I scrubbed my body with a dead animal this morning

Maybe you’ve done it too.

On my shopping tip, I found some delightful, inexpensive, lavender body wash (sans parabens) and a shower loofah. Like me, the word “loofah” might call to mind the colorful puffball you grew up with. You know, the one with hypnotizing layers of spongy plastic netting that you endlessly pulled at until the hot water ran cold and your mom started yelling at you to get out. This thing:

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But that’s not what I came across while shopping. I came across this small wonder:

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My shopping companions–smarter than I–were like, duh, it’s like a sponge thing. And I was like, THIS THING WAS ALIVE AND NOW ITS FOR SALE IN THIS STORE FOR 10 KRONER AND I’M GOING TAKE IT HOME AND COVER IT WITH CHEAP BODY WASH AND USE IT TO SCRUB MY BODY? And they were like, yeah.

You’re probably reading this thinking, Brittney, you’re an idiot. I bet you don’t know that sponges come from the ocean too…BUT YES I DO KNOW THAT BECAUSE MY DAD TAUGHT ME ABOUT SPONGES WHEN I WAS A KID HELPING HIM WASH HOT RODS IN THE DRIVEWAY. And because Sponge Bob.

This strange hollow scrubbing log, however, is new to me. I’m certain we have them in the U.S., but I’ve just not noticed?

So I took to the Google to learn more about this magical creature, and according to this person who has a whole website dedicated to the loofah (luffa, loofa, luffa) and how to grow it, even though it’s a vegetable, it’s part of the animal kingdom. I don’t know enough about sponge taxonomy to verify if that’s correct, but a random website on the internet says so, so it must be true.

The Wiki page says that people eat loofahs, but you have to pick them while they’re still green. If allowed to ripen and dry out on the vine, then you end up with the skeletal mass above. I assumed that the loofah was a sea creature like the sea sponge, but alas, it’s grown on land. The Wiki page refers to it as a gourd, but that doesn’t sound right. Then again, there’s a warning that there aren’t any references for the article, so perhaps this fibrous critter is meant to remain a mystery after all.

Intrigue aside, let me tell you about washing my body with a dead animal (or plant or gourd or whatever).

It was terrible. The loofah is a terrible shower companion. Terrible. I had high hopes for exfoliation, but it’s too supple. And since it’s not very absorbent, I couldn’t get a fun over-the-head waterfall like a big sponge. And it doesn’t lather. And since it’s round, it tends to roll off whatever ledge you set it on. I hope that this thing is better in a salad because if not, it’s kind of useless. Stick to the colorful plastic spiral spongy thing you grew up with. Or sea a sponge. Those are the bomb.

In other bath-related news: My hair is now too long for a towel wrap and I looked like a Dr. Seuss character this morning.

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