I consider myself a fairly intelligent man. And, in keeping with the stereotypes of my Jewish faith, I am always on the lookout for a bargain. So it is with considerable chagrin that I confess to constantly feeling stymied whenever I need to purchase paper towels.
I'll be damned if I can figure out the best deal. I mean, I'm sure buying a single roll would be a bad idea--and, the way we go through paper towel at Solipsist Central, a virtual waste of time. When buying in bulk, though, I just can't do the math. Of course, I always look for generic brands first. But is a six-roll pack of "Jumbo" Bounty towels on sale for, say, $7.98, a better value than an 8-pack of "Large" no-name towels for $7.29? And now, the bastards have complicated things even further by introducing "adjustable" towels: So instead of automatically tearing off a "standard" size sheet every time you need to wipe up your grape juice, you can opt for a sheet one- or two-thirds the size! Is this a better value or worse? I suspect people conscientiously tear off a one-third piece, thinking that will be enough, only to discover that they actually need a full sheet--which they then tear off, thus using one and one-third sheets?!? Where does it end?
Yes, I know the trick lies in looking at the length of the roll, printed on the packaging, and then doing the multiplication to figure out how many total feet of paper-towel each package contains, but who has time for that? I'm an English teacher, for God's sake, not some Lawrence Livermore egghead!
Don't even get me started on toilet paper.