kidattypewriter

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Big poo sham

I went to the supermarket to get shampoo today. Why is that every time I go to get shampoo to shampoo my hair, I can't just get ordinary shampoo? There's shampoo that is redolent of the rose, and shampoo that leaves my hair blushing and tinctured with a faint odour of a Bavarian forest in the morn, and shampoo that leaves my hair with the bounce of a new-born fawn, and shampoo that is like a field of hollyhock, clover, and jonquils newly bloomed. Some shampoos trumpet their chemical virtues, insisting that they contain carbolic acid (that nourishes!), and hydraulic acid (from the roots to the tips!), or diesel (encouraging new, stronger, virile and masculine hair!) Others are made from all natural ingredients: the tears of a duck, freshly wept, and rubbed across the cheeks of a blushing Navaho babe, before being gently dissolved through the new-plucked hairs of a mountain goats gonads (for instance). Then, as if to go one better, there are the shampoos that trumpet their environmental virtues. This bottle is kind to the whales, another saves rainforests, a third nourishes the soil in fringe desert communities (though it's not clear whether all this happens before, after, or during the shampoo is in your hair. Maybe it doesn't do your hair at all.) And this is not to mention at all the line of budget shampoos, the shampoos which 'get in, do the job, and get out, fast!', shampoos with names like 'Wham' and 'Slam' and 'Clam', punctuated liberally with exclamation marks and barcodes and made of essence of cardboard. (They leave a cute little barcode tattooed neatly across your hair after you have showered.)

I tell you, the collective malodour of unguents and chemicals and horse dung and commerce rising from the supermarket shelf would have been enough on their own to give me a massive stomach ache. Thankfully, I'd anticipated this and already earlier in the day from a late lunch, but it was a close one, Jeeves, a very close one.

And while we're at it, on a completely unrelated subject, what happened to the old magazine stand at Flinders Street Station? Time was a discerning traveller could collect a copy of The Spectator or the New Yorker or an interesting new science magazine from it. Nowadays, all that's gone, and all you have is a load of crap, neatly filed away under helpful meaningless titles such as Untertainment, General Disinterest, and Weakly Publications.

I ask you, what is this world coming to?

23 comments:

proserpine said...

It's very pleasing to hear that gender equality has reached the field of shampoo marketing, but, really, you could still save yourself all the bother by washing your hair with soap (I believe Old Spice-scented soap is the norm).

Don't know about the magazines, but there used to be a fabulous bookshop in a basement across from the station too (very impressive poetry section, pleased me very much when I was in Melbourne as a young 'un), but I think it's long gone now.

TimT said...

Nope, it's still there. There's two, in fact, if you count Sticky Comix, a kind of zine distro that never seems to be open.

proserpine said...

God, I must be going mad! I've been there twice in the intervening years and thought "Yes, it shut down". How can I miss a whole building?

And they had multiple copies of Augusta Webster!

alexis said...

I'll give you a dollar if you don't wash your hair for a year.

TimT said...

I'm not sure whether that investment would offer a sufficient return for my efforts. What's the going price of unwashed hair on the markets lately? Must check the Financial Times. I think a little competition between my investors could be healthy.

alexis said...

There's no effort required; you simply eschew shampoo. I have it on good authority that hair starts self-cleansing after a matter of weeks (six). A dollar. Take it or leave it.

proserpine said...

It would be only fair, Alexis, if you undertook the challenge together! I'll give a dollar to whoever develops dreadlocks first (I experimented with not washing my hair as a teenager, so I don't need to enter the fray).

If you think shampoo is confusing, Tim, you should try purchasing make-up, particularly the foundations. You stand before all those bizarre displays absolutely gobsmacked.

alexis said...

You make a good point, Persephone. I'll see what I can do. It is already sixteen days since I washed my hair, and no sign of dreadlocks (but it is very short ... maybe if I let it get a bit shaggier, I could dreadlockify).

persephone (perhaps that's better?) said...

Now I feel guilty! Perhaps I could do something in return- grow my toe nails? Do remember that shower hats must be employed, since any wetting of the hair = surreptitious washing.

Sixteen days! Must be one of the little-known benefits of fine hair.

alexis said...

No, I just have low cleanliness standards. But as for not wetting it? No can do. A gel's got to swim, after all, and I haven't done the head above water thing since I was three and terrified of drowning.

TimT said...

