An Open Letter to My Bottle of VO5 Normal Shampoo, Now EmptyBy Art Edwards
January 13, 2011
Three weeks ago you came into our lives from the local Fred Meyer, your label redolent of simpler times, your frosted plastic bottle hinting at the orange bounty therein. Since then you’ve selflessly contributed cleanliness and good smell to me every day, but I’m afraid one more douse of shower water–even with your cap off–yielded none of your essence this morning. This was not a surprise as during the past week you’ve seemed less and less your vibrant, sudsy self. After much debate, we decided to put you down in the recycle bin this afternoon, retiring you with the cardboard, tin cans and random paper-y trash, where you’ll rest until the garbage man comes on Wednesday.
How faithfully you sat on the bath tub rim waiting for me every morning! So stoic. A loyal servant, you. Those first few days I remember fondly. The heft of you–there is no other word for it–sitting dollop-like in my hand just before I applied you to my scalp. Your richness adhered perfectly to my thinning coif. This, of course, was before I left your cap off and shower water got into…but let’s not talk about that on a day like this.
Remember the time I ran out of body wash? I didn’t know what to do. But there you were, lid flap up, ready to pull double duty. My wife always found your scent appealing.
I can’t help but apologize for those middling days when I was late for work. I took you for granted, my little Vo-Vo, rubbing you into my hair without a thought to your finer qualities. But you never complained. One reassuring squeeze everyday was all you asked for, and sometimes, when my hair was especially dirty, you got two.
So let this letter serve as my valediction to our all-too-brief time together, VO5 Normal. You can rest knowing that the dollar I spent on you was paid back at least three-fold.
Fare thee well, VO5 Normal! Godspeed, you brave little cleanliness champion!
Is that a picture of bacon and eggs on the front of the bottle, Art?
Yes, little Vo-Vo liked to joke about his bacon and eggs label. Despite his good works, he always had time for a laugh at his own expense.
This was the perfect, weird little thing to read this morning.
That does look like bacon and eggs, too. Was it breakfast scented?
Its scent was somewhere in the “orange” category, like that slice of orange next to your bacon and eggs when you eat at a fancy restaurant.
Yet somehow completely fake smelling too.
I was writing about mundane objects as well this morning! Must be something in the air.
Buy bulk. That’s the only way we stay clean around here.
I once bought a bottle of VO5 for .89 that had a dollar rebate coupon attached. If it hadn’t been for the stamp, I’d’ve *made* money buying that shampoo.
I cherish these memories now.
Now I feel the need to rush out right away to get my own VO5 Normal Shampoo.
I would need VO5 for dry hair. I hope they make it!
I will check and let you know!
They make everything, but I’m afraid I could never stray from my beloved Normal.
10 for $10 at Fred Meyer!
But is it 10 for $10 at Freddie’s all the time? Or do I have to watch the papers? ‘Cause I’m busy. Things to do.
Not all the time. Keep ’em peeled.
Man I can never get enough stories about hair care products. Twas a passionate tribute. Fare thee well, good ‘poo.
I admit I was going for the easy sympathy of writing about an extinguished shampoo product, but what can I say? I write what I feel.
I like that you took a picture of Vovo while she was still full. Is it your wallpaper?
We were just having a little fun when she first came to us. Who knew how much I’d come to cherish this shot?
“One reassuring squeeze everyday was all you asked for, and sometimes, when my hair was especially dirty, you got two.”
Is there no censorship on TNB?!
BTW, Art, what’s up with your tempting me with mentioning Neutrogena…..but not writing about it in the post? You’re nuthin but a tease! I’ll never be parted from my Neutrogena.
Suggestions: Use Aussie brand shampoo; it’ll perk up and thicken anything and works great *every time* which’s more than you can say for . . . um . . . oh wait, there might be a TNB censor . . . . .
I assure you there was nothing untoward going on between me and my little Vo-Vo during our morning ministrations. What kind of world do we live in where a man can’t enjoy the company of his shampoo without someone coming along and making unseemly suggestions?
