As the snow falls on our little burgh and the Christmas tree is lit on the town square and we candy the oysters to leave for Santa when he visits our cozy cave, remember 'tis the season for another yuletide tradition to warm the cockles: the Charmin holiday restrooms in Times Square. Next door to what just last year was the Virgin Megastore and is today a gaping maw of unutilized commercial space in the center of New York's Disneyland Theme Park, the Charmin base camp employs blue and pink-decked elves of unusually perky demeanor given their holiday employment requires cheerfully inviting the teeming masses to come and void their bowels, with no expectation to void their pockets, for this is free like America.
Not only do the elves shuttle customers in and out of the free receptacles, but they clean up after the teeming, voiding masses. And they sure are happy to do it! Perhaps no-one is happier with his seasonal vocation than Charmin Guy. The most gregarious of Procter and Gamble's holiday charges is closing in on 2,000 frends on the Facebook. I am one of them, and can track how many happy customers tag him in their holiday photos. Here he is recording a testimonial behind the arras of a new feature for 2009, the Canfessional:
I attended this public bacchanal for the first time last Christmas.
Sadly, this year they have dispensed with the sleigh and have offered in its stead a photo op of more commercially appropriate but none-too-festive means:
These are the times that try men's duodena, but I'd like to hope that the out-of-work actors who make this a joyous and mostly hygienic season (it looks like somebody missed a spot on the floor of the receptacle I used monday afternoon) will take this experience off-off-Broadway and transform their economic suffering into avant-garde suffering. It can't be any worse than starring Willem Dafoe opposite a giant duck with stigmata.