First, there was Fake News. Now, there’s Fake Math. Just look at the paper towel and toilet paper aisle at the grocery store. The cost-conscious consumer confronts paper-towel packaging that says “6 rolls = 9” and “8 = 12” or even “8 = 16.” Meanwhile, the toilet paper section offers equally dubious calculations, such as “12 rolls = 48.” A different package says “24 = 48.” Will a dozen large eggs soon say 12 = 20? Could Fake Math remediate shortfalls in our county budget? Will drivers conclude that 35 mph signs really mean 55 mph? Sign me, Fakin’ It.
Action Line normally washes his hands of issues involving toilet paper and disposable towels.
However, a pricing perambulation down Aisle 9 proffered prolific paper-product puffery.
But it’s not so shocking that packaging is flush with hyperbole.
The United States has the highest usage rate of retail tissue in the world, according to a recent edition of Tissue World Magazine, “the independent news provider for the global tissue business.”
Americans spend more than $18 billion on the stuff, notes the article’s author, Jabel Parayil, a tissue and hygiene analyst.
Yes, there are such careers in the industrialized world outside of silly ol’ Durango.
Because so much money is at stake, are you surprised that toilet-paper poobahs created Alternate Facts to prove less is more?
Most packaging claims are based on jumbo items versus “regular” size, despite the fact that there’s no standard for “regular” products.
Thus, you are comparing apples to orangutans.
For accuracy, you’ll need an objective measure.
It’s the number of “square feet per roll” displayed inconspicuously at the bottom left corner of each package.
Grocery stores help you do the math by calculating the cost per square foot. It’s displayed on the price tags attached to the shelves.
For instance, at north City Market, toilet paper can range from 87 cents per square foot for the basic single-ply Kroeger brand to $4.86/sf for the premium Charmin ultra soft mega roll.
For paper towels, the generic “Check This Out” brand is $1.54/sf, while the Bounty 2X wipes up at $6.43/sf.
But even those calculations aren’t squeaky clean – they compare cost without regard for quality.
So let’s wipe the slate clean. What’s best for your buck?
Action Line turned to Wirecutter.com, an interesting consumer testing website.
The site’s paper towel pick is premium-priced Bounty Select-A-Size, offering “more scrubbing strength than anything else. They’re also notably absorbent, and the smaller individual sheets allow you to use (and waste) less.”
As for TP, Wirecutter “surveyed more than 500 people, bought and tested 40 varieties of toilet paper over four months, and then had 10 panelists use and rate our nine finalists to find the one that could best satisfy the needs of most people. That toilet paper is Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care.”
In the sage words of Warren Buffett: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
And just for transparency, Wirecutter.com was acquired by the New York Times last year. Thus, it’s MSM, or mainstream media.
There are some out there who think the mainstream media is responsible for Fake News. Therefore, by extension, the MSM must be promoting Fake Math.
If that’s your mindset, just ignore Bounty-Cottonelle globalists elite and buy the cheapest, scratchiest paper towels and toilet paper to make your kitchen and bathroom great again.
Thus, we have sunk so low as to politicize tissue products on Christmas morning.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you’ll wash your car to make it snow.