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.