Monday, October 11, 2010

"The Fear-Striking Terror of the Giant Soap"

I told you I’d be writing about this. Did anybody think I was kidding?

I am not permitted to write about Dr. M. She’s a psychologist, and there are confidentially concerns. But sometimes, I transgress, and I slip something in. Hopefully, her patients will be too self-absorbed to notice. Not that she told me you guys are self-absorbed; I’m just assuming. I mean, I’ve been in the therapy-patient seat a time or five. And I don’t remember talking much about other people.

Okay. Shower Soap.

Some people, they see the soap getting really small, and they break out another bar. Others – mentioning no names – will work that remaining sliver down so far, you can barely feel you’re holding it.

“Am I holding soap? No. Oh, wait. Something’s bubbling in my hand.”

I believe I will leave it at that.

A couple of days ago, I’m stepping into the shower. I reach over towards the soap dish, where I am suddenly confronted by this

Absolutely humongous bar of soap.

(The remaining sliver of old soap is barely visible, peeking out from under the Gargantuan newcomer.)

“Mr. Big Bar” is the color of maple walnut ice cream. And it’s got some flecks in it. They look like wood, but that can’t be right. Who puts pieces of wood in a bar of soap?

It’s probably something else.

I am standing under the shower, staring at this super-sized bar of soap, resting ominously in the soap dish. Imagine the biggest bar of soap you have ever seen in your life. This one is bigger. It is monstrously big. If it showed up at a playground, the children would scatter.

It’s heavy and it’s slippery. I am immediately afraid.

But before I go there, I would really like to know. Who decides the size of a bar of soap? Is there some kind of standardization? Or am I facing the product of government de-regulation, where “All bets are off”?

And while we’re at it, do the “soap people” have a way of controlling the “Slipperiness Factor”? Is it a matter of engineering? Something the manufacturer can order up?

“I want it ‘slidey’, but not ‘constantly popping out of your hand’!”

Let me know if you know about that.

In the meantime, I will return to my story.

I’m aware of the soap-size basics. Shower soap is big, hand soap, medium, and then, there are those tiny “Guest Soaps”, shaped like little roses, or something. Call them Useless Soaps. You rub your hands together, and they’re gone. But they’re decorative, and they sometimes smell like what they’re shaped like.

I have seen these “Guest Soaps” set out in our Guest Bathroom when we have parties. Three to a soap dish. And there’s still enough room for a good-sized nailbrush. End of the evening, the “Guest Soaps” have disappeared. Either melted away, or people take them home in their pockets, I don’t know.

Have I turned into Dave Barry?

Meanwhile, back in the shower, I am considering a bar of soap almost precisely the size and shape, and weight, of a brick. I am fully aware of the stakes involved. If I drop that bar of soap on my foot, I am definitely headed for the Emergency Room.

I have broken a bone in my foot before. I was working on Lateline in New York, and I twisted my foot in a pothole. Which reminds me, I need to sue the City of Manhattan. My chiropractor assured me it wasn’t broken, but further x-rays proved it was. Which reminds me, I need to sue my chiropractor.

They can’t do anything for a broken bone in your foot; they tell you you’ve got one, and they send you home. The problem is, a visit to the Emergency Room involves hours of waiting in an enclosed area filled with people so sick, they came straight to the hospital. It would not be difficult to pick something up in that place. Something really bad.

These thoughts percolate in my brain as I warily eye this gigantic bar of soap. I can almost feel my toes, begging me not to pick it up.

“There’s still some of that little soap left. You’re not that big. There’s enough there to wash you all over.”

Wishful thinking. You know how toes are when they’re feeling imperiled.

There is no way around it. It’s either pick the bar up, or smell like a guy who showered without using soap.

I take a long, deep breath. This could my last fracture-free moment. I want to savor it.

I reach for the soap. “Two hands for beginners”, as I was instructed in the outfield, just before an arcing fly ball passed through my outstretched arms on its way to the ground.

Showers are supposed to be relaxing. But how can you relax when you’re handling an anvil that happens, by its very nature, to be slippery? I practice the notorious “wide stance”, popularized in the airport bathrooms in Minneapolis-St. Paul. If the soap drops, it hits the tub. We can repair the crack in the porcelain later.

Finally, it is done, and I am happily shampooing. Despite being “giant sized”, the shampoo bottle feels substantially lighter than the soap.

Why was I put in the position of being seriously endangered by my shower soap? I have no idea. Maybe it was on sale: “Giant Soap – Shockingly Cheap.” The ingredients may have been attractive, and this was the only size they had. Maybe it’s from the “Big Hands Bath and Body Store.” Maybe it’s “Joke Soap.”

It’s a mystery. But I do know this.

I will not shower easy, till I’ve worn the thing down.


Andrew said...

Not to pick nits, but the "wide stance" was made famous in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (not St. Louis).

angel said...

Never laughed so hard!!!!!

Corinne said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Eh.

Gary said...

Very entertaining. Did you consider that Dr. M. is attempting to eliminate you, one broken bone at a time? Taxes, the uber rich not paying taxes...we cannot abide. Oversized soap? Bring it on!

PALGOLAK said...

It could well be that I wasn't raised properly, but I have *never* used soap in the shower.

I find shampoo does a good job for everything, so why use multiple cleaning products>