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Friday, January 14, 2011



Friday, 8:00 AM.  8 degrees, wind NNE, calm.  The sky is mostly clear except for very high fish-scale clouds moving in from the north.  The barometer however predicts snow.  A clear morning allows us to see the progress of the sun in the last three weeks, which is now rising north of LaPointe from our vantage point, where at its most extreme southern position it was considerably south.  It’s not waking me up any earlier as  yet, though.  The ferry really groaned and labored through the ice this morning and will soon just give up, but on the plus side of the ledger the progress of the sun set off some chickadee territorial calls this morning.
    I made a rather amazing and somewhat disconcerting observation this morning.  Perhaps you have observed this phenomenon as well, but did not attach much importance to it.  Roles of toilet paper have suddenly shrunk in width by about a half an inch.  It is quite obvious when they are placed on the roller, which has not gotten any longer.  At a thousand sheets to the roll, and each sheet three and three-quarters of an inch long, this is a significant reduction in the amount of paper per roll.  Now, I assume that the manufacturers who are doing this note the difference on the package, but regardless, it appears like pure chicanery to me. Of course, the price has not gone down. Did they really think we wouldn’t notice? All this should not really surprise me (or you) I guess, since I have long been compelled to read how many ounces of coffee are in a supposed pound package, or in a standard box of cereal, etc.
    So, I guess I should not really be surprised by this latest slight of hand, although it still angers me, mostly because we are obviously thought too stupid to notice. 
    It occurs to me, however, that I am being perhaps unjust in casting my aspersions on the toilet paper industry. Maybe there is a deeper, hidden justification for their cheating us.  Could it perhaps be that the shrinking toilet paper sheet is Big Paper’s justifiable response to the shrinking dollar?  I would have a hard time doing the exact math, but I’ll bet the correlation is pretty strong.  If so, I understand the situation and will shift the blame from Big Paper to Big Government, not that it helps the situation in the bathroom any.    Oh well, a little less toilet paper, a little less coffee, can that really be a concern to us supposedly affluent Americans?  How about the same percentage less of every single thing we consume, a similar inflationary cost increase for everything we buy? Of course I can be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, but can any one truly blame me?  Instead, how about blaming the Federal Reserve and the administration  for their purposeful devaluation of the dollar, and its similar assumption of our collective stupidity?
    Now, I have a theory that will prove me right or wrong, I just don’t know when the proof will become obvious.  If the shrinking toilet paper sheet and the shrinking dollar are indeed directly linked, the day will come, sooner or later, when the two will be of exactly equal value, and their use therefore interchangeable. Now, in regard to the relative softness of the two pieces of paper…

1 comment:

  1. My morning bagel has gotten much smaller and of course gone up in price. My reaction is to eat less bagels. So how does this help our economy? If we consume less then they have to raise the price again to make up for lower sales volumes. It's a circle of defeat. But then again I don't believe people adjust their behaviors that much and just keep buying and end up with less money for savings accounts. Thus our very low savings rates. We have no rainy day funds or retirment savings. We spend all our money on tiny bagels. The stats show this to be true sadly. I however am defiant.