Email from my brother: Question - what's the most popular colour for shower gel?

Hi Fay,

How is it going? Bet you’re saving a few bob on shampoo. Then there’s conditioner too. Yep, it all adds up. Kerching!

Just when Sam was born nearly two years ago I was working in local supermarket stacking shelves of an evening. Not because we needed the money but because stacking shelves is such great fun of course. The best bit was near the end of a shift you had to go down an aisle, bring all the produce to the front of the shelf and turn it so that all the labels faced the right way. That way in the morning it looked like the supermarket was fully stocked, neat and tidy. We all loved doing that especially when the store was still open and customers could reach in and destroy your work because they wanted a single tin of diced tomatoes and had the light delicate touch of the Incredible Hulk.

The supermarket chain I worked in was called “Countdown” and in New Zealand is on par with Asda. (In case you’re wondering I stopped making the Channel Four Countdown clock music to anyone who would listen to me about twenty minutes into my first shift.) I always wondered if at night with the name “Countdown” lit up in glowing letters on the front they had a special back up generator just for the letter “o” so as to avoid corporate embarrassment. Countd wn? No, I meant the other “o”.

Anyway the point was that I’ve put out a fair few packs of shampoo, conditioner and soap and they’re not cheap. Also I noticed that half of all shower gel is blue. Have you noticed that? Some are clear, some are green, some are creamy but around about half are blue. Now I like to soap myself up in blue and pretend I’m Mystique from the X-Men like most people but I can’t because where does the blue go? Think about all the colours in your shower products, they’re there in the bottle but as soon as it’s smeared properly across your flesh the colour disappears. They need to put that colour technology in ice lollies pronto because it’s high time eating a raspberry or orange flavoured iceblock didn’t make your mouth look like you’ve borrowed it from a Star Trek alien.

Anyway I’m just padding this e-mail because nothing much has happened this week. The only exciting thing for me was receiving a parcel in the mail from Germany containing some more medieval armour. They were leg greaves and knee cops (plate knee covers with lower leg plates like cricket pads) which Sam helped me clean all the grease off before I strapped them onto my legs to try them out. Sam then insisted on dragging me round the paddocks looking for chicken eggs while I clanked and tottered around like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. I still retain enough self awareness that if anyone were to come to the house I'd look a proper weirdo.

Sam does that sort of stuff on purpose I reckon. Sometimes we’ll be watching TV with him on my knee and under my peripheral vision he’ll insert a bogey loaded chubby index finger into the corner of my mouth. Other times I’ll be peeing and he’ll dart around from behind me to push the toilet seat and lid down in one go. Slam! I’m pretty ripped in the pelvic muscle region by now. When it comes to ablutions and the such you don’t really get much privacy with little kids. The other day it was number twos, I was stood after the first wipe and was dropping the paper into the bowl and Sam appeared there like a miniature shopkeeper from Mr Ben. He was dipping the toilet brush into the bowl,both of his little arms were pumping away and he looked up at me with a crinkle nosed expression that said “I’ve got another sixteen bowls like this one before lunchtime, so can you hurry the f*ck up?”

Anyway, take care, hopefully something exciting will happen to me next week so I can write to you about it. Oh yes, it’s the first week of school holidays here next week and Eva and Sam get on like cats and dogs. I’m soooo looking forward to it.

Love Mark xxx


Nothing interesting has happened and you can still make me laugh. You are a genius. As always I....


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