Howard Hughes Nation

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Memo to America: THERE'S STILL GERMS EVERYWHERE.

It seems to me to be appropriate, on this Official Day Of Fear in the Official Country Of Fear, to discuss with you all your collective, stupid obsession with microscopic genocide.

I don't know what the deal is, honestly. Why there's a multi-billion dollar industry in stripping every last bit of biological residue from our lives. A never-ending parade of bleach, wipes, pads, and other chemical-laden disposable things, all designed to create the impression that life cannot survive anywhere near our stuff.

Not that cleanliness isn't good. Not that hygiene isn't important. Not that you shouldn't wipe the crud off your counters. But when TV runs ads portraying freshly washed bedsheets as a primordial ooze of dread "body soil", then reason and rationality have lost sway, and we've all given over to our inner Howard Hughes, seeing magnified, animated germs crawling over every surface.

We can't possibly keep a mop around, after all. IT TOUCHED DIRT. Much better to have a pad that touches the dirt, and then we can throw away the pad, and it's like the dirt never existed. Same with sponges. And then we can go to the store and buy a whole new pack of fresh, clean, little pads, all in sealed plastic wrappers so you know they're safe and clean.

And heaven forbid we keep a toilet brush around. That thing scrubbed POOP at one point. The antiquated toilet brush is a lurking time bomb of microdung that could go off at any moment, burying us in a sea of our own waste. Best to flush a bleach-laden scrubber-pad into the collective water supply, that way we never have to think about poop, ever.

And speaking of never thinking about poop, ever, I'd like to extend a hearty FUCK YOU to Charmin, who seeks to bring the same insecurity about "clean ENOUGH" to our collective anuses that Clorox has successfully brought to our sinks, tables, and babies. They've introduced "Charmin FreshMates", essentially premoistened baby wipes for adult bungholes. Complete with bears, chosen for their unspoken "shits in the woods" cultural connotation, singing a little jingle. The purpose of which is to make you, in your home, with your run of the mill two-ply quilted asswipery, feel like you are even more filthy than an animal, because your fundament has not met with the power of the FreshMate.

The web page for these things reads like the OCD entry in the DSM IV, for fuck's sake. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"What could be better than clean? A cleaner clean! Designed with you in mind, Charmin® Fresh Mates are flushable, premoistened adult wipes that offer a cleaner clean than dry alone. And with the Charmin FreshWash™ gentle cleanser, Charmin Fresh Mates are perfect for everyday use. Use Charmin Fresh Mates—along with your regular Charmin bath tissue—to achieve the ultimate freshness."

The ULTIMATE FRESHNESS. We make fun of the French and their bidets, yet we manage to invent disposable bidets that come in handy refill packs. We didn't learn a damn thing from those ads in the 20's that advised women to douche with Lysol, did we. Oh, we laugh at them now, as we shove whatever the hell FreshWash is up our asses, the irony lost on us completely.

Plus, they're available in blue AND white packaging to match your bathroom decor! Your ass can be cleaner than the inside of an autoclave, and all without fucking up your Feng Shui. Now shut up and listen to the singing bears, you filthy-assed heathen.

Of course, it's all bullshit. As we learned a couple of weeks ago when the FDA, taking it's one annual break from being the tool of religious extremists and corporate overlords, announced that those wonderful "anti-bacterial" soaps we've been sold for the past few years not only aren't better than regular soap, but may in fact be contributing to microbial resistance. In other words, the harder you try to sterilize your life, the more pissed off the three germs you didn't kill are. I just hope when the superbugs wipe out half the population, it's the half of you that don't believe in evolution that end up bleeding out your fucking eyeballs.

At the end of the day, as much as you hate to admit it, you are a walking, steaming, grunting pile of biological functions, and rely for your very existence on lesser lumps of protoplasm. I'm not saying this gives you carte blanche to smear your own shit on the living room walls. Or anyone else's shit, for that matter. But you all need to realize that there's not only such a thing as "clean enough", there may very well be such a thing as TOO CLEAN.

So take the tissue boxes off your feet, go back to regular old toilet paper and sponges, and shut the fuck up. And while you're at it, get me a rug made from those singing bears.

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