Sizing in Crisis!

This is an pretty old post from my blog, which has been preserved in case its content is of any interest. You might want to go back to the homepage to see some more recent stuff.

It’s always confused me a little how, in most take-away pizza joints, the smallest size is ‘Medium’. Surely, by definition, it is not? Maybe it’s some sort of cultural adversity to buying a ‘small’ anything, but then surely they would call the smallest one ‘small’ to coerce people into buying larger and more expensive pizzas?

Anyway, the most impressive taking of the biscuit belongs to Charmin toilet paper – now called Cushelle, presumably as a stealth marketing effort once chavs start naming their daughters after it. The available pack sizes are XL and XXL. Nary a Large in sight. But why, you ask? The reason is obvious, if you merely horrifically misapply mathematics.

My first assumption is that their pack sizes increase exponentially, as with volume of pizza. So if XXL is 12 rolls, and XL is 8 rolls, L would be… 5.333 – clearly that’s not the way it works.

So we must assume an arithmetic progression, giving that the missing Large size would be 4 rolls, the Medium 0 rolls, and the Small –4 rolls.

Suddenly, it all starts to make sense. There is no Small size of Charmin toilet paper packs simply because they can’t afford to pay their staff to come to your house and steal four rolls of toilet paper every time you buy a Small pack.

The strange thing about all of this is that I’m sober. Perhaps it’s time to rectify this anomaly?


Actually, you may be right on the geometric progression. If a Large pack is 5.333 rolls, a medium 3.556 rolls and small 2.370, that would certainly explain why they only have XL and XXL packs: because those are the smallest sizes that contain a whole number of rolls.

Kirsty March 12 April 2010

Although perhaps this explains the phenomenon where you seem to have run out of toilet paper so soon after buying it....Charmin ninjas.It all makes sense now.

Anthony March 12 April 2010

Wonder how long it will take for there to be little cushelles running around and what they might choose to call it next. Have to say I had not noticed that. I think that actually it would be medium which be the worst value. After all with small you can try and catch the toilet paper ninjas and sell them back to the company.

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