It is Obvious

Chris Rick has got altogether too much to say

…and again

Posted by chrisrick13 on May 26, 2011

It is obvious: they never let up

My wife is a teacher who specialises in children with speech and language difficulties and literacy problems.  She not only teaches children but also teachers how to teach these children.  She is somewhat of an expert and, having been made redundant at the the end of April, starts her new job on Tuesday with a hefty pay-rise.  I resigned from my job at the beginning of May so I just need to keep her in good health and well motivated and I can avoid ever needing to work again.  I can get away with this as she does not read my blog.

The reasons why children have the difficulties that she deals with are many and varied, but one of them is autism.  Indeed, as she explains to me, autism is not a state there is a scale which we are all on.  Most of us are close to zero, many are well along that scale.  There is a point where you can be declared ‘autistic’ and there are a few people who are there and beyond.

A while ago she came home with a test that she asked me to take.  There were 50 questions about me and my attitudes and thoughts.  I dashed it off in no time at all.  It is only a rough guide, and I forget the exact numbers, but if you scored more than 28 you could be classed as autistic.  I passed the test scoring 34.  Alas, this did not elicit any special treatment from my wife – I am derided and bullied much as I always have been.  I understand that I am what is called a functioning autistic: I am smart enough to simulate acceptable behaviour.  I passed the test on to a number of my friends.  None of them scored as high as me but I seem to remember that they were all pretty close to autistic.  They are all brighter than me so they are probably functioning.

I declared to them that I was going to work on a virus that killed anyone with an autism score of less than 30 (allow a little margin for error) as a way of solving the world’s problems.  To which one of them responded (Mark) that I shouldn’t bother as there was bound to be someone out there with an autism score of 48 working on a virus to kill people scoring less than 40, and with that level of autism he would be much more likely to succeed than I would.  This is because people with autism tend to be very single-minded and persistent.

When I was younger we didn’t have a shower.  I used to have a bath (once a year whether I needed it or not).  When I got to 18 I was playing a lot of sport and either lived in rented places or had a home of my own where there was a shower.  So for 40+ years I have had a shower every day and on many days 2 showers.  Certainly in excess of 14,000.  A few of months ago I became interested in the process of showering.  A bit late in the day you might say.  I saw a film many years ago about soldiers in Vietnam.  One of the medical staff advised them to wee on their feet while in the shower as this reduced the number of foot infections dramatically.  Up until then I had assiduously always wee’d before I got in the shower.  Suddenly I had a dilemma.  I will keep my resolution private!

However after 40 years without thought I had noticed that I could buy shower gel with a brand name for about 10 times the cost of gel without a name.  As I have mentioned before, there is no comparison unless you are comparing like with like.  So I set about measuring how big a blob on my hand was enough, and just enough, to get a decent shower.  Definition of ‘decent’ does not matter as it is a constant as I apply it.  My measure though was that I was clean enough that my wife did not complain about a nasty smell around the house.  I found that the blob was the same size for both types of gel.  By this measure of buying cheaper brands and instead of just filling my hand with gel but squirting quite a small blob of a size that I am now familiar with, I am saving myself at least £50 a year.  I also note that I tend to shower for less time as there is not nearly as much foam to wash away.  This is saving me quite a lot on hot water as well.  (Foam is like tracer bullets: they do no damage but tell you if you are actually hitting what you were aiming at – foam does no cleaning.)

The other day I had run out of gel and could not see any of the cheap stuff.  I notice that quite often they have run out of cheap stuff on the shelf which is why I keep a small stock of all cheap stuff at home as it means I can last until the next time I am in the shop and do not have to buy an expensive one.  (Probably this is another deliberate policy: get you in for the cheap stuff, but often run out so you will buy the expensive one.)  However I had had a long run of gel not being available and my own store was gone: I needed gel.  I bought the biggest cheapest bottle I could find which which was Natursan.  When I used it I discovered that it was colourless.  This made it very difficult to measure my standard blob in my hand.  Now their advertising is that it is ‘natural’ with no funny colourings.  I went on the internet.  Here I discovered from several sources that it is a deliberate policy as we will always put a bit more in our hands to make sure we have enough and by being colourless we err even more to excess meaning that they sell more.

It is obvious: they never let up – do I have the energy to keep going?

One Response to “…and again”

  1. Mark said

    I find a bar of soap works very well and the quantity used is minute and pretty much self-regulating.

    Pretty sure urine is sterile, but has no antiseptic properties. However peeing in the shower does save the gallon of water that would be used in flushing the loo, so not a bad thing.

    All business will do whatever it can, within the bounds of the law (ish), to increase sales and profit. Consumers will either fall victim, or play the counter-game. Nothing new there.

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