Old Blog – Issues with Tissues

First written February 2010. Rated R.

Last week I jumped on the illness bandwagon and got me a common cold. They’re all the rage – everyone’s wearing the puffy eyes and red nose look.

I’ve suffered many an illness in my time, and being the fastidious hoarder that I am my drawers were already stuffed to the gills with pills and potions and placebos to banish most ailments. My medicine cupboard was full, but my nose was running like a bear was after it, and I was out of tissues. Now the average man would have used toilet paper, but like the true average man, I’d just about run out of that as well. After a quick root through all my pockets for old scrunched up bits of soft paper proved fruitless, I realised I’d have to brave the outside world and buy something.

Determined to knock this disease on the head, I wrapped up warm and shuffled into a well-known chain of chemists, which also does a spectacular Meal Deal offer. I don’t know why I’m being so coy; it was Boots. Figuring I’d kill two birds with one stone, I grabbed lunch as I passed, selecting a smoothie and a fruit bar, in order to fool other customers into thinking I ate this healthily all the time, the gullible fools…

I then spent what must have been a good five minutes wandering around the shop looking for the desired tissues. Being an aforementioned bloke, I was not accustomed to the layout of shops that sell things like make-up, and was also not going to ask for admit defeat and directions if I could help it. I wandered up and down each aisle in sequence, perusing, browsing and ultimately wasting precious minutes of a finite and rapidly passing lifetime.

I found myself towards the back of the shop in the section that deals with the sexual items and other downstairs departments.1 From here, I had a good view of the rest of the store, and was also well placed to hear some steady reggae rhythms being emitted by a nearby speaker. I bobbed my stuffy, gloopy head in time, and shortly spotted a convenient, obvious and truly massive sign saying ‘TISSUES’.

Here I had a quandry. Many of the tissues appeared to be scented, or laced with something (chloroform for all I know) and encased in exquisitely flowery boxes. Already out of my depth in a sea of beauty products, some innate male foolishness in me decided I needed to overcompensate. Anything feminine looking was immediately written off, and I selected a big black box; the one that looked most like a sports car. There was even a pattern to suggest carbon fibre.

Suspicious Package

My Suspicious Package

Not content with this however, I also picked up an also-needed pack of razor blades for my invisible, cactus-like facial hair. I contemplated a packet of prophylactics, but no-one would be coming near me in my condition, and in any case, I am well versed on forgoing the need for contraception, as I spend almost every evening working myself into unconsciousness instead of going out and meeting girls. That word was working. Go back and read it again.

At this point, dear reader, you may be giving up hope on this ramble ever becoming amusing, and instead writing it off as a glorified shopping list, and you’d be right to think that, because it is dull, but it’s about to pay off; I wouldn’t let you down like that.


I approached the cashier, and handed my selections over to the pretty young thing behind the till. As she beeped them through, I reviewed my soon-to-be purchases. Sandwiches, good. Apple and banana smoothie, healthy. Fruit and nut bar, doubly so. Razor blades, with no actual razor – odd, but unremarkable. Tissues. I caught a look in her eye as she scanned them. To my horror I noticed they were ‘man-sized’. ‘Man-sized,’ as in ‘for filthy business’.

My mind raced. What must she be thinking? What had she seen me do? I had entered the shop, wandered up and down the aisles suspiciously, as if I was trying to find something, stopped near the sexual lubricant, NODDED TO MYSELF, THEN GONE STRAIGHT FOR THE MAN-SIZE TISSUES. God knows what she thought the razors were for AS I CLEARLY DIDN’T HAVE A BEARD. Maybe she thought I was into auto-erotic-asphyxiation or other branches of onanistic self-harm, or maybe – yes, that must be it – I was so disgusted at myself and the hideous wanking monster I had obviously become I was going to tug my way through this box of tissues, climb into the bath and end it all.

