Evidence that even in the bathroom I ponder issues of world-shattering importance

1. What is the etiquette for Imperial Leather soap?  Label up.  Label down?  Or label off?

Fran thought it most remiss of the soap company that they did not provide explicit guidance on the packet

2. How come I am always IN the shower before I remember that my ladies' razors are elsewhere in the house?  

Fran realised that the alternative to getting out of the shower and finding the razor was going to be a long,
slow process, and not easy with all the mirrors steamed up

3. Do all Chief Executives of toothbrush companies have a pathological hatred of normal people?  If not, why would they make the getting-out of a toothbrush from a new packet at 6.30 in the morning so difficult?  How dare they call those slight indentations 'perforations'?  Even Cruella de Vil's nails aren't going to make it through those.

Fran realised that comparing the getting-out of a toothbrush with the finding of the Holy Grail
was pushing things, but exaggeration came easily at dawn after only five hours' sleep


  1. Imperial Leather - Label down - it stops the soap from getting soggy.
    With regard to toothbrushes (and anything else in a bubble pack or wrapped in plastic) get yourself a good burglar's kit. I've found a Stanley knife and a crow bar work very well. Of course, you have to accompany it with a lot of swearing, and often your kit is not to hand when you need it.

  2. A while back my wife bought a potato ricer from the nearby cooking store and it took me an hour to remove it from the packaging. From now on when we buy something overly packaged I have the clerk at the store remove the packaging before I pay for it. So far no clerk has refused.

  3. We have had he Imperial Leather argument ad nauseam. Himself says label down, because (says he) the label stops the soap going soggy. I disagree, and have just thrown a bar away because it spent all its life on its label and ....went soggy.
    Which reminds me of a Dorothy Parker rhyme:

    One of the things that I've tried very hard
    But still haven't managed to cope with,
    Is the piece of soap that's too thick to discard
    But a little too thin to soap with.

  4. Oh. how difficult it must be living in the UK with so many rules of etiquette & decorum--it
    must make your life a holy hell! Here, across the pond in the colonies, we merely haul ourselves to the nearest river or stream & fling ourselves against a rock until we are clean again.

  5. WTF is Imperial Leather?

  6. Your mind is a whirling dervish, isn't it Fran? And for that we say thank you.

  7. Imperial Leather, eh? What ever happened to those chunks of pink carbolic? They can't all have ended up in David Cameron's house.

  8. Label off with soap. Otherwise it comes off by itself in unfortunate places.

  9. now, according to a very early ad I found for IL soap, the idea is to put it label down so the soap doesn't stick to the soapdish. Tara!
    (there's always one smartass isn't there!)

    was it a freudian slip to show a photo of tweezers when talking about razors...are you plucking those hirsute lady parts?

  10. Sue J - several people say the same, about the indentation being to stop it going soggy. But Frances disagrees. I really think there should be a national debate.

    Stephen - I just can't IMAGINE any British shop assistant agreeing to this ..

    Frances - I loved the Dorothy Parker rhyme! Thanks for that. I will make a note of it.

    fishducky - your comment made me giggle. It's just such a great picture you paint.

    Nana - it's a make of soap. Sounds posh. Goes soggy.

    I'm Crayon - what are you trying to say about my choice of subject? Irrelevant? Trivial? Huh!!

    Martin - I love the smell of carbolic. It's something about the 'would-like-to-be-in-an-institution' part of me.

    Steve - Please don't supply ANY MORE detail.

    tedandbunny - no Freudian slip. Does the caption clear it up? And 'ouch' to your comment ...

  11. Got to be label up. Otherwise, what's the point of the label? And it means the label is against your palm whilst using the soap, thereby stopping the label ending up in an 'unfortunate' place.

    I've given this quite a lot of thought haven't I? I really must get a life......

  12. Fran, this is spooky. I bought my first ever cake of IL last week and only today, I decided to try it label down to see if that made it unsoggy. We seem to have a psychic connection...(screammmmmmm....).

  13. Martin - you and me both, dear.

    Isabelle - Let's soap so.

  14. I feel proud to have furnished you with the opportunity for that response. (Bows)

  15. I've picked too many pubic hairs out of too many bars of soap over the years to now ever use anything but the liquid variety.

    Anna May x

  16. According to Newnes Household Encyclopaedia , a perfectly good general purpose soap can be made at home , using only 6 lb.fat ( any kind ) and 3 lb. black American ashes .
    Boil in 4 1/2 pints water for 15 minutes and stand for 24 hours . Then boil again for 15 minutes , stirring occasionally .
    There is no mention of labels in the recipe , or , indeed , how to make bars out of it to attach any labels to .
    But the Empire was built by the brave .... the fancy gold labels came later .

  17. it says a lot for the power of advertising to say that I still only buy Imperial Leather so indoctrinated was I by the ads of the early seventies. The epitomy of Luxury. Label up - to show off.

  18. A new soap every day will preclude the "soggy" argument. Label up, with pride. Don't any of you have proper soap dishes that drain?

  19. With ref to No. 1 : the answer must be label up otherwise you might as well buy ASDA cheapy soap. With ref to No. 2 and 3 I don't know as I am not a woman nor do I ever get up at 6.30 in the morning.


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