Bar soap helps users ‘escape’ constraints of pandemic lifestyle

LOS ANGELES – As COVID-19 continues in its second year to plague the world’s population, a pleasant-smelling hand soap is selling faster than it can be supplied to consumers due to their claims that it ‘teleports’ them to faraway places untouched by the pandemic.

According to rave reviews circulating on the Internet, those who wash their hands with ESCAPE strawberry-scented bar soap enjoy an ‘intensely emotional’ experience that allows their minds to wander to ‘exotic’ destinations they have never actually visited.

“ESCAPE is really kind of magical,” said UCLA sociologist Erica Stone, who has worked from home since the March 2020 shelter-in-place order began in Los Angeles Country. Along with her husband, Bill, the couple usually only leaves their Brentwood apartment to shop for groceries, check the mail, or take out the trash. “Our whole view of reality has become skewed over the course of the pandemic. We’ve set up office desks on opposite sides of our living room couch, and our only relief from each other’s Zoom calls is our occasional stroll around the neighborhood, or even more screen-time spent at the end of the work day watching TV. Bill and I joke around that we have reached what we call ‘late-stage Netflix’ because we spend more time now searching for something good to watch than watching anything good. It’s the pits.

“However, ESCAPE has added a new dimension to what has become for us a pretty trite and inconsequential existence,” said Stone during a lengthy phone interview. “Following a recommendation from Bill’s boss, I ordered the bar soap off, and life hasn’t been the same since it arrived on our doorstep. Now, after every time I use the bathroom, I am whisked away to a special place I secretly desire to travel to. Just this morning, in fact, while scrubbing my hands after using the toilet, I had a bold vision of being on a mask-less flight to Thailand with Bill for the honeymoon we never had — eating delicious cuisine, making love on a candlelit beach – and a place where the only thing we needed to worry about catching were some mosquito bites. There’s just nothing in this world as wonderful as that bar soap.”

ESCAPE — developed by Rocket & Gamble, a corporate conglomerate known for products that span military defense and entertainment industries — has earned record-breaking profits in the first months of 2021 as the company struggles to fulfill what some experts describe as ‘endless’ demand.

“Not since the run on toilet paper early in the pandemic has there been such a craze for a product,” said Ted Thompson, Bull’s Eye retail store manager. “As soon as ESCAPE is stocked on our shelves, it is removed by a zealous shopper. I can’t tell you who many fights I’ve had to break up over that stuff in household wares.”

ESCAPE bar soap appears pink and has a strawberry scent. Photo by A.L. Lorentz.

The popularity of ESCAPE comes as no surprise, according to Rocket & Gamble Chief Executive Officer Jeremiah Toshito. The company also made headlines in 2020 for its Radicals, sunglasses that allow wearers to see the COVID virus spread in the air as it is exhaled from infected individuals. Likewise, Toshito indicated that Rocket & Gamble’s latest sensation is ‘desired by design,’ and the secret ingredient to his soap’s success is that each bar is filed with millions of nanites.

“As customers wash their hands, micro machines are released that filter through their nostrils,” said Toshito during a virtual press conference. “What individuals refer to as ESCAPE’s ‘strawberry scent’ is actually a series of complex molecules that infiltrate their brain and open up those areas responsible for lucid dreaming. It’s perfectly reasonable to expect that using our disinfectant will cause hand-washers lovely hallucinations, which may only last a few seconds, but are so positive and powerful that it disrupts the monotony of the day – a day many of our customers say is now spent mostly doomscrolling on the Internet, waiting for news that the world is finally going to end – a neurotic fixation that’s driving them crazy. We’re glad we have tapped into a marketplace that helps people to feel better, even briefly, about this potentiality.”

Cheri Valenzuela, a self-described ‘single soccer mom,’ appreciated such as assessment. Valenzuela, whose immunocompromised mother also inhabits a small San Fernando Valley home along with herself and her two sons, said she has taken incredible steps to avoid contacting COVID-19, especially with testosterone-filled young men living under her roof,’ but she has become dismayed nonetheless in recent weeks by the lack of consideration that is being exhibited by many in her community, who seem to be less careful and concerned about the pandemic as she is.

“It’s like everybody around here is over the guidelines, over the fear,” said Valenzuela. “I wonder if I’m going nuts, still trying to care, then I read the news and see the numbers…and it’s like I can’t make sense of anything anymore.”

Fortunately for Valenzuela, she said she has found relief from her existential crisis by purchasing a box of Rocket & Gamble’s bar soap.

“After it rained last week, Michael McEvers, the guy who lives across the street, posted pictures on Facelook on Saturday of him and his wife and daughter building a snowman in the mountains near Wrightwood. I told my sons about it, because they’re so tired of being pent up in the house during the week doing school online, so I thought it might be fun to go up there and check it out. I commented on McEvers’ post, asking him about traffic conditions, but I guess he was too happy gloating about his snowman to respond. Anyway, we bought a sled at Big Dive’s Sporting Goods on Sunday and headed out on our trip. I guess a million or so Angelinos must have had the same idea, because it was bumper to bumper traffic on a two-lane highway all the way up the mountain, and there was no way to turn around. Also, there were no bathrooms. So, I pulled off to the side of the road and took an emergency crap behind a tree. My hands stunk of poop all the way home. I thought about leaving McEvers an anonymous threat in his mailbox for not telling the truth about his drive – I’m so tired of people posting sweet fantasies about their ‘best’ life — instead, when I got home, I washed my hands and had an orgasm imagining I was far from my family in a steamy jacuzzi in a secluded log cabin with Dwayne Johnson. Thank God for ESCAPE.”

Rebecca King, Feb. 1, 2021

Categories: Environment & Health

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