Dear Proctor & Gamble;
While I sincerely doubt the story about Bounty paper towel that I"™m about to relate to you will ever make it into one of your marketing/advertising campaigns, I"™m certain that someone in your company will definitely get a chuckle out of this true story.
I"™ve used only Bounty paper towels for years now as I truly find them to be strong, durable and very absorbent. However, I"™d never envisioned them to be as "˜tough"™ as they proved to be in this recent, shall we say, "˜crappy"™ situation.
First, a bit of background.
Meet Max "“ our 2 year old Havenese/Shih Tzu mixed male fur-child. Max is an over-curious, spoiled rotten, "˜baby"™ who has a propensity to make the 5 second rule of anything dropping on the floor being edible look supremely stupid. He eats everything"¦ and I do mean EVERYTHING, that comes into his line of vision or near his superior sniffing skilled nose. His steel-trap teeth and muscles around his mouth require that the Jaws of Life need to be utilized to remove anything from his oral cavity if we deem what he"™s eating as inappropriate. To say we often fail to successfully remove what"™s in his mouth is a gross understatement, as both my husband and I are rather fond of our fingers and fear the loss of same. But I digress.
A couple of weeks ago, my hubby and I had just finished our dinner while watching the evening news. As he often does, hubby had grabbed a section of Bounty paper towel to use as a napkin while eating. We were both so engrossed in the program that we failed to pick up the used Bounty paper towel when we took our dishes to the kitchen. In what must have been no more than 4 minutes, we went back to the livingroom to finish the program, only to discover Max enthusiastically chewing on something while sitting on the couch. Uh oh, this spelled trouble. My hubby grabbed Max and held on to his mid-section while I set about prying apart those Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth of his to see what he was eating. When I finally managed to get his mouth open, I saw the last little piece of the Bounty paper towel disappearing down into his esophagus. Bam! Gone"¦ but not forgotten. You see, Max had to have surgery at our veterinarian (who is on speed dial by the way), a year prior due to an obstruction being found in his intestines. It turned out to be yards and yards of "˜string"™ he"™d consumed from chew-toys, all compressed into a small ball of indistinguishable content.Â So you can imagine my concern over Max swallowing a full half-sheet of Bounty in one gulp.
Then began the "˜wait until he poops"™ vigil.
Day one "“ nothing. Just your regular, average outside call of nature. However, day two brought on the "œBounty is Better" scenario.
Hubby had taken Max out to do his morning "˜constitutional"™ while I lay still comfy in our bed, snoozing off and on. From the back door, I heard my hubby holler, "œSweetie, I need your help!" so I knew something was up with one of the dogs. (We also have a 10 year old West Highland Terrier, Angel, who tolerates Max as SHE was here first!) Judging by the tone of his voice I knew one of the dogs most likely had a messy bum but what I saw when I reached the back door was truly astounding. There was my hubby crouched down beside Max who was in a half-sitting, half-standing position"¦ with something off-white protruding from his butt. The words "œOMG! Has he already gone for a # 2?" came flying out of my mouth as I stared in disbelief as what looked like the Bounty paper towel, hanging from Max"™s bum. "œYou won"™t believe this", said hubby, "œBut he"™s already gone"¦ and now there"™s this thing stuck there!" I grabbed another sheet of Bounty and gingerly started pulling on the protuberance to see if I could dislodge it intact. And upon removal, sure enough "“ there was the FULL sheet of Bounty that Max had eaten TWO days prior, still in one piece! No pieces were missing, no fibers had disintegrated "“ nothing!
I relayed this story to my vet who after hysterically laughing herself to the point of tears said that I had to write and tell you about this incident as it was just too amazing (and rather funny to boot!)
I can now say without a doubt that Bounty paper towels are definitely the strongest, most durable product on the market. Unfortunately, I can now also lay claim to the fact that I most likely have the world"™s only dog who has umm"¦ crapped AND wiped his butt simultaneously.
PS "“ Response received from P&G, Tuesday, July 30th, 2013.
Thanks for contacting P&G, Marlene!
We appreciate your interest in our products and the time you"™ve taken to share your feedback. While we"™re grateful for your efforts, we"™re unable to accept unsolicited advertising ideas or suggestions. We rely on our employees or the agencies we hire to create and handle our advertising. We hope you understand.
Thanks again for writing!
Warning: Before reading today"™s blog post, be aware that I"™m on a rant as I"™m tired of spending the past 6 days in deep freezer mode here on the East Coast. I most likely am vitamin D, C, A, Z deprived and any other compound in between that I"™m lacking from not feeling the sun"™s warmth!
So"¦ as I mentioned above, my neck of the woods has been experiencing colder than normal winter temperatures for the past 6 days due to a low pressure of Artic air that"™s stuck over the region. For example, when I dragged my sorry butt out of bed this morning, it was -34C with wind chill factored in (around -29F for those of you who don"™t use the Celsius system). Now that"™s a tad chilly by anyone"™s thermometer and since I don"™t own a fur coat (don"™t believe in them) by choice I"™ve stayed indoors, gazing at the bright sunshine that isn"™t providing a smidgen of warmth through the windows of my home. (I should add that my poor electric furnace is also getting a work-out and I"™m afraid that the wheel on the meter is spinning so fast that it"™s going to pop off its axis and slice through the glass casing!)
