Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Royal Tenenbears:
An Examination of the Charmin Bear Family

I fantasize about the origin of the Charmin bear family. In this fantasy, the benevolent creator of the Charmin bear family is a 28-year-old tattooed copywriter with a spacer earring and a lush beard. His name is Thrush. The words of Thrush’s accounts person reverberate in his skull, right under his asymmetrical hair: “No little pieces left behind. The client really wants to make that clear”. No little pieces of Charmin will get caught in your barnacles of ass hair. A delightful, family-friendly message. Thrush sits in a pub at a large oak table, drinking pitchers of white wine sangria and masticating onion rings until his chin glimmers with grease. His art director, Dante, discovers him and cocks his head in concern. Dante slips his arm under Thrush’s armpit and bears the weight of his malnourished, translucent body on his shoulder. “Is it time to go home?” Thrush whimpers. “Does a bear shit in the woods?” Dante answers.


And thus the Charmin bear family was born.

The Charmin website introduces the toilet paper-consuming public to the complex and nuanced personalities of the Charmin bears.

Patriarch Leonard’s favourite food is “fresh salmon flown from Seattle”, a stinging indictment of the state of our wild salmon reserves. His favourite activity isn’t even a verb, which illuminates how bears fall through the cracks of our spread-thin school system.

His wife, Molly, dislikes “finding an empty Charmin roll”, symbolic of the emptiness that comes from a lifetime of domestic servitude.

The oldest son Bill’s best quality is “teaching his younger brother and sister about the ways of the woods” which can only be a euphemism for “the birds and the bees”, which of course is a euphemism for “fucking”. A small-time lothario, “Trouble” is also the middle name he gives to all his accidental children whose mothers he does not marry.

Plagued with an astigmatism that wouldn’t have survived natural selection in pre-anthropomorphic bears, Dylan is the “insightful artist of the bunch”, as evidenced by this magnum opus: http://ca.charmin.com/en_cn/pages/charmin_popup.html. Dylan innocently wiggles his piece-free butt, blissfully ignorant of his species’ tragic history of dancing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_bear

Lastly, there is Amy, whose life goal is “to be kind to animals”, which suggests a troubling lack of self-awareness.

Like many before him, Thrush has created a complex portrait of a modern American family, struggling to get by on one roll of Charmin toilet paper.  When times are tough, the Charmin bear family must, like any family, celebrate their blessings—in this case, how clean their butts are. 

This post courtesy of 3rd year CABA, Diana Bailey

1 comment: