The eccentricities of the Tissue Addict
A semi-serious – but realistic – glimpse into the life of those who have breakfast with… toast and tissue…
Imagine the man: handsome, say around 35 years old, smart, curious, brilliant. He can charm with his anecdotes and stories. He’s a career man. A likeable guy.
Now picture him at a family picnic. His sister-in-law has prepared sandwiches and paninis and his brother-in-law is barbecuing a selection of vegetables. Imagine the sun, the fresh air, children happily running around. Listen to the music in the background and see the smiles, the desire written on every face to spend a day in total relaxation.
Then the irreparable happens.
A scream slashes like a knife through this harmony and seems to magically press the “pause” button on the BoomBox-style stereo. Time stops in its tracks, the brother-in-law is left gaping, burning-hot BBQ poker in hand, the sister-in-law who was carrying a tray, freezes with one knee in mid-air in a strange sort of equilibrium, the ball thrown in the air by the nephew assumes a round-the-earth orbit. The wife, with her head in her hands, seems driven to despair.
Why the scream?
Simple: there’s a Tissue Addict in the family!
The Tissue Addict experiences everything that has to do with paper for domestic use as a part of his identity. And his social life, as can be inferred, often suffers…
When confronted by a product – any product – made of paper, he behaves like an art critic, alternating between extreme rapture and absolute disdain. The Tissue Addict has the corporate knowledge of an economist, the molecular knowledge of a chemist, the packaging expertise of an advertiser.
He shows some obsessive traits: meticulousness and the habit of never letting go, not even on a family picnic… And above all, witness the negative effects on his social relations.
The Tissue-Addict and socializing: goodbye family life
Back to the scream. Why did our 35-year-old destroy the harmony of that splendid day? Well, because… his eldest son (whom we’ll call Luigino), was about to sink his teeth into a sandwich wrapped in a type of paper that, in the opinion of our protagonist, was not at all suitable. Manufactured by a competitor – one of those companies that’s only interested in profits – it was of poor quality, not safe for foodstuffs and not very absorbent either.
And after the scream? The children are crying, the ball falls in a basket full of tomatoes, the wife is angry, the sister-in-law is offended (she’s the one who chose the paper for the sandwiches), and the brother-in-law is brandishing the BBQ poker. Divorce is in the air.
The Tissue-Addict and social life: the difficulty of “cleaning up” to recover healthy social relations
Once the marriage is over, he has to put himself back on track, making a big effort – first of all – to limit his tissue dependency and foster the relationship with his children. And so here is our hero on a Sunday outing with the kids. He has decided to take them to the mountains. They leave on an excursion that will turn out to be memorable and invigorating. Trekking will surely be a fun but at the same time profound experience that will allow our man to discover unexpected ways to stop “tissue” from pestering his mind (in a place full of trees, how could one possibly think of paper…?). All goes well until the return trip, when a fateful stopover in a highway cafeteria causes the worst relapse imaginable. Here’s the scene: sitting at a table with a piece of pizza each, a brief dip in concentration and… that paper napkin, so inviting, so soft, seems to call out to him… In just a few seconds, it’s all kicked off: the napkin’s fibers are studied against the light, then the dissection, strength test, absorbency test, an assessment of permeability to stains, an estimate of the weight per cm². Two hours later, with the children asleep out of sheer boredom and the manager of the cafeteria not sure whether to call an ambulance or ask for a leave of absence due to an impending nervous breakdown, a phone call from the ex-wife, furious, at home waiting for the kids. The result: a delay in the custody agreements for the children and total defeat in court.
The Tissue-Addict and social life: new loves on the horizon
Ok, families can break up and find a new way forward, but the need for love – for everyone involved – remains. Since, as we mentioned at the beginning of this story, our handsome 35-year-old (in the meantime turned 36) does not go unnoticed, fate has it that he is on a date. It’s evening, it’s warm, desire is in the air. A good wine does the rest and… When night falls, he’s at her place. She’s beautiful, enterprising, strong-willed. Our man breaks off from his romantic overtures for a minute and asks for the bathroom (a breath and underarm test is always a good precaution, he thinks), and that’s where everything falls apart.
To him, a never-seen-before roll of toilet paper is irresistible. The courtship (with the roll) begins as a tango for two, a sensual unraveling of sheets, an avid contemplation of the quality, an ecstatic admiration of the embossing and…
His date, eager to see romance blossom, and seeing him linger in the bathroom for what seems an eternity minutes and fearing a sudden illness, opens the door at the exact moment when our wretched hero is indulging in that most extreme Tissue-Addict behaviour: tasting the toilet paper.
Well, clearly the date’s over. And with cellulose stuck between his teeth to boot!
The Tissue-Addict: a misunderstood hero
No, don’t let yourself be deceived by this semi-serious tale of woe … The Tissue Addict’s social role is fundamental. He is a character who loves his job to the point where it becomes a mission. His meticulousness and enthusiasm, passion and sheer skill make him an invaluable asset for Tissue Valley as it focuses on making its products increasingly valuable, attractive and effective. If the paper we use becomes more beautiful and useful every day, we owe it also to all those Tissue Addicts out there who incessantly perfect what we call the user experience.
A person so much into household tissue paper that he’s happy to be defined as a pathological Tissue Addict.