why toilet paper

I just finished reading the most magnificent book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.  It’s fiction, even, and I still love it, because it’s spot-on social satire.  What makes it so outstanding is the writing, a sincere treat these days.  And it’s even translated from French, which makes it even more amazing, since translations are so difficult to get right.  I don’t even know how I got to it; one of those links to links to links, but I’m very glad that my library had it.  I highly recommend it to anyone.

And here is where I am going to quote from the book (pp. 219-220):

The toilet paper, too, is a candidate for sainthood.  I find this sign of wealth far more convincing than any Maserati or Jaguar.  What toilet paper does for people’s derrieres contributes considerably more to the abyss between the classes than a good many external signs.  The paper at Monsieur Ozu’s abode–thick, soft, gentle and delicately perfumed–is there to lavish respect upon a part of the body that, more than any other, is partial to such respect.  How much for one roll?  I wonder…

I’ll let you read the rest for yourselves.  This part is very amusing, which is a nice interlude.  But this is why I got started thinking about toilet paper.


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