Anyhow, I digress from the point of this rant.
To try and combat the cold, 4 days ago I dug through my dresser drawers in search of some heavyweight winter tights that I have for just these occasions. In my childhood days, these were referred to as leotards, but in today"™s advanced fashion terms, tights seem to be the more acceptable term. However, there"™s one slight problem "“ I only have a couple of pairs of these winter wonders and this morning after my shower I discovered both were in the dirty clothes hamper. Uh oh"¦
But wait! After a little digging through aforementioned dresser drawer, I found a brand spanking new pair of "˜patterned"™ tights just waiting to be unwrapped from their hermitically sealed plastic covering. I vaguely remember buying them last spring at an end of winter clearance event and had never put them to use, but today was going to be the day they saw the light. (Or darkness under my jeans to be more precise.)
Now the following description may be too vivid for some people to handle, so if you"™ve no sense of humour, stop reading here.
I unfolded the beautiful jacquard patterned black tights, easing them lovingly over my toes and then rolling them up my thighs"¦ and that"™s when the elastic hit the fan. These totally posh tights STOPPED an inch short of my umm nether region! I started pulling with all my might but nope, they weren"™t budging. By this time I"™m sweating from the exertion of trying to haul up the now obnoxious pair of too-tight tights and I"™m ready for my second shower of the day.
In a fit of rage, I grab the package to see what possible size these thigh huggers are and there on the label lies the culprit: ONE SIZE FITS ALL.
Okay. Who the BLEEP is "˜One"™ and how come HER measurements are used as a gauge for the rest of us? Â One isn"™t even a prime number for heaven"™s sake! I remember from the movie The Matrix that "˜Neo"™ was determined to be The One, and frankly at this point of trying to get these stupid tights on, I was going to need a miracle of futuristic proportions in order to get them on my body!
I say we outlaw the ONE SIZE FITS ALL labelling of garments because it never does. Same goes with hats. That label equates to them being either too small or too big on me and I"™ve yet to find sweaters that fit perfectly bearing that tag as well.
Let"™s start a movement, ladies, to get this stupid "˜no size"™ label off clothing now! How about we get rid of it and create "˜MIGHT FIT"™ or "˜NO WAY HONEY"™ labels instead? They might be a tad more accurate and at least not give one false hope that the garment may cover whatever body part it"™s meant for.
I did manage to scrounge another older much worn pair of tights from another drawer which fit just fine. But get this: the tag on this pair says "˜Large "“ Tall."™ I"™m 5"™ 3" (and that"™s pushing it) so perhaps the labelling on what constitutes tall is a tad off as well.
So, what"™s the moral of this story? Don"™t buy anything labelled ONE SIZE FITS ALL unless you"™re 110% positive that you"™re the "˜one"™ who was directly involved in the construction of said garment. Either that or just take your chances and be ready for an extra workout in the morning trying to get the @#*! on J
Stay warm everyone!
I know. Strange title for a blog post but after you read the remainder of the story, you"™ll know why I"™ve chosen thisÂ as the introductory line.
I suspect if you were to take a poll of 100 business owners, all of them can pinpoint the main reason why they took the plunge into entrepreneurialism. I also know that being their own "˜boss"™ would most likely rank in the top 5 answers to that question. For me, my entrepreneur ideas took root when I was 8 years old, literally and figuratively.
I was born and raised in an 18 room farmhouse situated on 200 acres (more or less) of relatively fertile ground, located in a fairly remote rural area of New Brunswick, alongside the coastline of the Northumberland Strait. My father was a self-employed business man, who held down 2 demanding jobs: that of being an owner of his own front-end loader/backhoe during the day, and in all the hours before 8:00 am and after 5:00 pm, he toiled at his true love, that of farming.
As most of the people in the area did, we too, grew our own vegetables and harvested them for winter. The trouble was my Dad thought that a Â½ acre of garden simply wasn"™t enough to feed our huge family (including myself, there were only 4 of us children), so therefore a second Â½ acre or more was ploughed, seeded and tended which grew only potatoes, turnip and cabbage. For those of you who"™ve never tended gardens of that size, let me assure you that it takes a LOT of hoeing, weeding, tilling etc. to maintain something of that size.
Over the years, people from nearby towns constructed cottages along the beautiful coastline and my older brother had started what we called the "˜vegetable route"™ supplying the "˜cottagers"™ with fresh vegetables once they came into season.
The summer I turned 8, my brother decided he was too old to be doing this piddly work and passed the baton down to me. My father sat me down at the end of June and said, "œI"™ll make you a deal. If you take over the cottage route, I"™ll split the money we make with you at the end of August." Well, to an 8 year old girl, in 1965, the promise of actual dollar bills seemed like a tremendous idea, so we shook hands and a deal was struck. All the monies collected were to be deposited in an old tobacco can which sat at the back of the sideboard in the kitchen and divided just before school started in September.
