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Friday, 9 March 2012

For anyone who has ever used loo paper.

In case you didn’t know, the Romans were all happy to share an open communal toilet and defecate in full sight of each other. Lovely. Qui peto laboro una , deleo una.

In Roman advertising,, would their sponge on a stick be described as? ‘Salty, stingy but it does the job and less rough than sand’. Try Titus Andrex’s  - New Roman Sponge sticks in three different colours. Made for sharing. Because you are worth it Centurions.

As a recent visit to the supermarket proved to me, we are very pampered and want our toiletry to be as comfortable as possible and possibly to colour match the bathroom curtains and the puppy. ‘A touch of luxury . Andrex limited collection, bright and bold, a little touch of contemporary style.’ A limited collection of toilet paper? It’s going to get flushed down the loo. What next? Bog roll as Art? Limited Edition, papier de toilette as seen hanging in the Louvre?



What big softies we are now! When ah were a lad we used the Sporting Chronicle and Daily Mirror pages to clean up the proverbial family bottom. If you were lucky! Sometimes we’d have to stoop to The Sun. Times were hard.


 A part quote from the Nouvelle toilet tissue website illuminated that:

‘Nouvelle has found that softness is the most important thing that consumers look for when they choose a toilet tissue, so they have strived to provide a soft and luxurious paper for their customers.

The traditional image of toilet tissue made from recycled paper is that it is less soft than toilet tissue made from virgin pulp. (Virgin pulp is made from newly harvested trees, sawmill off cuts and forest thinning or short rotation cropping such as Eucalyptus).

And all research supported this view until they developed the Softest Ever Nouvelle, which they introduced in July 2000. In blind consumer tests, new Nouvelle was described as much softer than any Nouvelle they had made before, and also softer than a major virgin pulp brand. It was also seen to be the best value for money.’

Loo roll art

A blind consumer test? How did that work?

“Ok, Mr and Mrs Average, pants down and put these blindfolds on. Comfy? Have a good poop and try out these different bog roll papers. You’ll be pleased to know that there will be wet wipes somewhere along the way. Something to look forward too. Don’t be shy now. Nobody’s watching. Ready?”



The advertising nowadays offers a bewildering variety of choices featuring  - Indulgent softness – thicknesses of paper - moist toilet paper - flushable toilet wipes - gorgeous comfort quilt - super softy toilet tissue - three layers of velvety softness  and  a touch of shea butter, as opposed to a smearing of Tesco’s Value butter,  I guess.



Then we get all medical and botanic (it’s fecking loo roll for God’s sake!!) - Andrex skin kind with Aloe and vitamin E - Regina, chamomile soft toilet tissue - Enriched with genuine balm - Helping to protect the world’s trees – kind to Andrex puppies. Couchelle, get your derriere wiped by a happy  koala bear.


And as the Nouvelle folk said we want soft soft soft and thick. It’s gotta be thick and quilty. Nobody wants to poke the poo as they wipe, do they?  I know, it's a disgusting thought, but you laughed didn’t you? And I've never seen any toilet paper advertised as 'So thin it hurts.'



‘Nouvelle. How on earth did they get it so soft?’
‘Andrex classic white, soft strong and very long.’

‘Andrex, gorgeous comfort quilts.’

‘Velvet, soft, soft, soft, three layers of velvety softness.’

‘8 out of ten people prefer new softer velvet as compared with old triple velvet.’

‘ Lambi – so soft, you’ll  want to clean up your bottom on sheep. (I made that up, but back in the day lamb’s wool was used as a toilet paper.)



Prior to toilet paper, these civilizations/classes commonly opted for the following:

- Wealthy Romans -Wool, rosewater
- Public Restrooms in Ancient Rome- A sponge soaked in salt water, on the end of a stick
- Wealthy French – lace, wool and hemp; bidet
- Middle Ages – hayballs, a scraper/gompf stick kept in a container in the privy
- Early Americans – rags, newsprint, paper from catalogues, corncobs, and leaves
- Viking Age/England- discarded sheep and lambs wool
- Hawaiians – coconut shells
- Eskimos – snow and Tundra moss
- India – your left hand and water
- Commoners – Defecating in the river is very common
- Sailors from Spain/Portugal – frayed end of an old anchor line
- Medieval Europe- Straw, hay, grass, gompf stick
- United States – Corn cobs, Sears Roebuck catalogue, mussel shell, newspaper, l eaves, sand
- British Lords – pages from a book
- Elite citizens – Hemp & wool




Happy wiping!

7 comments:

Gailsman said...

You do write about some things Phil! But since you are always on about cooking and eating food, I suppose there is the end result to think about.

The Quizzical Observer said...

I vividly remember my grandparents' Herefordshire farm in the 60s and 70s – with neither mains water nor a septic tank, there was an exciting trip outside to the lean-to wherein there was an Elsan with pages of newspaper hanging on a hook. Chamberpots were provided for the night. As a youngling I thought all this was great. How times have changed!

Karen said...

I have laughed - all I can say is 'Bring Back Izal'. It was very popular at my school (Manning Garmmar School for Girls, no less) - but only during lessons when we had to trace something, like a map. Then there would be an ugly rush to grab sheets of the dreadded Izal (aka skid paper) from the toilets.

And where did you find all those details about what was used to wipe ones bum in the olden days? Fascinating stuff. Wouldn't fancy using a corn cob though, much to scratchy for my delicate posterior.

Janette Jones said...

We used to have a Regional Manager that used to come out with really long words in meetings totally out of context and the in joke was that he had the loo roll with a word a day on.

Jean said...

Marvellous !!

I remember Izal, it was dangerously thin and had an unpleasant smell even before you started.....

Rabelais the wayward monk hails from our little part of France and he is credited with inventing toilet paper......he began by using a goose neck......no mention of whether or not it was still attached to the goose. But his purpose was somewhat dark......I will not expand further !!

Phil Lowe said...

ooooh, trust you to lower the tone! lol

Phil Lowe said...

They certainly have changed QO!