Saturday, December 1, 2012

a little bit of soap

The holiday shopping season is upon us. I'm sure your email is jammed daily with offers and specials from online retailers that you have done business with throughout the year. Maybe even some from whom you have never made a purchase. I have received solicitations from Amazon, Zappos, Accessory Geeks (from whom I returned both of the only purchases I made), Utrecht (an art supply store) and countless others.

Sometime during this past summer, I. bought a box of Keurig K-cups from Bed Bath and Beyond's online store. Since then, I have received a 20% online coupon from Triple B in my email every week. Every week! When summer became fall, the emails from BB&B came every day, gearing me up for my holiday shopping. I was getting ads and offers every single day! EVERY SINGLE DAY! But yesterday's email topped them all.

Yesterday morning, I received this email from The BedBathers (click on the photo for a larger version):

 The subject line reads: "A simple approach to hand washing." I stared at the subject line for a moment or two and I thought to myself, "When I open this email, it better be a picture of a fucking bar of soap." So, I gave it a single mouse-click and the Bed Bath and Beyond email popped open to reveal this contraption (click on the photo for a larger version):

Not quite a bar of soap, is it? So, already, the claim of "a simple approach to hand washing" has become a misnomer. Instead, I am looking at what appears to be a Keurig coffee brewer for your hands. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that this thing is a liquid soap dispenser. Now, I have seen liquid soap dispensers in the supermarket and at the drug store. They are squat plastic bottles with a spring-loaded pump screwed on to the top and they run about four bucks. Some of the more elaborate ones, featuring mystery cleansing ingredients like jojoba, aloe and antibacterial benzhyrdotriglyceride emollients, are priced slightly higher. But, this sleek chrome baby that Bed Bath and Beyond is offering me as an exclusive member of their elite email-only group will only set me back $44.99. Oh, and refills for this piece of sanitizing equipment are a mere $6.99 each. 

The "simple approach" seems to be in the fact that it is "motion activated" thus making hand washing "easy and fun." (as stated in the accompanying description). I wash my hands regularly. Not in an obsessive/compulsive sort-of way, but I do wash my hands. The thought of how much fun I was having while doing so never entered my mind. And the ease?  Well, the act never really lasted that long to have considered what a tedious or hectic chore it may have been. 

Guess what, Bed Bath and Beyond? A formula for soap was discovered written on a Babylonian clay tablet dating from around 2200 BC. I can buy ten bath-size bars of Ivory Soap for five bucks. And, squishing that 99.44% pure white cake through my fingers is as much fun as I need when I'm sprucing up my dirty hands.

Stick to selling sheets and towels. Unless the "beyond" refers to your thought patterns.

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