(This is a G-rated post, which will probably divide my readers into disappointed and relieved.)
Actually, I want to talk about shampoo. My wife buys the stuff in our house, not because I don't do any shopping but because I never notice when we've run out. That's because I always use the closest bottle-shaped container, be that shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath or mould remover.
So, there I was having my shower, and when I reached for the nearest container it said 'Coal Tar Shampoo'. I rolled my eyes, soapy film and all, and put it down to marketing bods trying to appeal to the survivalist types. Wondering what it REALLY contained, I splurged a dollar-bill-sized amount onto my hand and started to lather.
Well, I can tell you what it REALLY contained: Real fricking coal tar.
Let me divert for just a sec.
As a kid I used to walk to school, and along the way there were many fences painted with creosote. I remember that smell like it was yesterday - or indeed, five minutes ago. As a kid I also used to play on and around train tracks (don't ask), and right now I smell almost exactly like a railway sleeper, and the bathroom has that eau de marshalling yard aroma which comes from years of heavy diesel traffic. Bargain.
As I towelled off I pondered the uses for this wonderful product, and then it hit me: model railway enthusiasts. Don't go buying expensive tins of creosote, just spread Coal Tar (tm) shampoo on your papier mache mountains. Better still, add it to the paste while you're making the things for a really long lasting stench.
Coal Tar (tm) shampoo: redefining 'clean'
Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)