Sex, Soap, and Andy Rooney


I saw a very funny screenshot yesterday. It was apparently a comment on a message board about ketogenic diets (i.e., essentially, low-carb, high-fat) from a woman whose humor and language made me think she was a Brit, or possibly Aussie. It was cheeky.

And explicit, as it had to do with a really, really dumb question (which was the point of the screenshot, from a science popularizer) about possibly getting extra carbs from lubricant. You know. Lube. That kind.

And it was funny, in a Darwin Award way, although the questioner didn’t really appear stupid to me, just silly and asking a dumb question. I wasn’t shocked by the personal, explicit nature of it, either. I don’t care if people want to be public about their sex lives. I’m probably not interested, but I can’t work up any offense.

But I can’t bring myself to post the image here, just because it feels like TMI and it’s kind of gross in a funny way. People use lubricant for all sorts of reasons. Some of their reasons might not be my reasons. I keep my eye on the culture and I’m aware that what I rightly viewed as the sexually liberated era of my youth (i.e., the 1970s) feels quaint and kind of dull in comparison to those crazy kids. You do you.

I think of that as a funny reaction on my part, but that’s small beer compared to a phrase that caught my attention, which I’m also not going to post or quote directly, because, again, ewww. This woman was discussing the reason she was using the dreaded carb-loading lube, which was, apparently (she used a bunch of fascinating euphemisms), because she was having her menstrual period and good old-fashioned intercourse was off the table. I’m not sure a table was involved but I really don’t know.

Anyway, she mentioned that she’d decided to swap out *redacted sexual activity* Week for *same* Week, which is why she needed the lubrication, and my first thought was YOU HAVE NAMES FOR WEEKS?

But I’m 60 now. Comes with the territory. Lather up.


This is what’s on my mind, though. Years ago, I saw an episode of 60 Minutes in which Andy Rooney did one of his video essays at the end. Back in the day.

In this one, Rooney was musing on the soap in his shower, how he loved a new bar of soap with the carved letters, and how the shower head always seemed to be arranged to hit the soap holder and thus wear down the bar quickly. Andy said (and this is the part I remember) that sometimes he dreamt of being rich enough that he could just throw away the soap when the letters wore off and get a new bar. For some reason that stuck, over the years.


I wrote about my mom’s coffee maker a couple of months ago. It was secondhand and given to her by my sister, who does like her coffee. This was a behemoth and costs over $2000 new, producing spectacular coffee but appearing to be Andy Rooney’s soap in the sense that it feels frivolous and indulgent, and not for the common folk at all.

But the more I thought about that soap, the more interested I got in following the process to the end. Unless you like fancy, prestige soap, I estimate you could do this, swap out your soap for a new bar, for about $100 a year. A few dollars a month. I mean, if it’s something you really want, then you could do it, no sweat (sorry). I don’t know what happens to the old soap. Maybe hotels would know what to do.

My point is, that expensive coffeemaker works out to cost about 8 bucks a day for the first year, which for a regular user of coffee shops and Starbucks is not an unreasonable expense. For me, sure, but there are other coffee drinkers out there.

And it drops to about $3.50 per day (not per cup) during the second year, and I assume purchasers expect many years from this machine. It works out to pretty cheap superb coffee after a while.

Something you drink every day.

I like coffee. I just had two cups. I enjoyed coffee at my mom’s house. I’m not going to buy one of these things because I don’t care all that much. But I understand, and it seems reasonable, if a big outlay at first.

I don’t really get the soap thing, but whatever.

I just like the concept of doing something that might appear unwise or indulgent because it gives us joy, or at least comfort. The whole freaking world is burning up. The U.S. is lurching toward fascism, as is a good part of the rest of the planet. Roseanne Barr isn’t going away. There are other things.

I mean, enjoy your damn coffee. Luxuriate in your shower. Do something for yourselves, for ourselves. Find some joy, because you’re going to have to hunt for it. I’m a cheerleader for joy these days. Life is too hard. Go see a baseball game. Go out to dinner with your honey. Buy lots of soap. Buy lots of lube, if that’s your thing. Go. Have a good time. Me too.

And shoot, go ahead and name your sex weeks, you degenerate. Sheesh. I am so old.

Chuck Sigars1 Comment