Q: Hi, Matt! Why is it that every time I open a brand new box of facial tissues, I pull out two or three tissues at once? I only want one at a time. Why can't the manufacturers fix this problem? — Egin68, the Net
Our new Web site is almost ready for launch. “America’s Most Touchy.” Mug shots and rap sheets of those with aggravation thresholds so low it’s a wonder they can leave the house in the morning. The site will also have links to a data base of time-consuming hobbies and volunteer opportunities and a chat room, “The Digital Grouch.” Why the Alice staff is a magnet for every sorehead with a gripe and a modem is a question we’ll tackle later.
If I get your drift, Egin, you’re talking about some boxes of tissue where the top one is scrunched-looking and sort of stuck to the one beneath it, so, fanatic that you are, you have to separate them into two unattached squares. It’s likely a by-product of the folding-cutting-packing process, say a couple of tissue makers. Once the cellulose “wadding” is manufactured, it’s spooled into big rolls, which go to machinery that in one continuous operation folds and cuts the sheets, packs them into boxes, and packs the boxes into shipping cartons. (The secret to interleaved, pop-up tissues? Multiple rolls of wadding feeding into a single folder-cutter.) Somewhere during the boxing-up process, pressure applied to the top of each stack of tissues makes some rougher kinds stick together. Considering that the product goes from tree to truck with virtually no human intervention, no one’s likely to muck with the system. They won’t fix it because, as far as they’re concerned, it ain’t broke. And, of course, no manufacturer would admit to selling stuck-together tissues in the first place.