Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Soft as Angels

If you tend to be squeamish at all you might not want to read today’s blog.

Yesterday, I had one of those moments of clarity that, I believe, are the foundations of wisdom.

Here it is: Richer, smarter people probably make fewer biological excursions (go to the toilet) than poorer, less-smart people.

If you haven’t run screaming from the room…let me explain. Yesterday, I had an occasion to visit a Fresh Market in Chapel Hill in search of toilet paper. An investment property I’m involved in needed some TP and Fresh Market was the closest place to find it.

I’m not a regular patron so I asked a young woman at the checkout for directions, “Aisle three,” she said.

As I walked through the aisles in the direction she pointed I saw a wonderful selection of fresh vegetables, tubs of nuts, about 13 kinds of designer salsa, and more hummus than I knew existed.

Now, I have to tell you, you’ve got to be pretty smart to visit Fresh Market ‘cause, unlike most markets, there are no big signs above the aisles to tell you where things are located.

When I reached the area where I believed aisle three would be I stood at the end of the aisle, looked down it, and couldn’t see any shelves of TP like I would see in Food Lion, Lowes Foods, or Harris Teeter. So I started walking up and down the aisle.

Now, I have to confess that I have attended a number of outstanding institutions of higher learning and possess two degrees. I consider myself reasonably well-read, and actually make a good living teaching people how to think better. But, as my wife keeps reminding me when I misplace something, "sometimes you just have to look down." So I did.

And there it was. Fresh Market sells one type of toilet paper, Angel Soft. And it comes in a little four-pack. Unlike Food Lion, where you have 9 types of TP, including the kind you used in elementary school, the kind with the wood chips in it, and they have the packs with 130 rolls, Fresh Market has one brand…4 rolls.

My misguided logic would be that if you own a grocery store that has rows and rows of fresh vegetables and fruit and nuts…roughage, 19 kinds of hummus up-to-and-including prime rib (OK, I didn't actually see prime rib hummus, but from what I could tell, it might exist), and 13 brands of salsa, you’d have more than one brand of TP, with only 4 rolls in it.

I guess they know their customer, though. Fresh Market's profile for a customer trends toward higher income and educational levels than Food Lion and some of the other markets. So, maybe I was out of place.

But, at least the brand is Angel Soft.

And, yes, it really is.

No comments:

Post a Comment