I still didn"™t have a bicycle yet (although I should add I"™d started nagging my parents 2 years prior for one!), so twice a week I"™d either walk the 2 mile route, knock on the cottager"™s doors, smile and ask, "œDo you need any vegetables this week?" and proceed to rattle off what offerings were available, or on the odd occasion my Mum would drive me in our family car. I"™d write down their orders in a tiny coil-bound flip-top book, move on to the next cottage and repeat the process. When the last cottage was duly asked for an order, I"™d walk back home and then my mother and I would tally up how many bunches of carrots, beets, radishes, pounds of peas, beans, or potatoes etc. we"™d need to pick, wash, and pack to deliver later that day.
I should also mention here that a "˜bunch"™ of carrots consisted of 12 firm, bright orange beauties, all nicely washed and tied with a piece of left-over baler twine, which sold for the princely sum of $.25/per bunch. (Yes, I"™m that old!)
The hazy days of summer quickly passed and the garden once again yielded a wonderful crop. I cannot tell you how many trips I made down the cottager"™s route; the tons of weeds I pulled from those rows of vegetables; the mosquito bites I received from pushing through the thorny raspberry bushes in search of the bigger, more tastier morsels, or how happy I was to hand a brown paper bag full of produce to the respective buyers and say, "œThat comes to $ 1.85 please" and run home to stash the cash into the tobacco can.
Cooler days rolled in and September 1st arrived. Dad decided that the Saturday night before Labour Day was to be the big reveal and division of funds. I could hardly wait.
With both of us sitting at the sturdy weathered farmhouse kitchen table, he dumped the contents of the tobacco can and started counting. After 20 minutes or so, we had the grand sum of"¦ $ 60.00 (give or take a few pennies). Woo hoo! I would get $ 30.00 for working the entire summer!
And that"™s when I learned my first lesson in entrepreneurship from my Dad.
He looked at me and said: "œBefore we split this money, the first $20.00 is mine because I paid for the seeds, fertilizer, and gas for the tractor and tiller." "œWhat do you mean, Dad? You"™re taking more money than me!", I defiantly said.Â He smiled and replied, "œRemember, little girl. Being in business costs money, and you can"™t make money if you don"™t spend money."
In the end I took my precious $20.00 or so and stashed it away in my empty Cherry Blossom candy bar box that served as my piggy bank from whence I carefully doled out a dime here or a quarter then which was spent on trips to the general store to buy penny candy on Saturday nights.
I continued to do the summer cottage vegetable route until I was 15 and got my first "˜real"™ job washing dishes and peeling produce at a new restaurant/gas bar that had opened the summer of 1972 about a mile from my home. I then passed the vegetable route on to my youngest brother who was around 8 at the time"¦ and HE had a bike! (Lucky kid!)
That meager paying, labor intensive summer job lit a spark deep inside me and I knew that at some point in my life I would become an entrepreneur. In April of 2006 I finally opened my existing wordsmith business.
No, I don"™t keep my money in an empty candy bar box today, but I do pay my bills on time and try and put aside a smidgen for "˜rainy days."™
And I still tend to a teeny vegetable garden just because:-)
Fresh tomatoes from my garden Sept. 2012
I woke up this morning to bright, beautiful sunshine flooding my bedroom through the slats of my window blind. This is the second day in a row where I experienced this wonderful phenomenon after a week that brought more snow, (blech!) and cold temperatures to my little corner of the east coast of Canada. At this point, any warmth or semblance thereof brings me comfort as I am not a winter person by any stretch of the imagination.Â
After breakfast, my hubby and I decided to go run a few errands. Even though the temperature still was in the minus Celsius range, we could feel the warmth of that wonderful sunshine beaming through the windshield. Both of us commented on how great it was to be alive on such a glorious morning. And the day just got better and better.Â
Upon arriving back at the house, we took our little Westie, Angel, outside to do her "˜business"™ and I ventured around to the front of the house to marvel at how the snow was gently melting around the basement footing.Â
And that"™s when I saw it – a tiny sprig of greenery popping through the thawing ground, yet still surrounded by snow banks. Whether it was a tulip or hyacinth daring to show its face to the world, I couldn"™t be sure, but it was the first sign that spring is on its way to my region. Then this amazing thought popped into my head: sometimes a flower isn"™t just a flower!
Somewhere this past winter, especially after seeing only grey-filled skies and snow-laden clouds for so many months, I had lost the wonderment of life, and of how precious even a smidgen of warmth can warm the soul and lift the spirit.Â
I found my "˜joy"™ again this morning. The struggles of repurposing my business after suffering disappointment after disillusionment this past January melted away, just as the snow surrounding the little budding flower was slowly receding.Â
So, if that amazing budding greenery can dare to show its tenacity and bravery to show up well before spring is even official in these parts, then I too, can persevere and emerge victorious through my really minor trials and tribulations.Â
Sometimes a flower isn"™t just a flower "“ it"™s a sign that beauty and joy can be a part of your life"¦ if you"™ll just stick around long enough to see them.
Look out world. I’m back!