by Chris Van Orden
An Angry Letter to the Makers of the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner
Dear Mr. Johnson, Sr.,
I’m writing you today about your new product, the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner and, frankly, I’m not happy. Before I begin, I should mention that I’ve been a loyal consumer for nearly four decades now. Since 1968, I’ve huffed glue exclusively from your Ziploc® bags. I can’t even imagine how many cans of your famous Paste Wax I’ve gone through. But I cannot help but inform you that this new device simply does not live up to the high standards of your fine corporation.
Mr. Johnson, sir, the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner is quite simply the worst product that your upstanding company has released since Agent OrangeGlo® cleaning spray back in 1971. It’s not simply that the hulking contraption is an ineffectual eyesore, which it most certainly is; the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner is a challenge to the very essence of what it means to be an American. This country was founded by entrepreneurial young men in search of a simpler way of life. If your technology should take ever be made to operate with even a fraction of the efficiency and ease that it purports to have (God help us), there would be nothing left to strive for. A self-cleaning shower is the final frontier in our venerable quest for a life of pure luxury; it is the mighty Pacific to the Manifest Destiny that is the great American dream of inertia. Please don’t kill that dream, Mr. Johnson. Not yet.
As for the time-honored and legally protected right to “truth in advertising”; this product is an abomination to your company and this great nation. Three hundred sixty degrees of cleaning foam mist? How, pray tell, does this infernal machine reach the critical space it covers? Does it clean itself? It’s a tough nut to crack, Mr. Johnson; a tough, worrisome nut. Like a walnut, except in this case a Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner nut. I know that I do not want my family setting foot in the shower, believing it to be mildew-free, only to find rows & rows of clean tile and an automatic shower cleaner laden with caked on soap scum. This keeps me up at nights, Mr. Johnson.
And this goes without mentioning the most egregious affront: the systematic decline of male dominance that the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner will inevitably bring about. Right there in the television commercial, my worst fears made manifest. My classically attired French maid, my stereotypically Hispanic cleaning woman leased from the Stateline Motel, and my mildly attractive, khaki-and-sweater-wearing WASP wife, all sprung from the safe confines of a dirty shower. What are they to do if not clean the shower? Housework keeps womenfolk busy and happy. Dear lord, Mr. Johnson. What ever happened to American values?
I know that the good people down in development and marketing are honest folk; I was once an ad man myself. The old “Holy Purity” soap campaign? Me and Jimmy Durham came up with that one I admit, I was pleased to learn that the Edge® Active Care® line of shaving cream does prompt disembodied female hands with strikingly red nail polish caress my stubble-free face. However, the Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner is a glaring error that would compromise the integrity of your family name, the Bill of Rights, and nine of the Ten Commandments. Please, Mr. Johnson, recall every last Scrubbing Bubbles® Automatic Shower Cleaner. It’s your civic duty.
C. Van Orden