Why I’m not allowed to buy detergent

Last Updated on October 28, 2021 by Dave Farquhar

Sunday morning, we ran out of detergent, so I ran out to get some. Good miser that I am, I bought the cheapest bottle I could find. It came in a purple bottle, and it was a brand I’d never heard of.

That night, my wife informed me that I’d bought fabric softener rather than detergent. It’s at least the second time I’ve done that. You’d think I’d learn. Well, maybe someday. Not that day.

If it’s not detergent, then how come this mountain lavender stuff is in the detergent aisle?

She showed me the bottle. “Mountain lavender,” it said in small print. I didn’t even know lavender grew on mountains. I learn something every day. But it does, apparently. I Googled it, and found someone who grows lavender, blueberries, and dairy goats on a mountain.

That was a nicer thing to think about than that mountain of laundry pouring out of the dryer, the mountain of laundry that might or might not be clean. But I tried to look on the bright side. It smelled like mountain lavender! And it was soft. Did I mention it smelled like mountain lavender? If you’re going to have a mountain of laundry, you should be so fortunate to have it smell like mountain lavender.

But there was one problem: Clothes can smell like mountain lavender but be as clean and sanitary as mountain dairy goat. So that called for another errand. This time she didn’t send me. I wonder why. Maybe she was afraid I’d come home with fabric softener that claimed to smell like prairie orchid this time. Or perhaps mountain blueberry. What it would smell like would be anyone’s guess, but you know whatever I dragged home would be cheap.

She came home with something in a green bottle. It was also a brand I’d never heard of, but it was detergent. It said so right on the bottle, in fine print of course, and in a typeface that closely resembled the one that said “mountain lavender” on the other bottle. Maybe someday I’ll learn to pay attention to what the words in fine print on laundry merchandise bottles mean, and not just the typeface. But not that day.

The next morning, I pranced into the office like I owned the place. Spreading my arms wide, I bellowed with all of the gusto and testosterone of a professional wrestler or reality television star, “Smell that, everyone?” Then I smiled knowingly, nodded my head, and lowered my voice ever so slightly. “Mountain lavender.”

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