Have a Happy Period.

Monday, March 05, 2007

An Open Letter to James Thatcher, Brand Manager, Proctor and Gamble

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core™ or Dri-Weave™ absorbency, I’d probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I’d certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can’t tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there’s a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from “the curse”? I’m guessing you haven’t. Well, my “time of the month” is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I’ll be transformed into what my husband likes to call “an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.” Isn’t the human body amazing?

As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you’ve no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers’ monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it’s a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend’s testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey’s Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: “Have a Happy Period.”

Are you fucking kidding me?

What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you’re some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything “happy” about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlúa and lock yourself in your house just so you don’t march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something that’s actually pertinent, like “Put Down the Hammer” or “Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong”? Or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that’s a promise I will keep. Always.


Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX

Catch up with Wendi on her blog.

World’s Largest Penis

“Jonah Falcon is a 38-year-old New Yorker who is doing his best to become a serious actor and filmmaker.”

With a height of 5’9″, an average build and a youthful face, you’d be forgiven for walking right past him. However, it’s unlikely that you would…your eyes would probably be drawn to the rather large bulge in his crotch area.

You see, Jonah is the holder of the title ‘World’s Largest Penis‘ – as shown on HBO’s Private Dicks: Men Exposed at 13.5 inches.

Apparently it’s proportionally thick too.

The attention Falcon really craves, however, is as an actor. And up to this point, much of his work has been as an uncredited extra.

If you watch The Sopranos episode in which Paulie finds out that his mother is really his aunt, you’ll see him as a hospital orderly. This is work that’s called “paying your dues.” Falcon has been a juror on Law & Order (and it must have been a hung jury). He was a mental patient in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind and a barfly on Ed.

His scene from Sex and the City was cut, but how could Samantha not have dated him?

“I’ve had bigger roles in indie films,” he tells me, “the kind that don’t get listed on IMDB.”

“Porn?” I ask him.

“Of course not,” he tells me. “I’m a SAG actor. If I did porn, nobody would take me seriously. Nobody. And Nobody would care about the size of my penis.”


“Because porn actors all lie about the size of their penis,” he says. “I’ve been measured on TV.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

The price of Weed…

Dear Economist: Why is a bag of weed always $10 (man)?

By Tim Harford

Published: September 4 2010

I have been a client of weed dealers in North America since the mid-1980s and no matter who the vendor, the price has remained $10 a gramme. I don’t think anything in 25 years has stayed fixed in price like weed has.

Dealers might have some power to increase prices, as it’s illegal, and there are some significant barriers to entry, such as getting arrested. But if I don’t like the prices, it’s pretty easy to grow some on my own, because it “grows like a weed”, even if it might not be as good as the dealer’s Cannabis sativa.

So how did we end up at $10 a gramme?


P.S. I meant to email this sooner, but was pretty baked and forgot to hit send …

Dear Sebastian,

The nominal price rigidity you describe is remarkable and unusual. If the price of weed had increased in line with US consumer price inflation, you’d be paying $20–$25 a gramme now. So I agree, it is a puzzle.

My guess is that the illegality of the market gives a push towards the price stickiness you have encountered. Buying and selling cannabis is hazardous and there must be a benefit to a situation where nobody haggles over the price.

Still, the nominal price wouldn’t stick like that unless supply and demand were at least roughly in balance at $10 a gramme. And I confess, I am perplexed. My own research, which has been purely academic, suggests that prices vary between £20 and £250 an ounce in the UK, roughly £1 to £10 a gramme. Since the price stability you describe is not matched in other markets, could it be purely fortuitous?

Whatever the reason, this could be a handy discovery. In hyperinflationary times, people turn to tobacco or coffee as more stable currencies. If quantitative easing gets out of hand, you have found a stable currency for the 21st century.

Questions to economist@ft.com

Now THAT ^ is tolerance of all and sundry. 😉