By: Jacob Hales
Soap. A simple concept, a household object and a necessity for sanitation. Could you imagine going a few days without washing your hands or washing in the shower? If you said yes, then you are the trash of this Earth. In this article, you will follow me, Jacob Hales, along on my journey to discover the best soap of all time. An impossible feat? Hardly. A rigorous expose on the slights of corporate powers, the infidelities of a capitalistic world, and a controversial, yet enlightening journey of self-discovery? Yes. Let’s delve in.
Our journey begins at the dawn of mankind; a young, but innovative, homo erectus found himself to be filthy; just like the rest of his kind. But unlike his people, he found this state of uncleanliness repulsive and unsanitary. Due to a lack of language, he used his grunts and moans to express his ideals of sanitation. The other homoerecti found this horrific and unheard of. Whomst has ever heard of a way to clean thyself with the help of chemicals? Our protagonist tried desperately to pitch his idea, but he was far ahead of his time, he realized, as his peers turned their slouched, hairy backs to him. He knew he was no longer a part of his kind.
The journey continues thousands of years later, when a celebrity rose to fame. Julius Caesar was born, and “soap” was again. His mother, Aurelia, forced to give birth to her son in a rat-infested, flea-ridden stable, saw that her newborn infant was covered in filth. Hay and clumps of dirt, with an adhesive of afterbirth, were cemented to the baby. The villagers stood by, mouths wide open, as Aurelia pulled a strange white bar out of her head covering and began scrubbing baby Julius with it as he screamed. Aurelia, too, was far ahead of her time.
At this point, if I haven’t lost your attention, you will be questioning the validity of this article. To that I say, in these conveniently undocumented eras of time, who’s to say it didn’t happen? Now that I’ve somewhat reassured your uncertainties, let us resume our transcendental trip through the world of soap.
A young Christopher Columbus spots land. “Ahoy, matey,” he screeches to his shipmates. “Arrgh!” they bellow in agreement. He is unaware of the so-called discovery he is about to make. Thinking he has just landed in the West Indies, he finds himself off the coast of the Bahamas. After enjoying his favorite hobbies, such as enslaving the natives and spreading disease, Columbus heads back to Spain. A treacherous storm entangles the ship, nearly killing the explorer and his men. During the madness, the ships sextant has fallen overboard. What will they do? With no navigational tools in an unknown stretch of ocean, they are certain to sleep with the fishes. Columbus sparks an idea, he darts into the bowels of the ship only to come up with-you guessed it-a bar of soap. He pulls out his rapier and begins whittling away at the white block. With a little craftsmanship and some time, he has made a compass. He steers the ship in the right direction and heads home. He is greeted with a large sum of gold and silver when he returns to Spain. He donates it all to the soap makers of the mediterranean.
The year is 1916. World War I is at its height and disease runs rampant through the trenches, thousands of young men live in this filthy hollow. A young British soldier, devastated by the loss of his comrades, is given orders to go across no mans land and retrieve information from the enemy. He is reluctant, it’s a suicide mission, no one survives crossing no man’s land. However, our hero has nothing left to lose. He leaps atop the trench and runs through the gunfire. He makes about a quarter of a mile before a shell lands in front of him. With his ears ringing and his face bleeding, our protagonist takes out his mother’s handmade soap that she had given him before he left for battle. He holds it close and begins scrubbing his wounds to rid the disease surrounding him. Shelling continues for hours, his chance of survival is slim. Three hours later, a strange but pleasant odor fills the trenches. Soldiers follow the scent to find that it is coming from our hero, he is alive. In a time when Typhus and Gang Green were common causes of death on the battlefield, medics find that the only reason he was able to defeat infection was his mother’s soap. So, in this case, soap was the true hero.
So, thus begins the end of an era. The amount of soaps and detergents nowadays is unbelievable. So many brands and categories, it is amazing to see how far this little white bar of salt and fatty acids has come. All because of our homoerectus hero, our combatant, our champion, and our savior. Without him, we would’ve gone extinct long before the coming of christ, we owe a great debt of gratitude to his sacrifices and his courage. His courage sparks the question: what does it mean to be human? Is it our courage as a species? Is it our ideas and our passion towards finding out the unknown? We have always defined ourselves by our accomplishments and the ability to overcome the impossible. We have barely scratched the surface of our abilities as human beings and we seem to forget that our greatest achievements don’t lie behind us because our destiny lies above us.
In summation, Dove, Dove is the best soap.