ComfortWipe, We Hardly Knew Ye

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Last week, the Internet was transfixed by a product called the ComfortWipe, an eighteen-inch plastic gripping tool that promised to be the long-awaited solution to those who could not, out of infirmity, obesity, or just plain disinclination, wipe their own asses using the time-tested method of hand and toilet paper. The satisfied ComfortWipe users in the commercial — a feisty blonde grandma with a New Jersey accent, a self-professed Big Guy, and others — were convincing in their ardor: This was a product the world wanted. Nay, needed. It was the first innovation in toilet-paper technology in 100 years! It was specially designed to "follow the contours of your body." It was like a Snuggie for the bathroom! We couldn't wait to order one, so that we could assign Tim Murphy the task of trying it out. But alas: "I'm sorry to tell you that the product has been discontinued," a spokeswoman for Telebrands, the New Jersey–based company informed us. What's worse, the ComfortWipe never even got a chance to be. The commercial was merely a test run to gauge interest in the product, and despite its cult success, the product "was never brought to market and it was never sold," said the spokeswoman. She added, somewhat matter-of-factly, "Telebrands tests hundreds of products every year, the majority of which fail." This gives us some small comfort. With that kind of track record, the perfect ass-wiper could still be on the horizon.