I happened to look at a tube of sunscreen slash bug repellent sitting on a windowsill in my home, and the absurdity of its claims have promoted it to today’s Object at Hand.
The front proclaims, “Chemical Free!” This baffles me. If the constituents of the contents are found on the periodic table, it has chemicals in it. Outside of brief existences in high energy locations, like the Large Hadron Collider impact zone, everything on Earth is chemicals. Even the dissociated plasma in arc lamps is chemical in nature.
But maybe they consider “chemicals” to be things with known chemistry, as opposed to the generally unknown complex chemistry of plant products. But there on the back is a typical list of somewhat unpronounceable, organic and inorganic, mostly synthesized, molecules. Chemicals.
I am sure we paid for this stuff, so they were not free. I am sure that the tube and everything inside is made of chemicals, so “free” could not mean “absent.”
It also says it is the #1 Natural Choice. As opposed to, a super-natural one? Anything found in the known universe is a part of nature, “natural”. We’ve even discovered natural nuclear reactors, and any chemical that can be synthesized in a lab can be found somewhere in nature. Turns out, space is full of wacky, complex organic molecules. So, on what scale do they order how “natural” a product is?
To complete the absurdity, it has a banner: “Quantum.” That word means, the smallest divisible unit. Generally, something so small that it requires great sophistication to detect the thing or the difference. Is this referring to the smallest tube they sell?
And after all that, the package doesn’t even clearly state what it does, for how long, or how it is supposed to work. A trite triumph of marketing form over functional content.