Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Comfortably Dumb Comfort Wipe

"For over 100 years, we've been scrunching and folding toilet paper." So begins the low-rent ad for Comfort Wipe that has, with over 600,000 views on YouTube, become an interwebs sensation.

Well, no need to do that any more, citizen. There's now a new-fangled way to, um, see to your business and that is the vaguely erotic-looking device called Comfort Wipe. You want to believe you're watching some kind of parody. But this baby is real.

It touts itself as the first 'improvement to toilet paper as we know it since the 1880s' which is a bit disingenuous. First off, it doesn't actually improve the paper; it's just a new way to use the paper. Second, I'm pretty certain that toilet paper has improved since the 1880s with cotton softness, quilting and several ply replacing woven woodchips.

The thing is, when you watch the ad, it looks like a lot of extra work than just tearing off some paper from the roll. You take the paper, put it in the Comfort Wipe's receptacle, wipe and then you have to stand up and release the toilet paper from the device. Like shampooing, I'm guessing you have to repeat the process several times after, say, a big bowl of five-alarm chili. And I doubt you'd have much time to repeat the process safely if you do have to deal with that kind of mess.

But it's the really odd details and information that capture my fascination. The comfort wipe extends your reach a full eighteen inches for example. If you need that much reach, I'm thinking a Comfort Wipe may be the least of your concerns. Also, it's as easy to use as a shower brush, which is my yardstick for buying all products related to personal hygiene.

Yet the strangest moment comes courtesy of a rather large fellow who claims, "Being a big guy fellow certainly has its share of advantages. And its disadvantages." Don't expect him to tell you what they are either way. Apparently even he doesn't know, suggesting self-awareness is not one of the advantages. Just understand that 'being a big guy' with said advantages and disadvantages, the Comfort Wipe is a great product. No need to say more, big guy, I'm convinced.

One ironic moment comes when a 'with-it' mature woman with an accent vaguely like Estelle Harris - George's Mom on Seinfeld, tells us how Comfort Wipe allows you to maintain your dignity and your personal hygiene. The same dignity she sucker punched when she decided to appear in this ad. The other when another lady informs us that toilet paper is archaic and unsanitary. So, if Comfort Wipe is such an evolution, why does it need toilet paper anyway?

Ah, silly consumer. Why ask such questions? It's simple. The sanitary Comfort Wipe means you don't have to touch dirty toilet paper anymore. Which frees you to attend to other business while you do your, um, business. You can call your friends. Start a grocery list. Prepare a lovely sandwich. You decide. Except you do need to use your hand to operate it. Some advancement in 'toilet paper'.

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