Earlier this week, I bicycled home on a afternoon with temperatures in the upper 80s. That's warm. I take time to adapt to increasing temperatures - which is a polite way of saying I sweat copiously. It will be worse in July and August. Regardless, by the time I arrived at the house, I was fairly stinky. A quick shower was essential.
I tossed my sweaty cycling clothes into the basket, stepped into the shower, and recoiled in horror. We were out of man soap. A pretty little bar of lady soap sat in its place, wafting a flowery aroma and offering to gently exfoliate my skin (whatever that is) while making it satiny soft and 'fresh.' It had little bits of oatmeal. I desperately looked for a crucifix to protect myself from the demonic thing.
Wrapped in a bath towel, I went off in search of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.
"We're out of soap," I said.
"No," she replied, "there's a bar of soap in the shower stall."
"We're out of man soap. I won't use that smelly stuff."
"I'll put Irish Spring on the shopping list," she said.
That's almost as bad as lady soap. It doesn't smell like springtime in Ireland. There are no comely lasses. No leprechauns. No prancing unicorns. I've been to Ireland and it doesn't smell anything like that soap. It smells like cold winter seawater from the North Atlantic, with an undercurrent of stale cigarette smoke and people in wet woolen clothing packed elbow-to-elbow inside a pub on a Sunday night. Oh, and Guinness. Lots of Guinness. I'll bet the marketing people would throw their hands up in despair if they tried to make soap that smelled like that.
Man soap shouldn't smell like anything remotely related to flowers. It shouldn't offer lemony freshness. In fact, using it should hurt. The box would admonish you to use the product, and afterward if you're in pain, well, just go walk it off. Be a man not a whiny, fresh-smelling sissy boy.
I kept all these thoughts to myself, of course. I didn't want her to think I'd spent all my time inside a pub.
"If you don't want to use my soap," she said, "Jordan has some body wash in his bathroom."
This is the stuff that's advertised to young men, touting its babe attracting quality. "I can't use that! Those super models will try to kidnap me again! I'm tired of being treated as a mere sex object!"
She-Who-etc. just rolled her eyes and went back to reading a magazine.
I slunk off to the bathroom. Under the sink, I found a forgotten sliver of some un-nameable white soap. It didn't smell like anything at all and there were no wholesome bits of oatmeal to be seen.
Labels: bicycling humor