By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Coronavirus is driving us crazy. No, we haven’t caught it and developed mental symptoms. Rather, it’s everybody around us – those who’ve caught it or not – and seem to have developed a nagging compulsion to buy peculiar things. Like disinfectant wipes, bleach and toilet paper.
Since we’ve been isolating, our shopping forays consist of the Walmart grocery app with pickups made at a safe social distance. Of course, ordering fresh produce is a gamble. Whoever picks out the bananas figures you either don’t want to eat them until sometime next summer, so they’re so green they’re like Mr. Spock’s blood, or that last year’s fruit will be great for that prehistoric banana bread you’ve been dreaming about. But as far as Walmart is concerned, toilet paper, bleach, Clorox wipes, and a host of other products are about as available as hen’s teeth.
On a lark, we decided to investigate other sources of such products that might be delivered to our door. Amazon, our usual source of all good things, was consulted. Disinfectant wipes? Check! Of course, the last two containers of Wally-brand wipes ran us less than $4 each, back in February. We could live with the limited selection offered but, hey, a two-pack of wipes for $29.85? Two-bits apiece for a wipe? Somewhere along the line, I thought that our friends at Amazon were holding down the fort against price gouging. Maybe this is the “new normal.”
And toilet paper? Ah, a treasure trove of tush treatments awaits you! There are few of the brands you might expect to find but, hey, in these difficult times we have to make do, right? Here’s a batch we’d never heard of: Hometti, in the 12-roll pack – and just $10.99 with free shipping. That works out to 92 cents a roll – a bit less than we used to pay for our favorite cheapster’s delight, Scott tissue, with the “thousand per roll” promise. But digging into the details on Hometti does raise a couple of questions.
First, the specifications. Three layers – that beats Scott’s single-ply easily. Transportation? “Compact size and easy to carry.” That could be important if you could actually leave home, but since many of us are under lockdown, just how does this “easy to carry” help? But it does have a long storage life! “3 years,” is the promise. Well, at the rate some folks are buying TP, it’d be better to have a shelf life measured in decades. Of course, a big question in our minds – just how many sheets to the roll? We dug through descriptions, details, features and specifications. How many sheets? Not a word. Nada. Zip.
Perhaps we’d learn more about a toilet paper made in the Good Ol’ USA. How about Cliramer Ultra Comfort Care Toilet Paper, “Made in USA and Imported.” Huh? Imported? “The toilet paper is produced in the United States and is shipped by the Hong Kong warehouse in China,” says the advert. We weren’t the only one puzzled about this, but the seller kindly explains: “Dear friends: Our products are manufactured in US factories, and we have shipping warehouses in the United States, China, Canada and many other countries. Due to the tight supply of toilet paper in the U.S. warehouse and relatively sufficient inventory in the Chinese warehouse, the toilet paper is currently generally sent in the Chinese warehouse.” Support USA-made products – but remember, if you ordered them today, you’ll have them no later than June 18.
But the wait might be worth it for the extra benefits that come with this particular brand. Not only is it “3X Stronger and Thicker” and “3X More Absorbent,” a “special picture design makes you feel delighted each time you use it.” And if you don’t mind overlooking social distancing directives, this stuff, “Makes your bathroom a fun place to visit when your friends visit.” We’re not too sure how thrilled our friends would be having us visit in the water closet while they’re visiting it, but it’s the thought that counts, right? And finally, “Cute Christmas print makes you feel holiday atmosphere.” Considering the shipping time, buy this stuff and you truly can have “Christmas in July!”
And to help us stay on a roll, follow this link to amazon, and you’ll help support RVtravel.com with every purchase!