Bow Down To Me, For I Have Used An Entire Bar Of Soap Without Breaking It
I apologize to those of you who have run marathons or raised happy and productive children or understood season two of Marvel’s Legion, because you were probably feeling pretty good about yourselves before learning that I had used up a complete four-ounce bar of Coast Classic Scent soap without it breaking.
I would liked to have kept you abreast of my progress during this historic journey, but it is not something you say out loud for fear of jinxing it. Also, I could not find a flattering camera angle in the shower.
There were certainly tense moments along the way. One morning, carelessly showering with the reckless abandon of a millennial body wash user, the soap bent, shaping itself to my leg.
Was the freakish muscularity of my calf partially to blame? Perhaps. But this near-disaster was the wake up call I needed. This, my friends, is why they invented the term make or break time. Everything from here on had to be perfect were I to shepherd this fragrant slice of compressed animal fats to an exalted place in history.
I rededicated myself to the soap saver’s credo — soap with devotion, not emotion. To this end, I entered radio silence. Lather, not blather, is another bar soap completionist’s saying, because 1) our vast reserves of determination are matched only by our vast reserves of sayings, and 2) you can’t afford to be blindsided by the WHUT Morning News Crew revealing the stock market dropped 800 points. You can certainly imagine the folly of showering while morosely calculating the devastation to your 401k and the prospect of working till you’re 83. You will inevitably do something stupid like run your salami-slice-thin bar of Coast Classic Scent over your bent elbow — your pointy, dream-shattering elbow.
Obviously, once the soap becomes as thin as an iPhone XS (256 GB, Space Grey), it should never make direct contact with your elbow. Or knee. Or — if you’re appropriately serious — dimple, pimple, or mole. Sure, showers during these final days will last eighty to ninety minutes and hot water will become an untrusted dreamlike memory while you painstakingly caress your shriveling index finger across the blue-and-white-striped deodorizing wafer laying flat in the palm of your other hand before applying the resultant foam to the more dangerous areas of your body, but nobody said breathing the air of the gods comes without sacrifice.
Finally, I was in the home stretch — what remained of the bar was so small I couldn’t have broken it without a finely honed utility knife. Even dropping the soap was of little concern, as the bar now had the approximate weight and mass of your average cherry blossom petal, taking thirty-eight seconds to float to the tub floor, alighting ripple-free and undamaged on the water below (Pro tip: don’t slosh! If the soap adheres to the tub’s surface, picking it up again is physically impossible with the human hand, and is only to be attempted with one of your finer, high-tech spatulas.)
But I still had to be careful — it’s not official until the bar is used up, and I still wake up screaming, dreaming of August 17, 2014, when I’d thought I had done it, only to be downtown on my lunch break, rolling up my sleeves, and witnessing a dime-sized disc of Irish Spring fall from my forearm, hit the sidewalk and get stepped on by a hotel valet parking attendant, my dreams of glory vanishing into an overpriced underground parking garage inside a 2010 Toyota Camry.
But not this time! Weeks of dedication paid off this morning as I watched the final tiny button of Coast Classic Scent disintegrate between my freakishly muscular thumb and forefinger. Warm tears streamed down my face, raising the overall shower temperature three degrees. Yes, damn it, I was emotional — people who claim holding their newborn baby is the most spiritually uplifting event of their lives are idiots who have never experienced this.
What’s next, now that my place in the Bar Soap Hall of Fame (Cincinnati, Ohio — don’t miss the Your Body is an Odorland exhibit) is secure? Besides fielding interview requests and endorsement offers, I anticipate spending at least the next seven days forgetting to grab a new bar of soap until just after I step into the shower and bathing with shampoo.