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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, April 30, 2007

The earth ain't so warm that we have to spare squares

I love the earth. I live here. Why wouldn't I? So it's in my best interest to try and help keep it healthy.

That being said, with no scientific foundation to base this on, I'm pretty confident the earth would kill me before allowing me to kill it. So there are limits to my willingness to live green. Some things just aren't up for negotiation.

For example, I will eat hippie-raised vegetables and meat. Sure, they cost a little more. But they're not soaked in chemicals that end in "cide" and that shrink your naughty bits or sterilize you and cause your innards to glow lite brite orange.

I will use natural fertilizers on my lawn, so the rainwater runoff doesn't leak bad chemicals into the sewers and pollute the ocean, or even more personally pollute the groundwater around my koi pond. Why not? It's no extra work for me. And where I buy my lawn supplies the price is about the same as the heavy duty chemical stuff.

I will kill for an alternative fuel, so I don't have to keep paying $3-plus per gallon of fuel for my car. Fossil fuel? I'd burn actual fossils if I thought they would power my car. I'd burn lawn trimmings and those weird red fruit-like thingies that sprout from the palm trees in my back yard. I'd burn the stray cats who constantly sneak under or over my fence and skulk around my pond trying to swipe at my fish. I'm kidding. I wouldn't use the cats for fuel. That's mean. To help the earth I'd eat those cats. Waste not, want not.

Where I draw the line is a dirty arse.

And it seems Sheryl Crow and Laurie David, who recently went on a save-the-earth bus tour, would like us all to have dirty behinds in the name of saving the earth. A-week-and-a-half ago on their blog, Crow suggested that we limit ourselves to one square of toilet paper during BMs.

Something about saving trees. You should know that later Crow told ABC News she was just kidding. But I don't know if I believe her. JK is what I used to say when I hit on a hot girl and she rejected me. It was how I saved face. "I was just joking (kidding, playing, etc.)" is what celebrities and politicians say after they've tested the waters and learned that the public isn't willing to go along with a particularly lame-brained idea.

Do I really need to go into all the reasons just one square is not good? Just think of all the extra soap you'll (hopefully) use on your hands? Down the drain, and before you know it, some poor fish is blowing a Dove bubble.

It is now clear to me why White House advisor Karl Rove didn't want Crow to touch him recently at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

I'm sorry. We are the custodians of the earth. We should be nice to it. But if I have to slice up an entire forest to make sure the back door to my nether regions is pristine, those trees are going down.

Cleanliness is not next to godliness. George Carlin pointed out that it is next to claustrophobia and cleavage.

A clean behind, however, is next to whomever its owner wants it to be.

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  • It's so damn cool that you were able to figure out a way to get a "dirty butts" tag. Just brilliant. LOL

    Actually I would agree to continue to pay near $3 a gallon if we were free from foreign oil. I don't really care what that alternative fuel is either.

    Also, if I owned a house I would have all the energy saving stuff I coudl find. Not to save the Earth, but to save on MY energy bill.

    By Blogger Jay, at 10:47 PM  

  • It makes me worry about whatever Ms. Crows next CD cover will be made out of.

    By Blogger Michael C, at 10:52 PM  

  • Funny stuff! They actually grow trees especially for consumer paper products. It's not like they are turning California red woods into butt wipes.

    And the organic foods that have to be trucked in or flown from 2000 miles away..not too green.

    The technology is there to turn garbage into diesel fuel at little cost because the methane released from the garbage runs the machines.
    Why aren't we doing it? Conspiracy?

    I'd have a miniature one in my back yard.

    By Blogger Hammer, at 11:51 PM  

  • Very funny post. Not sure I will ever look at her the same again without laughing but funny none the less. Reminds me of the seinfeld episode...."can you spare a square?"...."I'm sorry I just don't have a square to spare." Seinfeld fans will be laughing right now, but everyone else thinks I've lost it. Oh well....shit happens....(pun somewhat intended).


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 1:41 AM  

  • I must have been naive when I was younger. I never realized that environmentalism was a political football until we pulled out of the Kyoto agreement. I'm especially amazed at how the current administration suppressed information about global warming, controlled language being used by their own scientists. In the face of so many scientists coming forward, it astonishes me how anyone, including the far right, and that means you, Sean Hannity, can dismiss the data as left wing propaganda.

