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Move Over, Shamwow And Snuggie

Now I've seen it all.

In the "Building a Better Mousetrap" file, we have The Comfort Wipe, "the first improvement in toilet paper as we know it since the 1880s". The video on the website pretty much says it all--hands free bodily functions! The Comfort Wipe is a "sanitary paper arm extension and holder", basically a contoured 18-inch arm that you put t.p. on and then...use. You then press a button to dispense with the toilet paper in such a way that you "never touch another dirty toilet tissue", because "toilet paper is really archaic and disgusting". I guess some people really don't like to squeeze the Charmin.

The Comfort Wipe costs $19.99, but the company is also throwing in a free "Get a Grip", which may be my 2009 Best Name for a Product.

What's most amazing and amusing is that the company behind the product, TeleBrands, found actors to do the commercial. I mean, all legal work is honorable, right? I was just at Central Casting today for a story you'll see later this week, and applications to be extras in TV shows and movies are up more than 10 percent because of the economy. I used to wonder how Pfizer found actors willing to star in Viagra ads, men forced to cheerfully discuss their erectile dysfunction, knowing their buddies would never let them live it down, even if they're only acting. But where did TeleBrands find actors willing, for a fee, to say The Comfort Wipe changed their lives? Like who's the "big guy" who says being a big guy has its advantages..."and disadvantages". Ok, this sets the bar very high for TMI.

Joshua McIntire of Examiner.com in Los Angeles says The Comfort Wipe could be "a Snuggie killer" in terms of cringe-worthiness. However, he points out that it seems to take a long time to use this new-fangled technology compared to good old fashioned...hands. For one thing, you have to fold the toilet paper before putting it on The Comfort Wipe. "The demo of the 'ejection' function seems not to work on take one. Watch closely, there's a cut there," he says. But what really gets to McIntire is the fact that The Comfort Wipe is "as easy to use as a shower brush". McIntire responds, "Nothing beats comparing your shower brush to the stick you use to wipe your rear. I'm SOLD!"

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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