Thu, 02 Oct 2003

Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap

Last week, I received a wonderful surprise in the mail. The Rivendell Bicycle catalog. The catalogue is a better read than most magazines. It's packed with explanations, advice, and anecdotes. These guys clearly love what they do.

And it's not just information about bicycles and accessories — this issue even had a bit of advice on personal hygiene. They plugged a product called Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap, billed as a soap, shampoo and deodorant, all in one.

Now, I love simplicity and efficiency. That's one of the reasons I enjoy cycling so much. What mode of transportation is so simple and efficient? And what could be more efficient than a soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, all in one bar?

I need to place an order with Rivendell, if for no other reason than to support the fine literary work they call a catalogue. But I didn't want to spend a shipping charge to try a bar of soap. So, before placing a bulk order, I found a local store that carried Grandpa's soap and Jenny picked up a couple bars for me to try.

Unfortunately, the experiment failed. The soap has a fragrance that would be pleasant if not so strong. It was overpoweringly strong. I showered before bed, using the Pine Tar Soap as both soap and shampoo. The soap rinsed clean, and I couldn't smell it on my body so much, but the smell of the soap in the bathroom soon filled the bedroom.

In the middle of the night, Jenny just couldn't take it any longer. So, I got up, put both bars of soap in a zip lock bag and hauled them out to the garage. I opened the bathroom window and shut the door. The order was still heavy in the bathroom in the morning.

I love the concept, but the product just didn't work out for me. Maybe I'm just plain nuts; even though the experiment ended in failure, I found the experience rewarding.

Two bars of Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap (one slightly used <g>) to a good home.

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