I’m feeling rather clever today

I wouldn’t brag on me, though, unless it can be of use to you. So…

This is about the Yuck Factor. The term was originated, I believe, in ad agency copywriters’ rooms, because dealing with the Yuck Factor is a burden resting squarely upon the shoulders of the world’s copywriters.

What is the Yuck Factor? It is the inherent disgust in performing specific household tasks, notably cleaning and then getting rid of the cleaning apparatus. When a company invents a product for this cleaning, advertising copywriters have to wriggle their way around the disgust when writing ads to sell the product. I mean, they can’t write, “Want to clean the detritus from toilet use? Buy ShitScrubber! And then tuck it into its own little storage bin!” I mean, try composing a lyric for a snappy little tune out of that.

(By the way, I have become adverse to the word “product,” since it is now being used to describe sports teams, as in “We want to put a good product on the field, a product our fans will appreciate.” Teams are not a product; they are people, athlete people. Stop with this “product” garbage.)

OK, back to the Yuck Factor. As I pointed out above, the yuckiest household task is cleaning toilets. Actually, toilet cleaning is a yuck and a half. One, it’s yucky to clean the toilet but, two, even yuckier to put the brush or whatever you use back into its bin. How clean is that brush? Yuck. So the yuck factor involves two steps: cleaning the toilet and doing something with the thing you cleaned the toilet with. Yuck yuck yuck.

Thus, when I (an admittedly lousy housekeeper) first encountered SC Johnson’s Scrubbing Bubbles toilet cleaning kit, I was knocked over by the thrill.

If you know how it works, you can skip the following paragraphs:

The kit comes in two parts. First, there is a “wand,” a thin plastic device about two feet long, at the end of which is a sort of clip which we users open and close with a lever on the wand itself. Think Fairy Godmother, in plastic. Then there are these small but chubby multi-layered paper pads, each of which has a cleaner-disinfectant embedded. You clip a pad onto the wand and scrub your toilet.

Then — listen carefully now, because this is the genius of the thing — you use the lever to open the clip and, voilá! The little pad drops into the toilet which it cleaned and disappears when you flush! Unlike other pad cleaners which do not flush.

You get this, right? I’ll capitalize: NO YUCK FACTOR.

I have bonded to Scrubbing Bubbles with an almost indecent passion. Which gradually transmuted into furious desperation when I no longer could find the boxes of scrubbing pads (they are also sold separately from the wand). None of my markets seems to sell the pad refill boxes anymore.

I understand what’s going on. I’m supposed to be ordering this stuff on line. Primarily from Amazon (that’s a bitter pun). But I refuse to order on line — especially from the omnivore Amazon — what I should be able to buy in person from a genuine local market.

I am uncompromising in my boycott of Amazon. So what did I do? I discovered a thick package of “Flushable* Cleansing Cloths with Aloe & Vitamin E“. Also “Soft, Thick & Gentle…For a Fresher Clean.” Pre-moistened wipes.

I bought ’em and when I want to clean my toilet sans yuck, I fold up one of these wipes into a chubby multi-layered paper pad, grasp it in the teeth of my wand clip, clean my toilet and flush the pad away.

Feel free to imitate me. I charge no fee for this experience, although you’ll have to pay at the cashier for the package of wipes which are, I suspect, cheaper than ordering the Scrubbing Bubbles pads on line.

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