Monday, December 17, 2018

Wiping: Do you fold or crunch the toilet paper before using it?

Credit: Charmin's Ad Agency
Who has this many pieces left?

Truth in advertising? Somebody thought up a pretty disgusting problem to get you to remember this brand. But while we are on the subject, let's talk about wiping techniques you've never thought of...

The commercial showing a bear exiting the woods with toilet paper pieces all over his rear end makes me wonder about those ad guys. While there is classic (but ancient) humor about the whole bear "you know whatting" in the woods thing, it reminded me of one of one of the oddest bits of trivia about personal habits I have ever read. The commercial offers a forum where I thought I could get away with sharing the bare facts and even request some specific commentary on the matter.

When people go to the bathroom, I read in a very obscure historical marketing article that it was discovered they use toilet paper in two very distinct ways, as far as wiping techniques go (detailed below). My question relates to whether the two wiping techniques are true, and why you prefer one way over the other and if this was something that a parent or somebody taught you to do. Secondarily, please be brave and comment on whether in fact you have ever had any "pieces" actually left behind (no pun intended), or whether this commercial has totally invented a problem only to make us try and remember their brand.

Advertising is well-established as an industry that to be most effective at first establishes and poses a problem (many would argue often non-existent) then the advertising of course recommends exactly how you stop the problem. "Pain and Gain" was how it was summarized when I began my career in that business. Super greasy dishes? Watch all the grease bubble off with this dishwashing detergent. Bad Breath? This mouthwash actually washes the scum off your tongue and from between your teeth. And on and on. In this case it's "got pieces of toilet paper breaking apart and sticking to your ass? Use Charmin and eliminate that problem."

I must admit, I could probably count the number of times that I believe I have left toilet paper pieces behind after wiping my rear end (very few, I must add in case anybody I know reads this). But maybe this is a problem some of us have and are not aware of. I would think, however, that this could lead to pieces of toilet paper travelling down pant legs or out of shorts and exiting so that multiple bits of toilet paper would be left dispersed basically anywhere people walked. Yet the bear in the commercial has at least eight or nine pieces of "T.P." spread out over his backside. They decided to make the bears red, instead of brown for likely obvious reasons, and the pieces left behind are white so they are easily visible.

Getting back to wiping techniques, they have to do with people consistently doing one of two things before they wipe: they either crunch a wad of toilet paper up in a ball and wipe with it, or they fold it neatly and wipe with the folded toilet paper. I myself am a "cruncher" and I couldn't conceive of pulling paper off the roll and sitting on the john carefully folding my toilet paper before wiping, but I guess a large number of people do this. In fact when I read this article to my room-mate before publishing it, he admitted to being a careful "folder". I like to take care of business and exit the premises rapidly before any malodorous scents can sink into my clothing (in my mind, anyhow). I do make sure my "crunch-ball" is nice and tight so a finger does not slip through though, but folding never even occurred to me.

I'm hoping people are bold enough to confirm and admit which technique they use and why (i.e. did someone teach them to do it a certain way), and if trailing "pieces" have ever been a problem for anybody. It seems to me that super cheap toilet paper may fall apart easily, but if it did, you'd have a serious general sanitary problem on your hands.

What about you? Are you a "cruncher", a "folder", and have you ever had a problem with random pieces of toilet paper? Ladies, I think it might be interesting to hear from you also, and whether your techniques differ in wiping the frontside or the backside, and if you follow hygiene rules which say you need to wipe in directions away from the opposing orifice.

It may all seem a little gross, but please step outside your comfort zone and open the bathroom door so we can all have a better understanding about wiping techniques. Just think, you will probably never be asked this question again in your life. Please add your comments so we can all be enlightened and share a little about this one personal habit.

More on visit > the smelly truth about bathroom advertising

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Thomas D Rees is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on Wiping: Do you fold or crunch the toilet paper before using it?

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By Ed Attanasio on November 07, 2011 at 08:22 am

If a bear poos in the woods and there's no one there to hear it (other than the bear himself) does it make a sound? I love it Thomas, but this really is a crappy topic. I do a thing called tee pee oragami. If I'm going to spend 5% of my entire life on the john, struggling and grimacing, I'm going to make it a fun art project!

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By Angie Alaniz on November 07, 2011 at 11:28 am

The only think I think of when I'v seen this commercial is the joke about the bear that poops in the woods.

He doesn't use toilet paper he uses a rabbit.

@Ed Ugh....Thanks for the visual, never thought of the sound a bear would make in while he's about to pick up the rabbit.

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By TonyBerkman on November 11, 2011 at 03:54 am

Ed, you should try "Tee Pee Fun Shui" it might relive the symptoms.

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By riginal on December 23, 2014 at 04:55 am

But then that bags the question, should any female or male be weighed down by excess baggage? Or ad ons. Maybe they can't budge it? And besides, why be strapped down by a watch these days when the times they are a changin' to mobiles. Ask anyone the time these days and they'll flick on the time and where you can purchase a bag...they just have to go round and round the Mulberry bush sorta?

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