February 6, 2001
Product Loyalty


As we cruise now into our third year of nerdy domestic bliss, here in The Castle, it's interesting to note some of the changes that have taken place in the SecraTerri/Ю僱êrvØ¡ household, over the years ... ever since that day my Reach Plaque Sweeper joined his Oral-B Advantage Angled in the same [slimy/germy/vaguely disgusting] toothbrush holder.

New shower curtain. New vacuum cleaner. New refrigerator magnets. New bedspread. We eat fruit for dessert now, instead of ice cream. The Ugly Pink Stove is used for cooking these days, instead of as storage space for old tax documents. We clip coupons. We're organizing our closets. We're down to one jointly-owned computer.

We even broke down and bought a new [shiny/sanitarynot-disgusting] toothbrush holder over the weekend.

But even more interesting -- and telling, perhaps -- are the things that HAVEN'T changed. 

We still get out of bed insanely early on weekend mornings, for instance. We still eat pasta three nights out of seven. We still hold feet in bed. We still like Japanese-language TV, Indian pop videos and 'Sabado Gigante.'  We still don't have cable.

And there is still the same stoopid 64 oz. bottle of Pert Plus sitting in our shower.

This bottle of shampoo was sitting in David's shower the very first weekend I spent with him. I used it to wash my hair that first weekend, but only because I'd neglected to bring any decent girl-shampoo along with me. The bottle of Pert was still here when I moved in (I noted with some alarm) a month later. It suddenly found itself crowded by my collection of Suaves and Salon Selectives and St. Ives ... but it never budged from its corner of the shower stall. It sat there for the entire year of 1999. It survived Y2K and lasted all the way through 2000. 

It was still there this morning. I firmly believe this same bottle of Pert Plus will be here the day the wrecking ball comes crashing through the walls of The Castle, making room for the new strip mall.

Mind you, I'm as big a believer in product loyalty as the next guy. I'm the one who wrote to KFC World Headquarters in Chickenpluck, KY, back in January 1994, to complain about the tragic unavailability of Honey BBQ Chicken in the TicTac area. I'm the one who shamelessly plugs Penguins and Aplets & Cotlets and Tobler Chocolate Oranges (which, by the way, were recently renamed "TERRY'S Chocolate Oranges" in *my* honor!) on her website at every opportunity.

(I'm the one who would like you to sign this petition and help bring back our beloved, late-lamented Fast Lane Tea before I have to kill somebody.)

But this whole lifetime-commitment-to-one-shampoo business has me mystified.

Is this a 'guy thing' or something? I don't know any woman who uses the same brand of shampoo, day in and day out, for years and years on end. (Except maybe for Elizabeth Hurley.  But she gets PAID to use the same shampoo.) So it must be a Testosterone Issue. All I know is that David loves his Pert Plus unreasonably. He loves it insanely. It's the only shampoo on the planet, as far as he's concerned. Never mind that it's like washing your hair in melted candlewax. "Y'know, honey," I say to him in exasperation, "you can probably achieve the exact same *look* by spraying your head with Pam." My attempts to entice him over the years with other, cleaner, groovier brands -- "Look! They're making PRELL again!" -- are wasted *effort molecules.*  Whenever the 64 oz. shower bottle begins running dangerously low, he dashes right out to the grocery store and comes home lugging another 60-gallon refill.

So I do the only thing I can do. I hide his fudking bottle of Pert Plus once in a while.

I sneak it out of the shower stall and stick it in the very back of the bathroom cabinet, under the sink, hidden behind the tampons and the Charmin and the fourteen tubes of Crest Complete with Baking Soda. I know he is not likely to interrupt his shower and wander around the bathroom, naked and dripping wet, looking for *his* shampoo ... so he winds up using the infinitely-groovier Pantene or L'Oreal or Neutrogena by default.

But it's for his own good. Honest. It's a proven scientific fact that using the same shampoo for more than three years in a row may cause significant hair loss and penis shrinkage in men. (This, of course, explains the vast number of baseball caps and really really big trucks, in places like Wyoming and France where Pert Plus is the only shampoo commercially available.) I'm not about to let either of these things happen to my David.

After he's used the default shampoo for a couple of days  --  just long enough to cleanse his follicles of all the icky/sticky Pert Plus build-up, and for his hair to begin looking normal again  --  I return his beloved bottle of shampoo to the shower stall. I realize that I'm never going to be able to wean him off the stuff completely ... but if I can at least force him to take a break from it every so often, I know I'm doing a good and honorable thing.

Now if only I could get him to change toothpaste once in a while.

throw a rock