Friday, June 06, 2008

Wet And Wildly Exciting

These days, a shower for me is a brief affair (not even an affair really - more of a quickie behind the photocopier) which allows me to wash myself, or shampoo, or condition my hair, but never all these things at once.

The shower ends when a small brown toddler appears on the other side of the shower door and shrieks for me to give him breakfast/milk/Charlie and Lola dvd/books.

Sometimes, as a variation, the father of the small brown toddler will also appear and try to drag the toddler away and this will result in tears. Mostly I try to put my head under the shower to block the noise but this is not always successful and then usually the hot water runs out.

Still, if the father has already taken the small brown toddler and his cousins to school/childcare then I may have a slightly larger window for showering.

And that's how I read this on the back of our new shampoo bottle:

Wildly Exciting Is Our Normal

I quickly checked that my husband hadn't made a mistake while shopping and accidently selected the shampoo made with real Bourbon or fragranced with crystal meth. But no, it was the same old chamomile and passion flower combination that we usually get - out of laziness rather than any real herbal preference.

I felt a wave of concern. Why did my shampoo need to be Exciting? Let alone Wildly?

I wanted to warn my shampoo that it was playing a dangerous game, that it was ok for Normal to be well...normal. Sometimes, Wildly Exciting is just another term for 'irritating discharge'.

Because time was not pressing and my shower was still hot, I read on, intrigued, to find I also had a rather coy invitation to "enter a world of botannical bliss."

There was nothing on the bottle about whether I had to snort, inject or simply meditate on my shampoo to achieve such bliss but once there I would find my shampoo "embracing like a meadow of fresh flowers.."

At first this freaked me out a little bit, the thought of that embracing meadow with all those tiny green stalky hands but then I thought: I'm never going to go to one of those swinger clubs - apart from anything else I find it hard to stay awake past ten o'clock- so this could be a good substitute.

And, then, as if all this were not Wildly Exciting enough, the shampoo would also take my hair "to a place it's never been before."

Rome, hopefully.

What have I got to lose, I thought. Bring on the bliss. The whole experience, the bottle promised, would leave me "deeply quenched".

I think truthfully my quenching of late has been feeling a bit, well, shallow.

I had put this down to an unpleasant but inevitable side effect of childbirth but now I realise it must have been the old shampoo.

The old shampoo was neither Wild nor Exciting and the bottle said nothing about orgies in flowery fields but it did ask me: "Does your hair have a mind of its own?"

My original answer to this was 'no', until I started getting emails from my server saying I had been downloading too much over the month and would I like to pay more for a 'top up.'
I then realised my hair had been surfing the net while everyone was asleep and downloading pictures of naked scalps and rom-com screenplays from Drew's Script-o-rama.

The shallowly quenching shampoo also claimed to be able to tame "rebellious" hair.

I had only just that day had a slapping fight with my ponytail over Saturday night curfews which ended with me uttering a few sharp words and my ponytail telling me to go fuck myself.

It had been the promise of discipline but the scent of real fruit that sucked me in that time. Half a bottle of old shampoo still remained on the shelf in the shower.

Etiquette says that one uses up the old bottle before scrabbling for the new but surely in this case I could make an exception. After all, it wasn't about whether I was going to have clean hair or not, it was a choice between botannical bliss and mentally autonomous hair follicles.

I watched, vaguely aware that the shower was rapidly going cold, as my slender fingers wavered hesitantly, this way and that, over the top of each lid.

Not unlike an embracing meadow of wildly exciting camomile stalks, I decided.


Anonymous said...

I loved this post! I've always found shampoo commercials to be somewhat amusing, if not ridiculous in what they promise - so this was hugely funny :)

Lin said...

I remember when Clairol Herbal Essences embraced the whole concept of sex and clean hair and began running their 'climax' commercial on TV. It was the most horrible thing in the world to watch with one's 12 year old son. I remember cringeing as my boy asked the first time we saw it together, "What happened...[and then]...oh." But being my boy, he then said, did she really just go wash her hair in the toilet of a 747? How did she manage that?

Yep, V, you captured the idiocy that can exist in advertising just perfectly. That boy of mine is now a copywriter for a big ad agency in NY. To his credit, he has yet to hype the sexuality of any cleaning product.

Penelope Farmer said...

Hey OG - haven't been keeping up much for reasons you know - and what pleasure when I do come back: 4 new delicious posts and lots about my favourite 2 (almost 2?) year old. Will never view my herbal shampoo the same way again - (not that its effects are meant for the aged ...but never mind.)xx

Mima said...

I want some of your amazing shampoo, sounds as if it would take me to some wonderful and impossible places - mine is really dull, it is only good for dandruff!! (It does do that though!!)

Anonymous said...

My hair is never as shiny as the girls in the Pant*ne commercial.

I should write a letter & complain.

Anonymous said...

what would happen if you mixed the shampoos together?! INTENSE!

brilliant post, as always.

Mony said...

Ha! Can you believe the BS on some products? My conditioner has "Caring Oils" Aw.
My all time favourite was a Libra pad...they covered the sticky part with paper covered in trivia! Everytime I had my period I would be furious that someone thought I'd like to know that "You can't lick your elbows" Or that "Polar Bears are colour blind"

Anonymous said...

I read this entry out loud to Beth and we were both in hysterics on the floor. Then we paused and thought that maybe we needed more shampoo in our lives and that that is our whole problem.

Anonymous said...

Actually I feel sure that we all need more shampoo in our lives, even the bald ones.But Cal...mix shampoos? You crossed the line my friend...