Sometimes we need our illusions. And I feel as someone who prefers Charmin, even if she doesn’t always buy Charmin, we can have this little heart to heart anyway, yes? Yes. I thought so. I’m glad you agree.

So I love you. To the moon. I believe I’ve covered this adequately. But even though I love you, you’re not usually Top of Mind for me, Charmin — more Bottom of Bottom, to be honest. Until recently.

Recently, you’ve been stuck in my brain.

Now, I admit, it took me a while to parse the words of your jingle while roaming the grocery store. I was probably on my third trip after first hearing it before I finally understood, and, since they play the jingle every 5 minutes or so, and the average grocery shopping trip takes me 45ish minutes, I’m gonna say I heard it roughly 32 times before it dawned on me that the words aren’t “sharp and shiny” and are, instead, “Charmin shiny.”

I’ve learned since that there’s a whole song to really flesh out the concept, but since that song isn’t played in full at my local store, I was left wondering for days why Fred Meyer Grocery Stores were celebrating their hiney, so sharp and shiny — and celebrating so frequently over the P.A. system.

“My hiney, so sharp and shiny. My hiney, so sharp and shiny.” times infinity 

Was it like the Parable of the Lost Sheep, maybe? Was Fred Meyer making an important declaration? “REJOICE WITH ME! For my clean hiney was lost, and now it is found!” Was it meant to encourage us all to make merry on behalf of our sharp, shiny hinies? Was the sharp, shiny hiney a metaphor? Was it meant to move us to broader gratitude for the many things we take for granted every day?

I figured it out eventually, Charmin. “OH! CHARMIN shiny. Not sharp and shiny. It’s a JINGLE, not a praise song.”

I gotta say, Charmin; I’m grudgingly impressed. I mean, I’m as happy as the next girl to have a clean anus — I truly do love a shiny hiney — but even I, who have detailed for the internets how I pooped my closet, failed to see the opportunity to publicly celebrate by bursting into chronic song about it. Kudos, Charmin. Mad props to you. I mean it. Well played. 

Still, I find myself with a few questions I’m hoping you’ll answer, as follows:

1. Who, specifically, wrote your Shiny Hiney jingle? I’d like a name, please. First and last. Other career highlights if you’ve got them, although that last is sheer curiosity regarding career trajectory for butt jingles. 

2. To what address can I send them a congratulatory card? Or a trophy. Probably a trophy. And not an Advertising Awards Trophy, either. I assume there are myriad official congratulatory ceremonies for marketing magnificence. I mean I need to send a PERSONAL trophy. Like, a Pinnacle of Your Career Trophy. Because OMG THERE IS A HUMAN ON THIS EARTH WHO RHYMED SHINY AND HINEY, PUT IT TO MUSIC, AND GOT PAID FOR IT TO BE DISTRIBUTED NATIONWIDE. And THAT is a human who deserves a trophy, dammit. Now, I realize that could read like I’m being sarcastic, or belittling, or somehow condescending, but I need you to hear — I COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE MORE SINCERE. The fact that I’m living on Planet Earth with that human at this moment in history makes me ridiculously happy. Giddy, even. And frankly, anything that lifts the heart during the crap we’re all living through right now gets two thumbs up from this girl.

In conclusion, Charmin, although it’s a touch disconcerting to have visions of pristine poopholes dancing in my head while I’m choosing between Country Oven and Kroger bread, I am, overall, quite delighted by you in both deed and in song. Keep up the good work.

Yours,

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
11 comments
  1. This must be the reason I don’t watch TV (well, not usually anyway) and no longer do the shopping (truth that I don’t do the shopping, but twerking bears have nothing to do with it). However, I am a Charmin fan for the very reasons you list. We have so much in common!

  2. so my sister in law, who is in her late 40s, taught this to our youngest son, who is now almost 9 and is still all things butt and poop obsessed and has been for years, 2 summers ago. which is to say that i think the charmin song probably is not an original?:
    “I see your hiney/ so bright and shiny/ when i see it wiggle/ it makes me giggle”
    (i can’t believe i just actually typed that out)
    you’re welcome…? or, sorry? Lol

  3. beth……..that actually looks like a roll of cottonelle hangin’ in that photo!!

  4. Re hiding chocolate from my children: I don’t even try anymore. Whether or not it is hypocritical is beside the point. If my daughter didn’t have sugar of her own, she would either turn the house upside down to find mine (I’m not exactly an innovator when it comes to hiding places) or steal the glucose tablets my type one diabetic someone uses to treat low blood sugar episodes. I decided I relationship with my daughter was more important than the constant struggle to keep her from candy.

    So now my grocery lists always includes candy for my son, candy for myself, and candy for my daughter, all her own.

    1. You’re a very nice mom.

  5. Btw, I have no opinion on the toilet paper. Just the chocolate.

  6. Lying to your children–especially about chocolate, et al.–is not only allowed by God, but ESSENTIAL for their proper upbringing. I mean, what if the Hebrew midwives in Exodus 1:17-21 had told Pharaoh that they DIDN’T kill the Hebrew male babies? What if Rahab the prostitute hadn’t lied to protect the Israelite spies in Joshua 2:4? If we don’t teach them how to lie in the proper circumstances, HOW WILL THEY LEARN???

    “A lie is an intentional falsehood that violates someone’s right to know the truth. But there are cases in which people forfeit their right to know the truth.” A child FORFEITS the right to know where the chocolate is because WE NEED IT. Just remind them that some animals eat their young, and that hidden chocolate is how parents rise above beasts (Genesis 1:26-28).

    1. Oh my word, if you and Beth ever get together I think the world will explode from the funny!! Love it. I snorted my coffee. Well done.

  7. We were just commenting last night during Jeopardy, (yes, we’re THAT couple now), how weird the Charmin commercials have gotten.

  8. The twerking bears a tad much before I’ve been sufficiently caffeinated, but the rhyming scheme is the thing that writers’ and editors’ dreams are made of. Seriously, though, from this Someone Formerly Professionally Word-Nerdy, kudos on that particular little ditty!

  9. This made my morning!

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