(originally posted 8/30/2013. a bit too smarmy, even for me)
Hurling great chunks of hardware into the depths of space is all well and good, but do you think we can get a bit of the ol’ know-how to work on problems a little closer to home? Every few weeks I go through the same guilt dance and it’s getting old. I can’t believe I’m the only one. Standing there in the shower holding a tiny piece of soap that is far too small to be of any use in the task of removing dirt and sweat from an adult-sized body but too big to throw away without feeling a terrible pang in the conscience department, knowing that somewhere in Africa there is a small child who smells.
The folks at the soap factory don’t care. It’s easy as pie to keep cranking out these little oval bars with no thought to their final lathery days on the job. Sure, coming freshly out of the wrapper it’s all fun and games. People don’t give it a second thought to grab it and thrust it into every stinking cranny on their person. It’s only in the twilight hours of their sudsy compatriot’s lifespan where they have to pay special attention to it lest it break in two or slip from their grasp and instantly become attached to the slippery shower floor with a fervor usually reserved for lost lovers.
It’s at those times, hunched over in the shower trying to scrape up enough of the disintegrating soap to finish the task, that I curse our space program and the leaps we as a species are making in the fields of technology and instead wish with all my heart that the same men and women responsible for these breakthroughs had instead turned their attention to the problem with soap.
Especially when the fix seems so easy.
Just have a small plastic pellet inside each bar of soap so after a certain amount of time there is no soap but until that time there is soap at the ready to wash things off properly.
Every last drop of soap would be put to good use and when it’s done you simply chuck the pellet into the trash and retrieve another new bar.
The pellet is completely recyclable, of course. What’s the point of alleviating guilt over wasting soap when there are the aforementioned smelly African children, only to imagine towering piles of plastic pellets choking wildlife, blocking up the scenery, and steadfastly refusing to biodegrade?
You have to think these things all the way through.
You don’t see scientists launching great hunks of hardware into space with the next stop Mars, only to slap their hands across their foreheads, just as the machinery have left the atmosphere, and say “did anyone remember to put film in the camera?”
The point being, if the entire endeavor is to find a way around feeling guilty then it is a complete bust if you trade one form of guilt for another. The pellet at the center of the soap must be recyclable or the whole thing is an exercise in futility. If it weren’t for guilt, I would cram the tiny piece of soap down the shower drain when it became unwieldy and be done with it. It’s only my good nature that stops me from pursuing this course of action and instead has me donning the ol’ thinking cap and coming up with a solution myself, because clearly the other great minds on the planet are too busy playing around with interplanetary travel and shrinking the size of portable televisions and such.
As long as I’m brainstorming here, why not fill the little pellet with something that could make the shower experience that much more enjoyable? I know most people fear getting soap in their eyes as they wash their face; why not have a little LSD in the center pellet so that in the unlikely event a little soap does get in their eyes it will have a little kick to it? Sure there might be a little burning involved, but afterwards you’ll find them slumped in the corner of the bathroom muttering “the colors, look at the colors in this towel.”
Mental note: make sure not to have any overly-decorative towels on hand. A Finding Nemo towel could have them screaming uncontrollably.
“Shark! Shark! Shark! Shark! Shark! Shark!”
Perhaps LSD-filled soap isn’t such a hot idea.
But I still stand behind the concept of the soap pellet 100%.