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Biff: Getting to the bottom of decadence

Jeffrey Bergeron
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyBiff America hangs out in Summit County, Colorado, writing his column and on his own TV show.
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“Time changes opinions,” ” Plato.

Have I’ve matured or have I sold out?

When I compare my behavior today with some of the ideologies I extolled as a younger man, I must admit, I have compromised. I remember vowing never to marry, have a mortgage, a real job, wear a one-piece ski suit or play golf.

In retrospect many of those naive ideals were simplistic and ill founded. Getting married was probably the best thing I’ve ever done ” though my mate might not concur. That said, in other aspects I’ve managed to goose-step to my own drummer. I still don’t have a real job (would you hire me?) nor do I play golf or wear a gas-bag, which does set me apart from many of my friends ” who golf.

One credo that has remained as a vestige of my tenure in the Woodstock Nation is my reluctance to succumb to frivolous luxuries. Now granted, I own six bicycles, 10 pairs of skis, a motor vehicle with a toilet and a Darth Cheney dart board ” yes, I have needs.

But other than toys, my mate and I try to be selective regarding where, and on what, we indulge.

We often ask ourselves: “Will this new item we are considering adding to our lives truly make us happy?” Though we often answer with a resounding “no,” that just makes the times we do succumb to comsumption that much more special.

We recently discovered a new luxury that, for the two of us, has created a common bond of decadence.

Charmin Ultra toilet paper. Suffice to say, “The living is easy.”

I’ve always been a one-ply, preferably recycled, man. I’ve never gone for scented, decorative, multi-plied or quilted.

‘Multi-ply,’ to me, seemed a wasted expense. I reasoned that you could use one ply and, through creative folding, create as many plies as required. I’ve been known to concoct a catcher’s mitt of comfort with origami creativity.

The same argument could be made for quilted, or decoratively patterned ” unneeded and overpriced. Moreover, I could never understand the man-hours dedicated to sewing the intricate patchwork of quilted ‘festive’ patterns. I always assumed it was made by illegal labor, chained to their sewing machines in toilet paper sweat shops.

My former arguments against scented were simple. Considering the use, it would have to be heavily scented to make a difference. I was so wrong.

Last week, in my shopping haste, I mistakenly bought some ‘Charmin Ultra With Aloe.’ We’re talking 170 multi-ply sheets of quilted, scented, lubricated heaven.

To say it has changed my life would certainly be an overstatement, but it would be safe to assert that it has improved a small part of it.

The difference was subtle. Yes, I did notice an added softness to which I was unaccustomed. And yes, the modernistic quilt-work pattern did compliment my bathroom’s decor, as well as the stolen towels and climbing skins hanging from the curtain rod. But the most discernible improvement was the lubrication factor. Charmin Ultra comes with “just a touch of aloe” coating the tissue.

“Touch” is the key word. That sets it apart from some coated tissues, which feel like they were soaked in W-D 40.

I noticed an improvement in my wife’s mood almost immediately. She would emerge from the master bathroom with a look of comfort and contentment. At first I assumed it was the new Guns and Knives magazine, which I’d left next to her makeup mirror.

Later, after comparing notes, we decided that our T.P. was making the difference in how we looked at our world.

Sometimes, it takes only a slight change in perspective to allow for a new outlook on life.

This change in attitude did not arrive without some adjustment on my part. There was the cost factor. Charmin Ultra is more expensive, but you do get what you pay for.

Producing a superior product takes time. The labor involved is considerable. And let’s face it, aloe doesn’t grow on trees. I’ll also admit I felt guilty about my new brand not being made from recycled paper. But my old recycled tissue contained an occasional wood chip that would never do for Ultra. When you consider that some recycled toilet paper is made from only 20 percent post consumer recycled products, it’s a small price to pay. And even when I did use recycled, it was only recycled once.

The cost and ecological concerns were the hardest of all to come to grips with. Could I justify the abandonment of my life of austere self-denial? But after much thought, debate, and rationalization, I decided, when you consider the bottom line ” I deserve it …

Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on RSN TV and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at biffbreck@yahoo.com.

Biff’s book “Steep, Deep and Dyslexic” is available from local book stores or at http://www.Backcountrymagazine.com.


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