“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Consumerism Hall of Shame: Chapter 1
Monday, November 17, 2008

I have noticed a few disturbing things over the past year or so, and they all involve Corporate America trying to screw us. This week I will be Ad Hudler Devoted Consumer Watchdog. Ralph Nader is getting a little old, after all, and someone needs to pick up the Baton of Consumer Rights and make that next lap or two.

Today: Bar Soap. I switch out bar soaps all the time so I feel I can say I am an expert in this area. And here is the reality: THEY ARE SCREWING US! Think back: Remember when a bar of soap used to linger in your shower for at least two or three months? And you always WANTED it to shrink, knowing how nice it was to break in a fresh bar.

Well, I don't know if you've noticed this, but a bar of mega-mass-produced soap -- and take your pick: Dial, Coast, Irish Spring, whatever -- now appears to last for three days. Okay, an exaggeration, but guys ... really, haven't you noticed how soap these days seems to disappear as quickly as a Lifesavers candy on the tongue? Yes, I am older, and therefore my memory might not be as good as it once was ... and I am bigger than I used to be, more body to soap up. But, no: They've obviously done something to shorten the bar's life. Are they whipping more air into it? I have also experimented with the fancier soaps, the ones you buy in organic markets that are made with things like aloe vera and lavender, etc. And you know what? THOSE soaps last for MONTHS! I'm serious; I end up throwing them away because I grow weary of the smell. So something is definitely wrong here.

If anyone has an older bar of mass-produced soap they found while cleaning out their dead grandpa's house or something ... please send it to me. I will conduct an experiment, timing how long it takes for the older bar to evaporate vs. the newer bars, and I will capture it on video. And then, who knows, I just might go all Michael Moore on the soap people and show up on their granite doorstep and demand restitution.


Blogger Ad Hudler said...

This emailed to me from a reader in Vermont:

"The enemy is us. ... This is my big deal lately. Our culture has become a society that shops primarily on PRICE. When was the last time you heard someone brag about the QUALITY of something they bought? Consumers demand low-price goods, and the market provides. Cheap is cheap. Job outsourcing? I believe it's driven by the same force -- the demand for cheap. ... Maybe this new economy will bring us back to a place where quality is a desired trait. ...I get French bar soap from the Gardener's Supply store in Vermont. The bars are expensive ($7), but I bought three of them last January in the after-holiday sale. We're still working our way through the third bar.

November 17, 2008 at 8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw a story on some news channel this week about Dial soap being cut by 3 ounces. That might be the answer. I delight in the fact that soup makers cannot cut the size of their cans (10.5 oz)because WAY TOO MANY recipes call for "one can of Cream of Mushroom soup. " Take that soup makers.

November 20, 2008 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Yeah, they did just carve some out of the original size....but the MIX of the soap -- a plan to make it disappear faster -- was devised long ago.

November 20, 2008 at 11:29 AM  

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