Thursday, April 10, 2014

Encyclopedia Drew and the Confounding Cleanser

Below appears an advertisement for soap. I’m not sure when it comes from, and I’m not sure where it began its second life online as a quaint, re-postable novelty. (I first saw it on Tumblr, and the original Tumblr-er didn’t see fit to include details.) The advertisement is a rebus that I think I’ve solved, though I’m not sure. Your input is appreciated.

The mystery crew’s best stab at it: “Trying to be wise, you / don’t at once succeed / You won’t be long before you do if you this information read / All use Davids Prize Soap, for thus they save in many ways / They use no other / Finding that no one other pays.”

Of course, that doesn’t entirely make sense, though we can maybe forgive the demands of the rebus for some of the more awkward constructions. I’m bothered by that dented “U” in the second line. It seems like it should actually represent the word it, but I can’t for the life of me imagine what that symbol is supposed to be.

Also mysterious? That brand name: Davids Prize Soap. Thought apparently spelled with the apostrophe elsewhere, searching online for more info on the subject may in fact lead you to the Wikipedia page for King David, where it describes a very unusual sort of prize. “Saul made David a commander over his armies and offered him his daughter Michal in marriage for bringing one hundred foreskins of the Philistines but David brought back two hundred, saying ‘God was with me.’” So there you go. David’s prize was foreskins. Maybe you can use this old-timey soap to clean your two hundred foreskins.


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