Concerning hand gel: letter and ode

Dear Manufacturer of hand gel,

Firstly, I’d like to thank you for your sterling efforts to keep the nation’s hands clean and virus-free. These days, your trusty, little bottles are indeed a pleasure to behold, sticking out of people’s pockets, thrust into shopping bags or about to be drunk by thirsty toddlers (Relax. His mum stopped him). I’m devoted to mine and the sight of my handbag-bottle, car-bottle, kitchen-bottle, garden-bottle and ‘just-in-case-I-lose-every-other-bottle’ bottle, always lifts my heart with a rush of gratitude and relief.

However, in the interests of fallible human beings (alright, clumsy oafs like me). may I please suggest a few modifications that might help popularise your brand?

  • The consistency could do with a tweak. There seems to be two extremes: runny and gloopy. I have both. I’ve also spilled most of the contents of my runny bottles on my car seat, trousers, hand bag, socks and cat. This is not necessarily a problem – I’ve heard that hand gel can remove stains which of course could be helpful. But it shoots out of the little hole so fast that I’m getting through a lot of bottles. If this is your intention, it’s not kind. You should go sit on the Naughty Step and think about your actions. The gloopy sort, on the other hand feels like mucous and smells like water melon (on which I overdosed while pregnant and now detest)
Runny and Gloopy (friends for the Seven Dwarfs?)
  • There seems to be a bit of a lid issue. As soon as I open a new hand gel, the lid breaks off, which can leave me in the street juggling the hand gel, its plastic bag, my shopping, a shoulder bag, a face mask, a water bottle and a tiny, transparent lid that enjoys cartwheeling across the pavement, usually in front of other people who watch, horrified, while I scuttle around on all fours looking for it, shedding stuff everywhere
  • WOULD it be possible to provide each bottle with its own tiny ziploc bag? This would be so useful saving me from the constant juggling act of taking it out of/putting it back into, a knotted freezer bag, in case it leaks everywhere, particularly if it’s lost its lid (likely)
  • Actually, if the Ziploc bag had a little plastic key-hook in the corner you could fix it to your bag strap/belt loop/key ring/knicker elastic, so you could use it ON THE HOOF without dropping anything (I’m getting mildly excited here) N.B. Strong, moulded plastic please!

Possibly this all seems a bit extreme. But, you know, we’re probably going to be friends with hand gel for a long time. It’s one of the things we believe truly protects us, along with hand-washing, social distancing, masks, prayer, weight loss and chocolate (these last two may seem a tiny bit contradictory, but, you know, there are different kinds of hazards. One is being without chocolate on a down day.)

I’d like to finish with a song: –

Ode to my Hand gel

  • You are my hand gel, my lovely hand gel
  • You make me happy when germs abound
  • You’re just too runny, it’s just not funny
  • When you end up all over the ground


Maybe you’ve had more positive experiences with hand gel?

8 thoughts on “Concerning hand gel: letter and ode

  1. To be quite honest I have not had any problems with my gel. Could be because they are American made(ha,ha). This is a great idea and very well executed. I laughed my way through and saw it visibly. Love ya, Cheryl


  2. Deborah you r brilliant..Love your writing..Val xSent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.


  3. Always so smile-worthy! I particularly liked your ode at the end. I now have that song stuck in my head. I ventured out on the Great School Uniform Shop this afternoon, necessitating trips to large shops in built up areas. My daughter and I masked and sanitised twice in each place and met both Runny and Gloopy. Very annoying x


  4. Very funny! I lolled when you told them to go to the naughty step. I have to say, though, I have such limited experience of this stuff. We only have one bottle of it which is in the kitchen and I can’t bear the smell of it following me around the house if I use it – it’s so chemicall-y – so I wash my hands in Fairy Liquid instead. I fear I am way behind you in hand gel expertise. Do you still want to be my friend?


    1. You know, I’m really not sure. I’m ‘sorely conflicted’ as you recently said in a recent blog post. I don’t know why but even when I wash my hands for a full 20 seconds they don’t feel quite as clean as if I’d used hand gel. Thanks for commenting, Buddy x


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