    By Blogger Stewart Sternberg, at 6:28 AM  

  • Where is Mr Whipple when you need him? No matter the motivation, people will always unroll the amount they feel they need to protect their hands from their orifices. Nobody unfurls only what's needed to get the job done.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 6:41 AM  

  • Stewart Sternberg, how come Mars is heating up? Please, Gore has created a new religion and it is based on consensus.

    By Blogger RobC, at 8:01 AM  

  • I *love* this post. I was just talking to a friend yesterday about this, and how I, too, draw the line at my arse. I believe my exact words were "I'll sacrifice a lot to save the Earth, but not my arse. I like it too much the way it is."

    Thanks for visiting my place; I'll be looking around your archives now....

    By Blogger sognatrice, at 9:09 AM  

  • Am I the only one stuck on "naughty bits" ? : )

    By Blogger Angie, at 9:31 AM  

  • Maybe she has a bidet
    ... and then a pat down.

    I mentioned her on a post last week- and the story my dad told about the man who was so stingy he kept a supply of smooth rocks. I will give her a little jingle and tell her how to not use any TP at all. Then she could really be a "rock star."

    (I wondered why she an Lance Armstrong hit the skids.)

    By Blogger Pamela, at 10:33 AM  

  • I am using ten, count them ten, squares today just to defy her.

    She needs to wash her hands and just sing.

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 10:37 AM  

  • I'm going to go along with Crow on this one and forego the use of toilet paper altogether. Although it will mean that I spend my days in the bathroom because I will never get off the porcelain throne for fear of soiling my pants.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 12:36 PM  

  • I say that we just eliminate the whole oppressed idea of wearing pants and drip dry.

    I may have just stepped over a line.

    By Anonymous 123Valerie, at 1:26 PM  

  • What worries me most about using less toilet paper is thinking of people who don't wash their hands anyway. that I've just swallowed a little of my own vomit....

    I wish "personalities" would stick to entertaining me and quit trying to educate me.

    By Blogger SWF41, at 2:02 PM  

  • I love that you used BM's in your post because that's actually what my family called going pooh growing up. I thought it was Beam... Later I found out my parents called it that because that's what they at the hospital... Pooh talk is always fun.

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 2:48 PM  

  • I think she meant 1 x 50? I sure as hell ain't using 1 sheet.

    By Anonymous Slick, at 3:57 PM  

  • No you aren't the only one Angie!

    By Blogger Winter, at 3:59 PM  

  • Jay, this revelation warranted a dirty butts tag. And I'm with you on the energy saving house. If I ever get indepently wealthy, wherever I live, I'm gonna make sure my house is green. I don't mind that. It'll probably keep things cleaner around the place, and help cut down on my asthma attacks.

    Michael C., I like some of her old tunes. But I'd handle that next cover with tongs.

    Hammer, I heard about that garbage thing. I swear, that must be a conspiracy. Or it's bogus. 'Cause if it was possible, I've thrown away many gallons of gas over the years.

    Briliant, I loved that episode. It partly inspired the title of this post.

    Stewart, Stewart, Stewart, I knew either you or Big Daddy was going to deftly slip in a political barb ;-) Still, your points are valid. And right-leaning or left, it is becoming increasingly difficult to deny that there's at least reason for concern. I didn't see Gore's movie. But I've heard/read some scientific resarch on global warming - saying it's a major problem. I've heard/read other stuff that says it's being overhyped and current problems are just a cyclical manifestation. I don't know what to believe. So I figure I'll err on the side of caution and try to at least be a good custodian of the quarter of an acre that I live on.

    Sarc, amen that it is an area that requires a little extra. No such thing as barely enough in that region.

    RobC, welcome. Interesting argument. You're like the third person I've heard/read recently that suggested the hardcore belief that global warming is dooming is, is essentially a religion. You have me curious now. I will read more.

    Sognatrice, we are on the same page. I hope you like what you my archives. And I'll be checking out your site more, as well.

    Angie, getting stuck on naughty bits isn't necessarily a good thing.

