Last weekend, LSH and I took a trip to the Spreewald, an idyllic forest landscape best known for its picturesque canals and high-quality gherkins.
We brought our bikes on the train, and cycled to a campsite where we rented a wooden lodge with a lakeside view. There was a small shop nearby that sold gherkin beer. On our first evening, we cracked open a couple of bottles.
LSH practically spat his out in disgust, but he was just being melodramatic. If you’re wondering, imagine a bog-standard lager with a cucumber floating in it, and you have the flavor.
We toasted to a restful and restorative weekend that would leave us ready to embrace the challenges of everyday life with a fresh sense of purpose.
Less than twenty-four hours later, we were back in the lodge, splayed on the couch with a pain known only to those who spend 364 days of the year sedentary and then cycle for ten hours straight.
We turned on the television – yes, we were glamping – with the innocent intention of unwinding briefly while we rested our weary limbs.
There was no way we could have known that we would spend the next several hours transfixed by the shopping channel and that I would return to Berlin not rested and restored but fixated on the idea of buying “WC Zauber Pulver,” an extraordinarily potent powder which turns into a magnificent blue foam when you pour it down the toilet.
It was mesmerizing. I’d never seen anything like it! Just fifteen minutes, the woman said for a deep clean of your most poo-encrusted lavatory.
Well, she didn’t actually say the last bit, but it was heavily implied.
“Drop it all in in one swift motion,” she said, tipping the plastic cup into the toilet with all the confidence of a person who sells WC Zauber Pulver” for a living.
The transformation happened before our eyes.
“Why not deep clean the toilet brush while you’re at it?” she asked, popping it in.
As the foam filled the entire toilet bowl, an animation showed the deep cleaning taking place beneath the rim, too subtle for the naked eye to perceive.
“Just one bucket will last you a whole year,” the evangelist said. “And why stop at toilets? You can use WC Zauber Pulver to clean any kind of drainpipe!”
She popped some powder into a lonely free-standing sink in the middle of the studio.
“There’s nothing that cleans like it,” she said. “And available only today, for just €19.99, what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone. Oh no, stop! What’s my producer telling me? They’re going fast! We’re nearly sold out! If you want to get your hands on this product, you have got to act fast.”
The number on the screen was dropping faster than I could dial.
My heart was racing. In the background, the foam in the toilet had reached the rim.
“We need to get some WC Zauber Pulver.”
“No we don’t,” said LSH.
“We absolutely don’t.”
The woman returned to the toilet, and flushed. As if it had all been a dream, the foam disappeared, leaving the inside of the bowl as sparkling and pristine as freshly fallen snow.
“That’s incredible,” I said.
“You’re not actually serious?”
“I am deadly serious.”
“I can’t believe you’re falling for this.”
“Sleep on it.”
I still want to order an industrial-sized bucket of WC Zauber Pulver.
This is not a sponsored post.