31 January 2013

timpeltje: (Default)
The year was 1885.
My ancestors were bathing in luxury, wealth and celery soup (for lack of champagne) because of the business they had set up. Hand crafted toilet paper rolls were soon replacing newspapers as the go-to accessory for any toilet visit. The ones that predicted this move were now reaping the benefits, convinced they had struck the faecal alternative to an oil well. And how right they were... Initially, at least...

The upper layers of society soon found their way to our family emporium and shelled out huge sums to feel the soft papery tenderness on their rosy butt cheeks. Following the logic of the best selling Everybody Poops, my ancestors rejoiced, thinking their and their family’s futures would be forever bright. They had mastered the skill of toilet roll rolling (or, in French: ‘Papier de Toilette Roulette’, which also became the name of the store my ancestors opened) and nobody’s talents would ever come close to the firm softness that so embodied our brand.

Almost 100 years after my family’s business was established and became hugely successful, I was spit out of my mother’s oven with a huge burden already resting on my drooling shoulders (well, it was mostly my mouth that was doing all the drooling, but I assure you it extended all the way to my shoulders!), the burden to carry on the family business. By then, it had become a burden, sure. My grandfather spent all his days lamenting the loss of the emporium that once was, mumbling about investments in Daguerrotypes, colonial slavery, DDT, Softenon, Betamax and perforated condoms, none of which ever reached the success the family had hoped for so that they could go back to the good old days of toilet paper roll wealth. Sure, money was still coming in from a varied group of toilet paper connoisseurs who preferred the real artisanal “shit” (pardon the pun) over the mechanised alternative, but that group was aging and soon, they too would go back to using nappies and baby wipes, the two technologies we never were able to fully master...

The kingdom was crumbling and Timmy turned out to be the chosen one to carry on the family business. Did I want to do it? Point a shotgun to my right testicle and I’d congratulate you on your aiming skills, but also I’d say ‘Yes, of course I wanted to do it!’ What choice did I have?

Now I did learn the trade and knowing what I know now, I can assure you you will never go back to machine rolled TP if you’ve tried our family recipe, a recipe that is even more secret than Coca-Cola’s. Without the right air to paper to bottom to bottom hair ratio, a wipe will just feel coarse and at times even vulgar and messy.

You can’t beat 130 years of progress.

At our current prices, it is true that a toilet roll produced by the “PdT Roulette” company will set you back about 39 euros, which we will admit is slightly above the machine TP average of 30 cents a roll. But how much is your well-being really worth? Can you settle for sandpaper when you could have silk paper? (Silk paper costs extra, just FYI) While it may take a skilled person 48 minutes to roll a TP roll to absolute perfection, firmness and air distribution, a machine will take about 10 seconds, but it will never attain the true sensation our rolls can offer.

Back in 1910, when poetry was still an Olympic discipline, my great-grandfather filled in all the application forms to make toilet paper roll rolling an official Olympic discipline. We would have gotten to the Olympics, were it not for the three week orgy my great-grandfather got entwined in that made him miss the application deadline.

“I will try again in four years,” he proclaimed, but by then he was out in the field of Western Flanders, attempting to teach his fellow soldiers in the trenches how to clean themselves properly (trying to sell them his own merchandise, of course).

The Famiglia was still bathing in wealth, regardless of the horrors of the unwiped trenches, but things would never be the same. Clients’ bums still needed cleansing, but it was then the great-grandfather’s traumas set in and this resulted in a great number of toilet paper rolls consisting of barbed wire and rotten flesh. Now, you may think that you, as a connoisseur of toilet paper rolls, might distinguish between a faulty roll and a true roll, but remember that our skills were so refined by then, that they all looked amazingly soft, even the ones with barbed wire in it.

When 1929 happened, the Famiglia retreated and stopped producing, firing its entire workforce of 95,450 slave labourers. Soon, there was a huge surge in haemorrhoids that caused huge protests in front of our closed down factories (fun fact: those factories neighboured branches of very big banks and journalists (and history) assumed they were protesting the banks). Those were good days, but they weren’t too last. Just when my grandfather tried to repost the Olympic application papers, some German tried to take over the world again and everything just repeated itself, though this time my grandfather was able to continue our business by selling to the Russians who had grown sick and tired of the sandpaper their military gave them.

June 6, 1944?
People thank the Americans, the Canadians, the Ozzies, but it was my grandfather who instigated all of this. With his Russian earnings, he bought a zeppelin and filled it with his own personally produced high quality toilet paper and helium and let it sail off to Britain. The legend goes that Churchill himself was handed one of my grandfather’s rolls, went to take one of his legendary “73-minute dumps” and came out of the bathroom rejoiced, determined, and damn well horny (this last one was only important to his wife, whom he hadn’t desired and/or seen in 8 years), and after that, he immediately ordered D-Day to happen.

July 21, 1969?
Would Neil Armstrong have set foot on the moon if it hadn’t been for a genuine “VDO” toilet paper? No, he would not. Buzz Aldrin would have been first if he hadn’t cared about his toilet paper supplier. He was still cleaning all of the shit from his space suit with his low quality paper, while Armstrong had made the right choice (Armstrong knew he’d shit himself being shot into space, so he came prepared).

Sadly, this was all before my time. I’m trying to take care of the company while it’s bent on inevitable self-destruction.
But still, all I’m trying to prove is that I was just forced to be a businessman. I never really wanted to be one.

All I wanted to do in life in dance and sing to the flowering blossoms of the trees and somehow get paid for that... Well, I might get back to you on that when my last customers go back to using nappies...