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Jon de Vos: Please, baby, don’t send me to the store

Americans are doggone regular people. We run our cars on regular gas, drink regular-sized diet Cokes and pony up to the bar growling, “I’ll have my regular.” We eat our cereal from regular-sized boxes and wash our clothes with boxes of regular-sized detergent. What are irregular sizes? Why don’t we have an extraordinary size? Who decided we’d be stuck with Giant and Family sizes? Does Clark Kent super-size his lunch? Heinz brought out a catsup in a “Tribe Size” that caused them so much heartburn that they scalped their ad agency.

Have you bought laundry soap lately?

A guy standing in the middle of the soap aisle hopping on one leg, scratching his ribs with both hands, is becoming too familiar a sight. The best way to buy laundry soap, of course, is to back up the Costco loading dock and have ’em dump in a big one and forget about it for a couple of years. Guys who buy laundry soap in the local supermarket are probably there under protest, wearing a scowl and clenching a list.



Brighter than bright? How can that be? Even hyperbole should have limits. How do you get whiter than white? Isn’t color-safe bleach against the Law of Definitions?

What’s the other 56/100’s if this soap is only 99 and 44/100’s percent pure? Plain old Average White just doesn’t seem to be around anymore. Should my clothes smell Outdoor Fresh as opposed to Indoor Stinky? I’ve smelled lots of outdoors that didn’t exactly smell fresh. Would the odor of Startled Skunk qualify as Outdoor Fresh?



How does one choose between Clothesline Fresh and Sunshine Fresh? What exactly is Sunrinse Fresh and how does it differ from April Fresh? Hey, everybody, sniff my undies. They smell April Fresh! I guess that means that somebody out there smells November Stale. That would be nobody I’d hang with. Stronger than dirt? Yes! A capital idea.

Manufacturers think people who do laundry are illiterate dolts. Most detergents have names with four letters or less. There’s the old standby, Tide, but you’ll also find Zest, Era, Ajax, Surf, All, Ecos, Save, Win, Joy, Dial, Suds, Wisk, Kess, SA8, Toni, Bolt, Juzo, Fab, Gain and Bold. Cheer, with five letters must be the detergent of geniuses. Concentrate? Damn right you have to. No two products are the same size, making price comparisons impossible, so let’s compare features. Grease Fighting? Advanced Action? Dermatologist Tested? Stain Cleansing Protein? Extra Cleaning Magic. That’s what this world needs, magical powder. In the 1970’s, magic powder could get you a three to five-year vacation.

Buying toilet paper is like buying tires. You have to decide if you want one, two or three plies. If only it stopped there. Do you want it quilted? Perhaps the Easy Start

Roll runs more to your taste. You cannot pick out toilet paper based on price. No two manufacturers make the same size roll for the express purpose of fooling you. The only reason I can think of that you would want to know the total square footage of a roll of toilet paper is if you wanted to wallpaper your house with a lovely floral design.

Is an eight-pack of 315 square foot rolls comparable to a nine-pack of 137.5 square foot rolls? How about a six-pack of 288 square foot rolls versus four rolls of 550 square feet? Einstein’s dead, and Steven Hawking is not going to take your call.

Marry. If for no other reason than to have a woman to shop for you.

They handle the stress like a breeze. A spring breeze.


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