Okay. There was that one time, but I’m taking that to my grave.
Just as I thought, Art—–yours was no simple gratitudinous letter to Vo-Vo. Oh no, it was a suggestive paean to your former lover and shower companion. And TNB censor simply looks the other way (that is, they don’t look at your lewd references…..or in your shameful shower—–wait a minute, is there some payoff you’ve provided the TNB censor…..p’raps a Vo-Vo or two for their own shameful shower? What next?! Will you reveal Neutrogena’s “handy” qualities?!!!!).
I think we’ve brought a new term, the “Vo-Vo,” into the lexicon.
I bow to your lexical genius, Art. “Vo-Vo” is a great word!
Have a go at Neutrogena—–you lewd dewd!
Is there a reason for your recent spate of dirty talk?
Wait—-this coming from TE, the one who wrote about a Fuckerware party?! Surely you’re having me on, Irene.
I told dear Rodent what you said, and his subconscious (Rodent, never an earlybird, is sitting by me, nearly asleep) said by way of explanation: “You feel liberated now that you’re married.”
I don’t quite get that, but do know that I’ve loved double entendres ever since I can remember.
Apologies, Art, for Irene and me hijacking your comments list.
Fuckerware party? Sounds like I have some reading to do.
Good one, Art. 😉
It’s so hard not to tease Judy.
Oh, thank goodness, Irene; you were winding me up, but I wasn’t sure. How can anybody know whether they’re being teased?! Email messages and comment boards are notorious for abolishing tone. People think they’re putting a certain tone in, but it often just doesn’t carry across to the reader. Hence emoticons. I wish we could draw our own emoticons, though, don’t you?
Should we tell Art about dry shampoo? Yes, he’s ready. Especially now sans Vo-Vo, pore thing. He would be heartened by the wisdom of Erika Rae, as given in her TNB piece about *mini-poo.*
Here’s the link, Art:
But can you buy minipoo at the fuckerware party?
One stop shopping at its best, Art.
Excuse me, but did somebody say “mini-poo”?
(I was at my mother’s house today. The canister is still standing at the ready in the cabinet. YES.)
Erika Rae, this proves how popular (I first wrote “poopular”) mini-poo is with your mom.
BTW, is your mum the one from whom you inherited the oily sebaceous glands? (egad, even that sounds dicey…..but, again, I’ll leave it in)
If little Vo-Vo and Minipoo mated, would they make a little Vovopoo?
“If little Vo-Vo and Minipoo mated, would they make a little Vovopoo?”
Since they’re both totally dry, I think not, Art. Using artificial shampoo insemination, though….
Through the miracle of science.
I must be completely frank, Art (or art, Frank): The artificial shampoo insemination may not work. Your little Vo-Vo (not to mention Mini-Poo) may be too shampoop’ed to endure the hard work of birthing. And there’s the problem of which kind of shampoo you’d select to provide the . . . um . . . fluid.
Jesus, what happened to dinner and a movie.
Clearly, you are befogged with grief, Art.
My glory days are behind me, J. I ask for nothing but an effective, affordable shampoo that comes when I call.
Understood, Art. Sometimes a shampoo is just a shampoo.
I felt exactly the same way about the last packet in the crate of Emeril’s Authentic Instant New Orleans Dirty Rice with Real Red Beans that I ate last night. It was the end of an era of bulk instant rice pleasure. Those little discounted packets worked so hard to satisfy.
We love what we love, Sean. Whether it’s REO Speedwagon, or Emeril’s Beans and Rice.
This makes me want to sing some ABBA in the shower…
There was something in the orange goo, that great shampoo, Alberto
You kept my hair alive, your number’s VO5, Alberto
That’s wonderful, Greg. Tell me it’s a real song, or that you’ll record it for me.
Oh how I love the word “coif.” Sorry yours couldn’t enjoy a few more dollops.
May the next bottle fare better.
