It’s very early on a work day morning. As part of my routine, I make some coffee. I pull down one of our coffee cups from the cupboard, and there it is — that telltale half moon of red lipstick, left there when Kish used the cup.
Don’t get the wrong idea. It’s not as if we don’t wash our coffee cups. It’s just that our dishwasher doesn’t remove lipstick from cups. I’m sure we’re not alone on this. In our household, the only way to get the lipstick off the cup is to take one of our scouring pads and apply some elbow grease to scrub the cup clean. As I was thinking when I was doing precisely that the other day: why do you think they call it lipstick?
Lipstick is just one of those everyday consumer products that has unexpected properties. Lipstick and a white coffee cup would come in handy if you wanted to leave an indelible message for future generations. Lipstick apparently has the same mysterious bonding properties with dishes that also is found with cereal and milk. Have you ever noticed that if you eat a bowl of cereal and leave it in the sink without immediate rinsing, the milk dries and the cereal becomes cemented to the bowl with epoxy-like strength? You basically have to use a spoon and chisel the shriveled, dessicated Honey Nut Cheerios off the side of the bowl. And nothing can leave a longer-lasting stain on shirts, human flesh, or gum tissue than the garish yellow dust of a few Cheetos. These products, which are routinely consumed by modern Americans, have an odd permanence about them.
It gives you an entirely new appreciation for the apparent capabilities of the human digestive tract, doesn’t it?