Friday, November 27, 2009

Somewhere to Go on Thanksgiving: The Charmin' Toilet Man


Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I managed to rustle up a table of four to do turkey at the Standard Grill. It was OK for the price, considering it was Thanksgiving, New York City, last minute etc, although it was a bit mean on the sides, and the best dark meat was clearly spirited away for a more worthy class of diner.

I jested with all my friends who had free invitations to eat  with families that only the friendless gotta pay!

Walking around afterwards at Times Square - for want of nothing better to do - I came across the Charmin toilet man. This is a man dressed up as a toilet, inviting you to ablute in sanitary style at their pop-up toilet facility. He is accompanied by a pom pom girl, dressed far less imaginatively than she could be for such an important job - come on Charmin, don't tell me your political correctness prevented her from wearing a skimpy maid's uniform and wielding a toilet brush?

This Charmin effort was all new to me, but Google tells me it's been a tradition for quite a while. Que bueno! Here's a company with idea people who are empowered to execute them. Like tampon makers, I can't imagine toilet paper manufacturers ever suffering in a recession - you might stop going out, but you'll never stop going - but kudos to them for not sitting on their ah, hands and taking the money. 

The only problem: this great service only runs between Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year, apparently.

What a pity!

If you Google about you will see videos of the insides of the facility. I can imagine them expanding to a full museum of the History of Toilet Paper, starting from leaves and moving to newsprint. I'm not sure how ecological TP manufacture is, but you can make paper out of a lotta things ... 

Giving people a place to go is a surefire way to have people thank you from the heart of their bottom. My negative restroom experience at Bank of America in Georgia didn't sit well at all. Serve people in times of need, and they will be customers for life. Of course, there is that other psychological phenomenon:  helping a person when they're  down and out can result in them dissociating themselves from you - and thus bad memories. But let's assume providing a place to pee is NOT one of those.

Starbucks are well known to be the only corporation that opens its restroom doors to all and sundry. It gets equal billing as Charmin in my book.

I always ask an establishment if I can use their restrooms. I don't barge in and take over like I own the place. The mere asking seems to soften people - you earn their respect.

And respect is what makes the world go around - it's called, giving thanks.

1 comment:

Glenn said...

I'm clearly missing out on a lot of culture by living in the suburbs of DC.