I opened my mouth to say something. I thought about telling her how ‘I spend almost every evening working myself into unconsciousness instead of going out and meeting girls,’ and rejected it immediately, because it would only prove her false assumptions. I thought about arguing that if I – or anyone else – was planning a lengthy stint of unmentionable activity, surely I would have taken an item from the lubricant aisle I spent so long standing and nodding in. I though about arguing that if I was going give my bucket a good kicking surely I wouldn’t have opted for such a healthy last meal, and then explaining to her how much I would have preferred the steak and onion crinkle crisps, but didn’t want people to think badly of me. I even thought about saying ‘WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME!?’ but that might have caused a scene. God forbid.

Then I realised I had a panicked look in my eyes and illness-begotten clammy, pallid skin. The look of a chain-masturbator who’d been caught.

I looked the girl straight in the eye and did a very loud and deliberate snort. There was no doubt to her, the other checkout girls, the nearby security guard and the rest of the queue that I had a runny nose. I shoved a tissue up it and left the shop with head held high.

Whale Tissues from Etsy

Why can’t all boxes be as friendly as this guy? Via GnomeSweetGnome on Etsy.

1 Not to be confused with the downstairs department of the shop, which sold hair-care products, electric straighteners and those funny plastic jellyfish skin things ladies put on their heads in the shower.


20 thoughts on “Old Blog – Issues with Tissues

  1. Pingback: A Bit of Admin #2 – Old Blogs/New Tricks | Anxiety & Biscuits

  2. But just think of how much you gave the young woman to talk about with her friends. In fact, you still may be the story she banters around at social gatherings…

    • Well it was two years ago, so if she is still telling it, it’s old news.
      ‘Did I tell you about the guy who came in and bought the razors and wank tissues?’
      ‘For God’s sake Jess, change the bloody record! Get a new anecdote! Surely there are other interesting things happening in Boots!’

      At least it brought a bit of joy to someone’s world, although I’m not sure how I feel about a group of girls discussing what I might do with tissues. (He says, after posting a blog describing in intense detail said uses for the world to see.)

  3. Shows how much action I get…my thoughts immediately went like this, “man-size…hmmm, because men blow their nose harder than woman and have more snot? Makes sense,” instead of to anything sexual.

    So to that end, I suppose man-size is fun-size! Or lonely-size, or proudly independent-size, or my girlfriend is a prude-size, depending on how you look at it….

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen “man-size” Kleenex. Perhaps that’s a little too risque for Canada…though I could be wrong…why would I ever keep an eye out for such a thing? “Here (hypothetical) honey, I bought you some tissues!”

    • Lonely-sized is probably the most accurate. There are probably two types of men who would buy those tissues, one would do it with the utmost shame, and the other would not care in the slightest, and slap them down on the counter with a titty mag and some baby oil. I’m not sure that there are many ‘proudly independent’ men like there are women, it’s not really part of our ‘thing’. A proudly independent man is promiscuous, not a chain-masturbator.

      There’s probably a whole bunch of things that you (and I) are ignorant of, respectively. Did you know, for example, that condoms expire? This is not an issue for proper men. Or that men NEVER compare or discuss their junk? Maybe we can help each other out; I can tell you all about our shameful gentleman’s business and you can tell me how to take bras off from the front.

  4. Thank you for giving me quite the epic chuckle :). And that smiley face directly at the end of that first sentence looks oddly like the smiley face made of 10 pixels in the middle of the very bottom of the page. Maybe they’re related? Who knows. Not I.

    • Why thank you. I’ve never had an epic chuckle before! My next goal is a hearty guffaw. I find the little fella at the bottom of every page to be slightly sinister; just lurking, waiting for you to finish reading before popping out with a little smirk. There has to be some ulterior motives there…

      • Is he scheming to claim the throne? Shall he attempt to re-form the Holy Roman Empire? Did he merely eat a sandwich and feel justly satisfied? We may never know…

      • Maybe he is planning global domination? Maybe he is planning on re-uniting the Holy Roman Empire for nothing more than the lulz? Maybe he recently finished a sandwich and feels merely satisfied? We may never know….

      • Perhaps it’s the digital manifestation of the Cheshire Cat, lurking and causing mischief, playing havoc with the interwebs. And trolling.

  5. Pingback: Meet theVERYsinglegirl « Reader's Choice

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