I cracked the next bottle this morning, Kristen, and…I don’t know…it’s just not the same. I found myself comparing this new one to my little Vo-Vo. Unfair, I know. I can only imagine how this new bottle must feel, knowing there’s so much to live up to.
I’m sure it will get easier with time.
Well, or maybe it won’t. (Worst-case scenario and all.)
Between grief and nothing, I’ll take grief.
This guy might be just the thing: http://bit.ly/.
Nothing Normal about coconut shampoo, son.
I don’t know, Kristen. I’ve always sort of seen myself as a VO5 man.
I think VO5, (how did you lower the 5?) arrived in the same time frame as Brilliantine.
Do you use that on your hair?
Brilliantine rings a bell, but not much else. I picture a tube that’s hard to squeeze, like Preparation H.
I googled it for you Art:
“Brilliantine is a hair-grooming product intended to soften men’s hair, including beards and moustaches, and give it a glossy, well-groomed appearance. It was created at the turn of the 20th century by French perfumer Edouard Pinaud (a.k.a. Ed. Pinaud). He presented a product he called Brillantine (from the French brillant meaning “brilliant”) at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. It consisted of a perfumed and colored oily liquid.”
I only vaguely remember a guy with really shiny black hair in the commercial.
” I picture a tube that’s hard to squeeze, like Preparation H.”
now i really want to know what this shampoo smells like.
Olfactory bliss, Angela.
I have enjoyed the wit displayed here, but this post was painful for me, because I am in the midst of a seriously damaging relationship with an economy-sized bottle of Everyday Shea Moisturizing Conditioner that I can’t bear to get out because I’ve invested so much ($10). I won’t do it again.
That is pricey. I’d definitely give the VO5 section a look-see.
As you might guess, I recommend Normal.
Okay, so now Reno has me watching football and you have convinced me to try orangey-smelling, bacon and eggs-decorated VO5!
I don’t pretend its magic will work on everyone, Jessica. I’m sure there are other shampoos in the world, but can I really ask them to compare?
Is that the same brand Axl uses?
Richard, thank you for asking the questions that need to be asked.
I imagine Axl has special VO5 shipped in from Kuala Lumpur or something. To buy it at the Shop ‘n’ Go up the street would be beneath him.
Funny that the words “Axl” and “Shop ‘n’ Go” should appear in the same sentence. It’s kismet. I’ve always said that in a relatively short time frame, the next time we will hear Axl’s voice coming through a microphone, the words he will speak will be “Price Check on aisle Nine?”
Yes! I remember that.
He should just tell that person on the loud speaker to go and fuck off.
Rinse and repeat, Art?
That was like Lolita, Art. Only it seemed a little cleaner.
It came out more Lolita than was intended. I don’t know what that says about me, and I don’t want to know.
I am so jealous, given that my bloody shampoo costs me $30 a bottle. I am so living in the wrong country!!
With a dollar rebate! If I weren’t inherently lazy, I’d be retired right now.
I have a friend who is a coupon junky.
She’ll spend all day on the internet printing out coupons and when she goes to the store she’ll pay something like $2.50 for $45.00 worth of stuff.
People gather around her.
(They also change lanes when they want to buy something.)
Takes more commitment than I have.
The coupon culture has always fascinated me. When I buy something with a coupon, and it goes from like $3.00 to $2.50, I always wonder how people like your friend get stuff for next to nothing.
I find knocking people over the head and taking their wallets so much easier.
Zara, my brilliant one—–you don’t buy AUSSIE shampoo??!!! It’s THE BEST ever, in the entire world!
“One reassuring squeeze everyday was all you asked for, and sometimes, when my hair was especially dirty, you got two.”
Best shampoo line EVER.
But three weeks, Art? THREE WEEKS? Is that really a way to treat your little vo-vo?
Much thanks, Erika. And coming form the author of “Minipoo,” that’s saying something.
I was hoping my “love ’em and leave ’em” mentality when it comes to my shampoo was sufficiently cloaked. It’s a sickness, I admit, but I go down the aisle of Fred Meyer and there they all are, just asking for it.
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