    Pamela, I admit that "rock star" cracked me up. See, there we go again with the crack. This never ceases. Anyway, those had better be some really smooth stones. And unless that bidet has a high pressure washer attached it still wouldn't be enough, I don't think.

    Christina, I think I'll shoot for 20 myself.

    Queen, good luck living in the can. It's gonna get lonely.

    123V, I'd go for drip drying, after the high-powered bidet, but not under any other circumstances.

    SWF41, I feel your pain. I've seen a few nasty non-washers walking out of the can. If they agree with Crow, then I'm really scared of 'em.

    Erica, ha! We all have to send "beams." It's nature.

    Slick, let's hope you're right about what she meant. I ain't convinced.

    Winter, sigh. What is it that you and Angie don't get about naughty bits?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 5:31 PM  

  • Yes, gross indeed, bugger the trees in this case, my behind is staying pristine also!!

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 6:50 PM  

  • Funny post James! I'm going to clog my toilet in honor of it. With paper of course.

    By Blogger captain corky, at 6:59 PM  

  • James,

    I just read today that the hope for tomorrow is mining the moon for helium 3, an idea some critics deride as foolish but which the Russian government takes absolutely seriously.

    The Russians say the United States (gawd bless us!) is trying to shut them out and seeks to deny them access to helium 3 on the moon.

    We just don't stop, do we? USA!

    By Blogger Matt, at 8:29 PM  

  • On of my favorite office stories is how mad I got when someone left THREE squares on the toilet paper roll. I was furious.

    I came storming out of there and demanded to know who on my staff could possibly explain to me what good could be done with only three squares, besides picking a booger. And there's KLEENEX in there for that!!!

    Okay -- gonna stop now -- blood pressure rising.

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 10:27 PM  

  • And Pamela - with the skids? I CANNOT stop laughing!

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 10:27 PM  

  • Now Craig Ferguson's joke last night makes sense.

    I'm sorry. My compulsion requires me to use no less than 15 squares per wipe. I could run up a 90-sheet tab in no time. Cheryl shouldn't mess with me.

    By Blogger katrice, at 12:04 AM  

  • James,

    I seem to recall you saying something about not liking memes but am not really sure. I am not sure if this whole thinking blogger award is just a thinly disguised version of one or not but anywhhooooooo you make me think as much as any other blog out there so like it or not you have been nominated. Should you choose to participate or not of course is totally up to you.

    Congrats and keep up the great work!


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 12:52 AM  

  • I kid you not when I say that my Mom used to tell me to limit myself to one square wonder I have all these issues....

    By Blogger Princess Extraordinaire, at 10:20 AM  

  • Imagine the packaging if we were supposed to use one square...large arse squares, small arse squares, medium arse squares....

    By Blogger Robin, at 1:10 PM  

  • Nice integration of the Seinfeld line in the post title. I was chuckling before I even got to the bulk of the story.

    I like to think I'm generally pretty eco-friendly. But one square?


    They do make "wipes" for adults that are similar to baby wipes, though. Once you've stopped scrunching up your nose and/or laughing at that idea, I think they're a huge step up for your everyday TP. Less waste (because you need fewer "squares"), more comfortable, and -- last but not least -- a substantially cleaner bottom.

    I can't believe I'm talking about this.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 2:39 PM  

  • Limiting toilet paper use would limit my ability to use public toilets. I need extra squares to lay on the possibly infected seat before my tush touches it. I insist on an infection free fanny.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 PM  

  • Hey robc...Can we talk? I am not taking a hard stand on global warming. However, can we at least agree that corporations don't care about consumers? If it weren't for regulatory committees and local governments, they would do nothing. Look at the poison that seeps into the water table from manufacturing? I'll happily turn from global warming if we can keep the corporations from poisoning our children. Do you stop and wonder why autism has increased so dramatically in the last couple decades?????

    By Blogger Stewart Sternberg, at 4:26 PM  

  • I'm with thirdworst on the whole baby wipes deal. I've been trumpeting their use since the late 1990's (having a girl who had kids and running out of TP showed me the light). It's like the move to TP from leaves and pages of the Sears catalog. One square and ain't nobody dope as you, you just so fresh, so clean (so fresh and so cleanclean). In a pinch, they do the best dry cleaning job in the world (for those of you unfamilar with the term "dry-cleaning", it's when you just wash your armpits and crotch instead of taking a full shower or bath). You can go for almost a week without making a stink.

