Getting a grip on a slippery subject

KOSEY'S CORNER

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JOANNE KOSEY

'Why is soap so slippery?" Those immortal words were uttered one morning by Husband Joe while in the shower, which was better than hearing him sing in the shower. While I didn't think the question deserved an answer, I decided to be a dutiful wife and acknowledge that I had heard his mutterings.

My answer was simply, "Because it is." Not much of an answer but at that hour of the morning, but before a cup of coffee, I thought it should suffice. I continued with, "Maybe you need soap-on-a-rope."

"Yeah, soap-on-a-rope, you never see it any more," he shouted back.

Maybe it wasn't a big seller, I thought to myself, even though for a time we did have a bar or two hanging in the shower. The concept was good until the bar wore down and eventually broke off the rope and slid onto the floor.

I have a theory that if soap falls in the shower, whether on a rope or not, the day is not starting off too well and can be a sign of how my day will go. Maybe I should just go back to bed, I think in those cases.

All this talk about soap (and who would say Husband Joe and I don't communicate?) made me think how far bar soap has evolved over the years. Soap in our house when I was growing up was always a nice white bar. Nothing fancy or too perfumey, it was just meant to get you clean.

For a time, I had some kid bars of soap that had pictures on them that would fade away after awhile. I would try to use only the back side of the soap so the picture would last longer. I also had some little soaps shaped like animals; those were cute.

Then into our house came Ivory soap?""pure and it floats." Who cared how pure it was? It floated, especially if you made a little sail for it and floated it in the tub. The creator of Ivory soap had to be a genius, or so I thought at the time.

It wasn't long before the bar soap market became very competitive, and our household would keep up with the trends. Enter Dove soap. Must be good for our complexion, because Mom said so. Irish Spring had a light green bar with a strong fragrance?"clean smelling but strong. But the color didn't match the bathroom, so it was good-bye Irish Spring. The room had to be color coordinated right down to the soap.

And don't you wonder where they come up with the names of some of the soaps? Some marketing genius got paid big bucks for coming up with Lever 2000. It's been out of date for some time. It should now be Lever 2005 for some credibility.

Then there's Dial. Dial what, I ask. At least have a variety of Dial soaps?"fragrance free ones, anti-bacterial ones?"and they come in different colors. The name Dove made sense to me, and the contour of the bar made it easy to hold. Didn't slip out of your hand quite as easily as other bars.

Now the Kosey household has whatever soap suits my mood when shopping. I tend towards the deodorant, anti-bacterial, get you clean and everything else soap, but my personal favorite is an almond and oatmeal bar from the Blue Heron Soap Company made in Minnesota.

It is environmentally friendly, but, more important, they refer to it as a "beauty bar." That's what I want, and I don't care what color the bar, although it is sort of an oatmeal color that goes with everything.

Soap can be in bar form, liquid or gel, clear, white or colored. All I know is this morning when I started to wonder what my column would be about this week, how did I know the subject would be right in the palm of my hand. Luckily, it didn't slip away.

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