I say this without equivocation or qualification: We live in a wonderful land.
Earlier tonight I witnessed something on television that reinforced what I’ve always believed. What I said in opening, therefore, bears repeating: We live in a wonderful land.
Dearest Duck in her rocker and I in my Lay-Z-Boy both saw the happy dancing lady in a television commercial.
“My Duck,” said I, nodding at the lady spinning merrily. “Goes to show we live in a wonderful land.”
“Harry?” said Dearest Duck, surprised, I s’pose, that I was offering what sounded like a patriotic observation.
“Missus on the television,” I said. “Look at what she’s wearing.”
I was speaking of the twirling lady’s gown. Like a ballroom dancer, she spun in intricate circles, causing her gown’s tail to flair like the spreading petals of a …oh, I don’t know…of a tulip or some such bloom.
As if enchanted, she pirou- etted like Cinderella released from Prince Charming’s finger tips, lending a Disneyesque effect to the folds of her toilet tissue gown.
Truly, toilet tissue.
Likely you’ve seen the commercial.
A frazzled housewife — dare I say housewife? — touches her cheek with a roll of toilet tissue and is instantly transformed into a princess fox-trotting, or tangoing, or whatever, in snow-white raiment crafted completely of toilet paper.
Dearest Duck glanced at the dancing lady, then spocked an eyebrow at me.
“We live in a wonderful land,” said I. “A land so free from torment that we are free to fantasize of tripping light fantastics bedecked in arse…” “Harry! Mind your mouth.” “My Duck?” “Stop your old foolishness.” Having chastised me, Dearest Duck left her rocker, stooped to peck my noggin’s dome where once thick curls resided, and toddled off to our matrimonial boudoir.
“I’m off to bed,” she said. “If you want to stay up watching women dressed in toilet paper that’s your choice.”
“Good-night, my Duck,” said I.
Left alone to cogitate, I actually clicked off the television, opened my brand new birthday laptop and waited impatiently for Mr. Google’s door to open.
By the time I departed Mr. Google’s house Dearest Duck’s comforting snores reverberating from bed-chamber walls.
While visiting Mr. Google I’d learned that the Chinese invented toilet paper way back in one of their historic dynasties. I’m not sure if it was the same dynasty in which they invented gunpowder.
Likely there was no connection anyway, eh b’ys?
Despite being a life-long seeker of arcane knowledge, I’ve always been inept at sorting out time periods — eras, or epochs, or ages.
Nevertheless, while roaming Mr. Google’s rooms in search of bum-wiping obscurities, I learned that the Romans — before or after the enduring Chinese invention? — employed a reusable stick for the sanitizing procedure.
Not just any old reusable stick though.
Picture one of those longhandled loofah brushes, only instead of the abrasive pumice-like scrubbers the Romans — renown engineers of aqueducts and other flushing devices — fastened a sponge to the handle.
I failed to find any information regarding whether or not the handle of the sponge was ergonomically curved to minimize strain while in human employ but I did discover that while on standby awaiting its next application, the longhandled sponge swab soaked in a jar of vinegar.
I fancy that hard-by the Roman seat of evacuation the sponge was positioned as nowadays the bowl scrubbing brush is tucked inconspicuously behind the flush tank.
P’raps I nodded off and dreamed a tremulous dream in which a princess swaddled in toilet tissue danced among the black spruce forest where my family once lived a winter in the woods.
That winter family females were allowed the modesty of an indoor slop pail. Males, the more robust sex, were offered no such niceties. A sapling, strategically felled so it lodged across a suitable stump, served as a railing — sorta — over which men and boys could … well, hang out their fundaments, I s’pose.
Of course, neither woman nor man had the luxury of rolls and rolls of cottony-soft toilet tissue. Fortunately, Mr. Eaton supplied fine thick catalogues whose rumpled paper served the purpose … yet no one dreamed of dancing swaddled in Eaton’s pages.
A final, oft pondered rhetorical question comes to mind. You know how sometimes, to suggest the obviously obvious, some wit will ask, “Do bears go whoopsie in the local flora?”
In addition to displaying dancing ladies, television advertising provides an answer to this question …
…and the answer is…
Thank you for reading.