the state of things

 

A Fresh Start to the Day

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:57 on 16 March 2010

Mock the Week superstar Russell Howard bases much of his comedy on the fact that we're all too miserable, and that life is made up of a million small things that we ought to take pleasure in, but which generally we take for granted or allow to pass us by. For example, he mentions the small pleasure of walking down the street smelling of your new shower gel and feeling good about it.

 

Generally I like this philosophy, so as I stood in the shower this morning with my new shower gel, I thought, that's a good start to the day. And so I come to you now, from deep in the heart of the west country, smelling of bergamot and thyme.

 

I'm able to do this because yesterday in the Co-op I bought Cussons Imperial Leather Freshen Up, Refreshing Bergamot & Thyme Shower Gel. It was 100% extra free. The fact that they can do this just shows the level of mark-up they usually put on these things; but let's not quibble.

 

Freshen Up is an interesting lifestyle suggestion to put on a bottle of shower gel. Is there a shower gel that promises otherwise? Ming Even More with Imperial Leather Jockstrap & Pish Shower Gel. The use of the word refreshing directly underneath the words freshen up is dramatic overkill, and comes from the toothpaste line of advertising, where the words fresh and white and minty push each other out of the way in a desperate bid for prominence.

 

The bottle also promises on the front to be family kind. What's the implication of that? That there's a shower gel that kills kids. Stamp Out All Known Children With All-New Imperial Leather Napalm & White Phosphorous Shower Gel.

 

The back of the bottle, should you get this far - and I had time in the shower today, so I did - includes the top tip: Flip lid and pour shower product into hand... Since I've been struggling to open my bottles of shower gel with a hacksaw and a grenade for the last thirty years, I'm relieved at last to find out how to do it properly. This, it promises, will release the captivating fragrances. Well, I don't know what bergamot smells like, and I still don't. It's only recently, in fact, that I discovered that Bergamot was a herb and not a Swedish film director.

 

There are also a long list of ingredients, as if it was a food stuff. Perhaps there are men who, searching around the house for something to make their chicken dish a bit more exciting, whack in some herbal shower gel. The long list of ingredients, however, seems to contain neither bergamot nor thyme. (Not even in a Bergamot (0.5%) kind of way.) I guess when the marketing men were sitting round their table packaging their product, they probably decided to reject Cussons Imperial Leather Freshen Up, Refreshing Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde & CI 47005 flavour as unnworkable.

 

So, the day has begun, and unlike all you shabby people out there who washed with average and mundane shower gels, I'm feeling aromatic and revitalized - thanks to the Swedish film director - while my mind, body and spirit are refreshed thanks to the Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol. Should I meet Russell Howard on the street today - and to be honest, that's something that's never happened to either of us - I'll be sure to tell him and point him in the direction of the Co-Op.


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