One thing worries me about dreadlocks: what if I had to call the dreadlocksmith? That's something to dread, all right.

Maria said...

I'm still terrified of drowning. Are there many who embrace the concept, who think "Oh, drowning - nup, I'm cool with that."

The reason I get my hair wet in a swimming pool is because both my swim cap falls off and even if I try to keep my head above water, I'm not a good enough doggy paddler to do it with skill, let alone style. Somehow I happen to go down for a duck, even if I try not to. Let the paddling go to the dogs, I say.

proserpine said...

Well, I still think it's the fine hair that lets you get away with it! All hell would break lose if I attempted something similar. Every so often (when I can't get a brush through anymore), I have to have my hair "thinned out", so you can imagine the potential for nesting creatures.

And I'm afraid of drowning, too, which is why I can't snorkel. I almost always dog paddle.

alexis said...

My fear of drowning was superseded by a fear of lobsters, so much so that I had to keep my eyes underwater and on the look-out. True. Every word is true.

TimT said...

Underwater lobsters are meek and gentle creatures. It's the rare savage flying lobster that you've got to look out for.

TimT said...

Though admittedly the flying lobsters are much more populous in Europe than here.

Still, there's always drop bears.

proserpine said...

A friend of mine at school was so afraid of fish that she had to have the pages in books taped together if there were any pictures of fish. Were you at that level of neurosis? And did this extend to crabs, crayfish, Balmain bugs?

I love nothing more than walking through the fish market and looking at the textures of things.

proserpine said...

Indeed, yabbies would have been a more logical foe!

(My semi-brother-in-law cooks a fine yabbie).

alexis said...

Are you talking to me, Perse? If you are, (1) no, we had yabbies at home, so wasn't worried about them at all (though at my sixth birthday party, my brother [then aged 15] terrorised my friends by sticking live yabbies on their heads), nor was I concerned about little crabs - just lobsters; (2) the fish market is a warehouse of mass-murdered sea animals, so my interest in those animals' skins is tempered by my sense that I'm surrounded by the carcasses of creatures who were suffocated to death on an industrial scale. But, yes, the fishies are very pretty.

percy (but sadly not bysshe) said...

Sorry, should have been clearer about my addressee. Sounds like you have a wonderful brother. What a shame I was bereft of brothers to do that sort of thing to me! I just have to settle for watching M do the like to his sister (similar age gap).

Feel somewhat mournful that I will never be able to invite you to the fish markets to eat oysters and prawns in the park across the road with a nice bottle of wine, but I certainly support your dedication to the principle. When I was a child vegetarian, my parents told me that fish don't have any feelings (and chickens, apparently, don't either), so I didn't go the whole hog.

Dysthymiac said...

Oh you are so right - and the very worst offender is Garnier Fructis - I shudder to think what the synthetic scent of that one is. The bottles are napalm-green so that's a clue.
Most shampoos contain salicylates - the stuff that makes them froth and bubble.

Shampoos for babies do not contain them ... becaue they are evil poison and should be avoided.

try buying baby shampoo.

St John Nottlesby said...

A bit late, I know, somewhat after the sham (or otherwise) horse has bolted (only to poo mightily, and foamily, I might add, behind the stables), but I have an amusing anecdote:

A friend of mine's a doctor, a real MEDICAL doctor, mark you. And he recounted, after a couple of glasses of especially drinkable Port, the following:

'Twas when he was still a student, and part of his schooling was a good stint in the emergency room. During which time he removed all manner of things from more places than one can imagine. All the while maintaining the gravitas befitting the Modern Medical Man. Anyway, one night a chap turned up, somewhat awkwardly in a taxicab, with a shampoo bottle more or less successfully lodged in his rectum. My friend, let's call him Dr Wilkinson-Sword, set to at once to first extricate the chap from the hire car, and thence to remove said cleaning product from it's inappropriate, and entirely unworthy, holster. During the course of the removal, certain medical relaxants were administered to the hapless (albeit amateur) sodomite, resulting in, as my friend put it, far more than sham poo being released.

Charming, I know.

TimT said...

Thanks, Dysth. Garnier Fructis sounds mildly profane, which may be the point.

Notts, this Doctor friend of yours who kept on removing all manner of things from all manner of bodily nooks, crannies, apertures, and what-nots - did he keep them afterwards?

He could build up a kind of 'library'; a wunderkammer, if you will, for the edification and delight of the goodly citizens of Australia!

Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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