Isn't it funny how things we thought we'd long forgotten can come rising to the surface of our consciousness like bubbles rising from an ocean trench? Of course, if we want to get more accurate about it, we can think of our memory bank as a giant computer hard drive that hasn't been defragmented in decades that will occasionally throw out some random bit of information that can either make us go "WTF? Why in the hell would I remember that?" or erupt into gales of laughter at a moment's notice, making us thankful for our brain's tendency to resemble dirty velcro. How many metaphors and similes can I fit into a single paragraph? That's another blog for another day.
Anyway, the latter happened to me just now and I had to write about it, if only to see how it looks in print. If you're reading it now, I was satisfied with it.
Growing up with my dad was probably my favorite part of growing up; although, I think it would be fair to say that I didn't really "grow up" when I was around him, because we both had a tendency to act like children. Still do, in fact. Except we have added beer to the equation. No matter. My dad fucking cracks me up. I may be the only person on the planet who gets his subtle, dry-as-driftwood sense of humor, but I feel without it, I wouldn't be nearly as witty as I am today. And that's saying something, because I don't consider myself terribly witty. So thanks, dad, for bestowing upon me the ability to wax hilarity, even on a meager scale such as mine.
So, this morning I was inspecting my toilet paper. Don't ask why. It should be obvious. Oh my god, yes, I use the bathroom! Anyway, I usually like the really soft stuff. Who doesn't, right? Well, in a rare fit of non-spendthriftiness (again, it's a word) recently, I picked up the giant pack of Scott tissue instead of my preferred Kleenex or Charmin because it was available at a MAD discount. Like, 50 rolls for $11 or something. I'd never used Scott, but I figured it couldn't be all THAT bad, right? Well, maybe if your lady parts are made of granite, you might not mind it all that much. Mine are more delicate, and they were offended by Scott tissue's tendency to resemble medium-grit sandpaper.
Then a memory of grocery shopping with my dad suddenly rose to the forefront of my mind. It was something I hadn't thought of in almost twenty years. I'm remembering my dad picking off the shelf a pack of generic brand toilet paper and holding it up to me saying: "Allison, this is John Wayne toilet paper."
Now, I could read by this point, and I didn't see John Wayne written anywhere on that stuff. I also didn't see John Wayne's face, because see, I was raised properly enough to know who John Wayne was at that young age. So I said, "Why is it called that?"
And he said: "Because it's rough, it's tough, and it don't take shit offa nothin'."
20 years later, I have learned that this is a pretty old joke, but in the ears of an 8-year-old, this was the funniest goddamn thing I'd ever heard.
So after that, everything that I would see in the store as generic would be "John Wayne" brand. Store brand dish soap was "John Wayne Dishsoap." There was also "John Wayne Peanut Butter" or "John Wayne Frozen Green Beans." You name it. If it wasn't a major brand, it was John Wayne. It was one of those things that was added to our arsenal of inside jokes that cracked us up, and would bewilder my mother.
Damn, I love that man. My dad, not John Wayne.