Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reading Labels

The male problem of shampoo. Am I the only one to feel this way?

Note, my toilette experience has been needlessly complicated over the years by the fact that shampoo is a great mystery to me. Yes.

First, you have three choices: shampoo, shampoo/conditioner, conditioner. I don't know what conditioner is and don't care to know. I want to wash the grease out of my hair, that is it. I am a folically-challenged middle aged man. I just need a grease-cutter. Me needing conditioner is like this guy needing a bronzer (whatever that is) or a new cape:

Thus, I see several bottles surrounding me as I bathe. But I don't know which one to choose.

Second, well, you'd think it'd be a simple matter of pulling out that skill I gained when I was quite young: reading. However, have you ever noticed, that of all the things on the shampoo bottle, telling you that it is shampoo is, apparently, of a lower priority than telling you various other things. Let me give an example. The bottle of Dove in my shower informs me that it offers "Damage Protection 24hr," that it is "Damage Solutions," it is "Beautiful Care," that it has "Fibre Actives," that it "helps protect from daily wear," and it is "Advanced Care and Repair." Sandwiched within all of this is the non-nondescript word, no bigger than any of the other words that appear on that bottle, and in fact smaller than some of them:  "shampoo." Keep in mind that I have perfect peepers and that I read all the time. But I stare at this bottle each day trying to find that one key word, "Shampoo." Sometimes it takes what seems ages. How much water have a wasted looking for this one word.

Third, how does this spin out in the supermarket? Do women just have a six-sense about bottles? I know that they are arranged on the shelf in an meaningful manner. I know because I have done the same thing I do in the shower in the grocery aisle.

Americans might have little sympathy since they don't have the added complication of the French. But as every Canadian can tell you, French for shampoo is shampooing. But can you find that word first thing in the morning, as you stand semi-conscious in the shower?

Think about this. How do you first know what kind of a thing a thing is anyway? Imagine you came from some Third World Country that was not raised by Proctor and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft or Neslte? What would you think of this:

or this?

or this?

or this?

none of these products actually tell you what they are, at least not in any way that is obvious!

And this one, if you look carefully you will discover it. But would you know what those yellow things are supposed to be if you hadn't been raised on them?

The state of things such as they are, I hope you don't find yourself in another country trying to figure out what this is:

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