Odds and Sods – The Smallest Room Monologues (part one)

I found this in my Odds and Sods file simply labelled ‘1’.  There is a ‘2’ and a ‘3’ as well.  The title tells you all of what it was intended to be.  To get the full effect, you should read it out aloud.  Try it – you will be so grateful for social distancing.  This is the first half of episode 1.  I will publish part two in a later edition of Odds and Sods – unless somebody sends lots of money to stop me…

A SHOWER IS TURNED OFF

…Why do they put shower gel in screw-top bottles?  I mean, you pour the shower gel into your hand and by the time you’ve screwed the top back on, it’s all washed away and dribbled on your foot.  You get clean feet, but I can never understand it…  I always buy the bottles with the little hook on top, you know, you hang them over the rail on your shower and they have a little flip-top that you flip down and get the shower gel directly into your eye…  Whenever people buy shower gel for me, and people do, a lot… I seem to get an awful lot of shower gel for birthdays, Christmas, father’s day… very… very thoughtful… it’s very thoughtful…  it’s a very thoughtful thing to buy isn’t it, shower gel, very thoughtful…  but whenever people buy it for me, it always seems to come in screw top bottles.  And it always has the word ‘Sport’ in the name of it somewhere.  ‘Sport’ like if the shower gel is ‘Sport’ shower gel, it comes in a screw top bottle.  Perhaps if you’re a sportsman you can get the lid on quick enough, you know, so that it doesn’t wash away and dribble down your leg…

It’s a funny thing, shower gel, it’s not something we used to have you know, when I was a kid.  We had soap.  And no shower, come to think of it.  We had a bath… once a week as I recall… with soap, but no shower gel, we never had shower gel…

I wonder who actually invented shower gel?  I can’t imagine it was one of those Eureka! moments, you know, like, ‘Hey, look at me, I’ve invented shower gel, now, does anybody round here have a shower?’  I think probably more like ‘Oh dear, I’ve just spilled the shampoo… perhaps I’d better rinse it off before it goes sticky… Oh hang on, just look at that…’  I don’t know what the difference is, really; between shower gel and shampoo.  I remember my dad always used to say, when we’d run out of shampoo, ‘It’s only detergent,’ he would say.  ‘It’s just detergent with a few additives.  You might just as well use washing-up liquid.  If it leaves hands that do dishes as soft as your face, then it’s bound to do a decent job on your hair.’  So we did, use washing-up liquid that is, and I just can’t help wondering how different that is from shower gel.  I suppose it’s possible that somebody spilled washing-up liquid down themselves and went to wash it off in the shower…  although that would mean that they’d been washing the pots in the nude, not completely impossible, but not entirely hygienic I would imagine, not the normal thing, unless, of course, you are a middle-aged German…

I imagine most inventions must come about by accident, really… you know, like blue water in the toilet… I can’t imagine anyone would have said ‘I know, I think I’ll invent coloured water for the toilet.’  No, they must have sort of… I don’t know… accidentally dropped ink perhaps, ink, yes, ink perhaps… or a felt pen, a blue felt pen perhaps… into the lavatory bowl and the water turned blue, and they thought ‘Oh, that’s very nice.  That looks very nice.  Now, how can I make it do that all the time?  I suppose the disinfectant came later… You know, they thought ‘That water’s nice blue, but, well, if we put some disinfectant in it then there’d be no stains around the toilet to spoil the overall… blueness.  The blueness of the water.  That would be right, I think.

Accident see, it’s the way things come about.  I mean, who would have thought that for want of finding somewhere for an astronaut to fry an egg, we’d have all ended up with Teflon frying pans?  It’s amazing.  Amazing.  I suppose, to be fair, they must have had fairly explicit instructions you know, like, ‘Look, you’re going to need breakfast up there and it’s not going to be easy to… to wash a frying pan, you know to wash out bits of stuck-on fried eggs from a frying pan in the weightless conditions of space, I mean, as you scrape the bits off the pan they’d go flying around the spacecraft and I don’t suppose the computers can deal with that… I don’t suppose they can deal with that at all.  So, I think perhaps in that case, I’m wrong, yes I’m wrong and it was, in that case, deliberate… a deliberate invention and in that respect of course, quite unlike the blue water in the lavatory…

I remember when they first came out, you know, non-stick frying pans and my mum she just… she wouldn’t have one, she wouldn’t have one in the house.  She said, ‘Son, nothing works as well at not sticking as a good old-fashioned metal frying pan absolutely full of lard and I suppose in that respect she was… she was quite right of course, because nothing ever did stick in the frying pan.  Well, well at least not until she set fire to it of course and then the sausages took a little bit of shifting, but, of course… yes…  The point I’m trying to make, I think, is that new inventions are not necessarily an improvement on the tried and tested.  I mean, does a… does a self-erecting, telescopic umbrella for instance, keep you any drier than an old fashioned one.  The sort that you have to raise, manually as it were.  I mean, if there’s a broken strut in the umbrella, for instance, and it sort of dangles down and drips the water down your neck then a fully-functional umbrella is obviously better.  But, that can happen with one that puts itself up of course… a gust of wind, you know, catching on a tree, in somebody’s ear which… which, strangely, is exactly what happened to mine and these things can have an effect, but the modern-ness, the cutting-edge, of the invention doesn’t really seem to affect this… I mean, in my case… certainly… the problem may actually have been exacerbated by the umbrella actually erecting itself, as it were, because, because… well, it happened in a lift and, well, the problem could have got seriously out of hand… which, of course, it actually did…

Not that I’m in any way against progress of course.  Some modern inventions are absolutely fine.  You’ve only got to take into consideration that great boon to twenty first century living, the micro-chip.  I mean, it may sound obvious… it may sound obvious to you, I don’t know, but the micro-chip would never have been invented but for the earlier invention of the micro-wave.  I mean, without the microwave, you would have nothing to cook your micro-chips in.  And of course, we now have the micro-pie to go with them.  One thing must lead onto another.  Nobody, for instance, is going to say, ‘Look!  Look everybody, I’ve invented the micro-chip!’ and leave themselves open for somebody saying, ‘Well that’s very nice, but what exactly are you going to cook them in?’

8 thoughts on “Odds and Sods – The Smallest Room Monologues (part one)

  1. My wife uses the cast-iron skillet and almost nothing else for frying. Eggs fried with a generous amount of bacon grease or (real) butter in an iron skillet are the best although we don’t use them in the lavatory. But, well, I don’t mean to pry and to each their own and everything, but it seems to me that I would be a lot more comfortable in the lavatory if I didn’t have the self-opening umbrella and the microwave in there either. Plus, I don’t know if I would enjoy the micro-chips in there as much. I would put the microwave and skillet in the kitchen and the umbrella in the closet, but that’s just me.

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  2. I do remember McCain ‘Micro Chips’ that were chips you could cook in a micro wave. I always found them quite micro soft. They’re called ‘Quick Chips’ now and they’re probably still horrible. Not like ‘Oven Chips’ which are as oven ready as a Brexit Deal.

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