The Eternal Embarrassment Of Convenience Stores

If popular culture has taught us anything—and I’m being generous when I say this—it’s that buying condoms is a singularly mortifying experience fraught with the potential for excruciatingly awkward comedy and humiliation. Not so! Buying condoms is a breeze. You just plunk them down and wink at the cute cashier, and she smiles back flirtatiously, knowing that you are going to get so laid later and therefore won’t be hitting on her at the moment. But there is something it pains me to purchase, every single time.

That thing is your garden-variety, white, quilted toilet paper. Because toilet paper doesn’t mean you’re having grown-up safe sex—it means you’re urinating and defecating and are going to make a mess that needs to be wiped up. For god’s sake, can any biologist tell me why the human body has this built-in flaw, that we can’t go to the bathroom without leaving trace amounts on ourselves? I don’t see giraffes wiping their butts, you guys. The shit just happens and they move on.

So for me it’s the giant, towering 12-packs of Charmin with that stupid bear on it (once more reminding us that all other animals have evolved the ability to relieve themselves without the use of paper goods) that make me wince when I have to put them on the front counter at Duane Reade. There’s no good way to spin it. You are a filthy creature condemned to spend a good deal of your life dabbing at genitals or with a hand up your ass. And soon enough you’ll be back for yet more of this precious, quickly depleted resource: for unlike the bedroom, there are no dry spells in the bathroom.

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