Ask a Dilettante – Squeeze that Charmin However You Want To

Ok, why does Mr. Whipple ask me not to squeeze the Charmin, yet he does it himself? Whipplecrites! They really irk me!
— Connelly Wirth, Houston

First of all, for anyone born after 1980 or so, here’s a link. You will note that once upon a time there was a pencil-thin mustachioed man whose sole purpose at work (we shudder to think about what he was like at home) was to keep women from squeezing the toilet paper. The catch was – the four-pack of rolls was so irresistible, poor Mr. Whipple couldn’t help but squeeze the exact toilet paper he was trying to protect. You can see the pain on his face as he grabs hold and works his hands. He wants to stop, but he can’t. So he focuses his frustrations on the people who so blatantly flaunt their squeezing – right out there in public, next to the Spam and the Rice-a-Roni and the Cheerios.

Though no longer gracing our TV, Mr. Whipple could very well be the mascot for many of our “I resign, wait, no I don’t” members of Congress. They, too, try to regulate that which secretly calls their name. They tell people that they can’t have sex with or marry someone of the same gender, while they are sneaking off to airport bathrooms in hopes of catching someone’s, uh, eye or are sending seriously unsexy text messages to all the young dudes. Under their expensive suits and starched shirts, these poor fools are bubbling cauldrons of desire, wanting so desperately to squeeze the charmin of the guy next to them. But they can’t.

Because they rose to power on a platform of finger-pointing and eeewwww-grossing, they can’t exactly let their secret out. So they attack those who have what they want. You know, the guys in the matching pink polos who are holding hands next to the Spam and the Rice-a-Roni and the Cheerios. In public, Mr. Congressman is condemning Adam and Steve for their lifestyle. In private, Mr. Congressman is nervously following them into the bathroom.

Poor Mr. Whipple and poor Mr. Congressman. If only they’d grown up in more tolerant environments. Perhaps if they’d been allowed to pick out their own toilet paper and squeeze it in the way they most wanted to, perhaps then they would be satisfied to pay attention to their own sex lives and leave everyone else’s alone.

So, Connelly, do not be irked by the Whipplecrite. Hope that he comes on out of that closet and squeezes his charmin however he likes. As long as he doesn’t squeeze it vertically – that’s just wrong.

[This column originally appeared in its entirety on Houstonist.]