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dispensing with a smile

several years ago cam and i pared down our bath routines by putting up one of those shampoo dispensers in the shower. our first model held two bottles, one for shampoo, one for conditioner. no longer did i have six barely touched bottles of conditioner cluttering up my shower. sure, whatever i used had to be fairly unisex, but that wasn't a big deal. it was lovely, convenient, and for once i didn't have to look at the bottle of dandruff shampoo. from that moment on i knew that i always wanted to have a dispenser in the shower. variety be damned -- here we had the beauty of simplicity.

when we moved to this house, we upgraded to a three-chamber dispenser with side compartments and a clock. serviceable but ugly. a few months back, i noticed that the conditioner pump wasn't really working. i shook it, re-primed the pump and watered down the goop to something slightly less goopy, but nothing worked. add more water, cam advised. the stuff was soon the consistency of cetaphil, but still nothing. every time i wanted to use conditioner, i'd first waste precious showering moments trying to get the pump to work, then i'd pry the bottle out of the dispenser, remove the top and pour some into my hand. one day it slipped out of my hand and fell to the floor of the tub. much to my dismay, the bottle was cracked right at the pump. not knowing what else to do, i left it propped across the faucet handles. i'd figure something out, i told myself.

weeks passed and the bottle was still there. i had half-heartedly searched for a replacement bottle, but found nothing. it occurred to me that maybe it would be a good idea to replace the whole thing if i could find one i liked better. look at it this way -- when i bought the current one, i had only bed, bath and beyond in front of me. now, as an experienced internet shopper par excellence, i figured that surely there had to be something even beyond that. well. did you know that very few companies make these dispensers? by very few, i think i mean one. after a while, i gave in and ordered some replacement bottles from that one company. i had originally planned to just get one until i realized that the flat-rate shipping was more expensive than the bottle itself. i bought three.

while transferring the syrupy dregs from the cracked bottle to its replacement, i found a tiny blue ball mucking about in the bottom. it looked familiar, like it had been mucking about for quite a while. in fact, i recalled seeing it once the pump stopped working. i soon came to realize that it was a part of the pump mechanism, and that if the ball escaped from the pump, it would no longer work -- which meant that all that watering down of my conditioner and all that shaking that goddamned thing was entirely for naught. well, shit. once the pump stopped working, i should have been thinking about replacing the stupid bottle.

it's funny how otherwise-workwise-logical people can be so dumb about household goods. jesu cristo. how could i be defeated by a shampoo dispenser?



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