Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mikey Medved Pumps His Way Into His Hat

The "new" Clownhall's slogan should be "Now With 50 Percent More Plugs For D-List Salem Radio Network Hosts." But there are some new, substantive features.

For example, they've got Michael Medved blogging about shampoo. He hasn't launched his own brand, "Gee, the Oil Companies Smell Anti-Semitic." No, he's talking about the free market revolution and the impending death of individual-sized hotel shampoo and soaps.

I've been a frequent traveler all my adult life, crossing the country for lectures or book tours, and over the course of more than 30 years I've developed the stupid habit of bringing home those little soaps and shampoos. In order to get fresh little bottles or bars of soap to my collection, I'll remove the half-used soaps and hair supplies from view so that the hotel cleaning staff will provide new, unopened amenities. Then I'll bring out the partially-used supplies so I can stuff the fresh little bottles into my luggage.


Those supplies now amount to an insanely over-developed collection -- with two huge drawers crammed with hotel soaps from around the world (London, Berlin, Jerusalem, Mexico City, even Warsaw) plus all the states of the union. Unless I live way beyond the normal life expectancy, I've already acquired more than enough exotic soaps to keep me clean the rest of my days. There's also another overflowing drawer in my bathroom crammed with shampoos and conditioners (I stopped bringing home hand and body lotion some years ago).

I suspect that there are others out there (you don't have to admit it but you know who you are) who have built up similarly impressive accumulations of these bathroom "souvenirs." Picking up these supplies is nearly irresistible (to many of us) because they are handed out "free" -- but of course they are not free to the hotels. To paraphrase the famous statement about "free lunch" -- there is no such thing as a free hotel soap sample.

In fact, looking at the literally hundreds of soaps in my drawers, the total cost to the hotels that purchased them might well be substantial. In other words, the hotel is paying real money -- but no one is receiving real benefit (I can't even use up all the soaps) -- so it's a classic case of inefficiency. Moreover, even as an unusually soap-and-shampoo-conscious consumer, the lack of such "free" supplies would in no way discourage me from patronizing a given hostelry. I'm more eager now to use accommodations that follow the pump-bottle-on-the-wall approach, because efficiency appeals to me far more than meaningless free goodies I really don't need.
You're a genius, Mikey. A cheap motherfucking genius. Ripping off all that shampoo -- it's a wonder these hotels are still in business. How -- HOW!?! -- will they ever recover all those lost profits?

I'll bet Medved takes full-sized empty bottles to these new places and fills them from the pumps. (I know he reserves a single and then sneaks Daniel Lapin and Huge Hewitt into his room to save money.)

You should list all the hotels where you've used the pump-bottle-on-the-wall hand lotion, Mikey. So we can avoid them at all costs.

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