    BTW, don't fall for the marketing chump-out of "adult-sized" baby wipes (how oxymoronic can you get?). Every size baby wipe is already adult size seeing as how an adult is always doing the wiping. And make sure you get the biodegradeable ones--flushing a baby wipe that doesn't disintegrate like TP is as bad as flushing the diaper. Right now I'm partial to Cottonelle's version--sturdy without being too thick and a refillable container. One refill easily lasts as long as a fourpack of TP unless you have some serial wipers in your midst. For them, I suggest a bidet (does anyone know what happened to Mr. Bidet off I-95S?) or one of those Japanese self-cleaning toilets. Keep some in a ziploc baggie in your pocket for emergencies (beach and bar toilets, airport layovers) Now you can take your afternoon work dump without being self conscious at happy hour!!


    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 5:33 PM  

  • What? One square of toilet paper?!? Sheryl Crow can afford to have a biday; I can't.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 7:47 PM  

  • She's so charmin'!

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 8:53 PM  

  • Cazzie, amen!

    Captain, clog away! I'm behind you...figuratively speaking.

    Matt, I'd love to get hold of some moon gas. I'd share with the Russians, long as they paid me.

    Tiggerlane, only leaving three squares is a cause for firing!

    Katrice, 15's a reasonable number. Ninety though? You're gonna be getting a visit from Green Peace or whoever guards butt-polishing trees out there.

    Briliant, thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll participate. I still have to do the Thinking Blogger thing. But thank you kindly. I'm honored.

    Princess, ha ha ha ha ha! Yeah, I could see that causing childhood trauma. Funny.

    Robin, good point. They would have to size that one square differently to match different bums. I think I'd just always buy the giant-arsed size. I'm pretty sure my arse isn't giant. But better safe than sorry.

    ThirdWorst, you're talking adult baby wipes! Hmmm. Interesting. Those things aren't flushable though, are they?

    Reflecting Pool, you and me both. Public terlets are like the plague to me. I swear if I had bare-skin contact with a public seat I'd burn my bum off to sterilize. I'm a borderline germophobe.

    Stewart, you get points for arguing your case without slipping it into the realm of right vs. left.

    Big Daddy, you and ThirdWorst should write a butt-cleaning guide. The two of you know everything there is about adult/baby wipes. One of these days when I'm rich and, um, rich, I'm gonna get a bidet. I'll give it a whirl, so to speak.

    Grizzbabe, having a butt fountain would definitely change the parameters of this argument.

    MB, I have to confess that I had to read it twice before I got it. Man, I'm slow tonight. Charmin'! Ha ha!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:49 PM  

  • James, we are in total accord. I did a post on this, too, called "Soak up the Sun...?" (I had to research her song titles because I am not a fan.)

    I also concluded that Rove was Right, and that I wouldn't want her to touch me, either.

    I don't believe she was joking. She was backpedaling after people failed to kiss her crusty butt for saving the planet.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, at 11:42 PM  

  • Actually, James... they are! The adult "wipes" are biodegradable AND flushable. Just look for them in the "toilet paper" aisle of any place where such products are sold. Cottonelle and Scot both make them.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 9:16 AM  

  • [Plus, you can also get them in "travel packs" — oh, joy!]

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 9:18 AM  

  • my new work place is as green as a workplace can get man! we are paperless and everything spiffy like that.

    but yeah.. that had better be one big freakin square. i expect my CHARMIN to be bountiful man.

    By Blogger Yas, at 10:57 AM  

  • I've got an idea. Let's stop pooing. It's gross anyway.

    By Blogger Lee, at 12:22 PM  

  • HeartsinSanFran, you are right, I think. She backpedaled.

    ThirdWorst, I was right. You and Big Daddy need to write a manual on this.

    Yas, is your new workplace paperless even in the can?

    Lee, then we would all burst and the earth would get really polluted.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 2:23 PM  

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