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Home truths.

Byline: By Graeme Whitfield

There comes a time in every man's life when he faces a great existential crisis that shakes his belief in all he has known; for me it has happened this week over quilted toilet roll.

Regular readers of this column will know that I am a big fan of my own bottom. While I have no great cards on myself ( the rest of my body is fairly repulsive ( I do have one fantastic keister.

When you are the owner of an award-winning (well, in my own mind) rump, a backside that has won the hearts of many a fair maiden (again, in my head), it seems only right that you should treat it right.

That is why I have always favoured a fairly luxurious quilted toilet roll. Just as you wouldn't buy prime sirloin steak and then serve it up on paper plates, you don't have a tushy like mine and then buy some own-brand sandpaper.

Toilet roll doesn't get into my bathroom unless it is quilted, an elaborate weave and preferably infused with aloe vera (whatever that is).

But recently a thought has been nagging away at the back of my mind and no matter how hard I try, I cannot make it go away.

I've tried to live in denial, to push the nagging voice to the back of my head by thinking instead about Kylie (normally a winner), but still I am waking up in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat, and thinking: "Blimey, that quilted toilet roll doesn't last very long, does it?" And there's the rub (heh heh). The quilted stuff is lovely and soft, but it's so thick that you don't get much to a roll. I'm getting through it in one hell of a hurry and have to buy a new pack every other week.

Quilted toilet roll is one of the great advances of the 21st Century, up there with the internet and budget air travel in my book.

But it puts two of the main forces in my life ( how much I love my own backside versus my cheapness ( in serious conflict.

When I reach the toilet roll aisle in Tesco, I am unsure whether to go for the good stuff that will be a treat to rub against my skin or something a little less luxurious that will last a few days longer.

It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. That's what I tell the other shoppers in Tesco anyway, though it only seems to have got me strange looks so far.

We live in an age where there are hundreds of choices to be made in every walk of life and many people are starting to wonder if, actually, we want to make them after all.

How are we expected to get on with our daily lives when we can't get our mind around the choice between the toothpaste that makes your teeth really white or the stuff that actually tastes nice. Why, it's a recipe for disaster.

I like to imagine that, on a daily basis, Tony Blair has similar struggles over which toilet roll and toothpaste to choose, or maybe whether to do something that might vaguely resemble socialism or just carry on as normal.

I'm probably wrong, though.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 6, 2005
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