Shopping for something warm and cozy? Soft is good.
Soft Hugwear, at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Softer is better.
Microloft Softer Sleep sheets, at Bed Bath & Beyond.
But if you stipulate the ultimate in softness—softer than a baby’s bottom, even—you need a word that goes way beyond “soft,” “softer,” or even “softest.” You need a pungent, potent metaphor.
But first, you need a Soft-O-Meter.
I hope no bunnies were laundered in the pursuit of softness.
Direct your eyes toward the top of the chart. Yes, if all-encompassing softness is your goal, you’re in the target demographic for the Vagisoft Blanket.
Nope. It’s a blanket, developed by San Francisco’s very own Betabrand, a company you may know for its horizontal-wale corduroy trousers, aka Cordarounds. Betabrands also makes Nauseating Holiday Pants, whose name speaks for itself. As for Vagisoft, here’s the official story:
The world of tactile technology was satisfied with “soft as a baby’s bottom” as the measure of absolute softness. Anyone who dared name something “softer than” the aforementioned infant’s posterior was suggesting a theoretical, quantum world of soft that existed beyond anything man could conceive.
That is, until researchers at the Betabrand Livermore Laboratory invented the Tactile Soft-o-meter, a device that can detect and compare the density of softrons, the subatomic units of softness. And while this has proven a Nobel worthy discovery, our scientists could not simply rest on their laurels.
Using this newfound knowledge, they set out to line the pockets of our world famous reversible smoking jackets. And so comfy was the fabric they developed, so rich and impossibly supple, that test subjects had to have their hands removed from the coat pockets with the Jaws of Life. Success!
But what to name this miracle material? Again and again, the Soft-o-meter produced a result that had our marketing department in a nervous titter. But we’re scientists dammit, not salesmen, and if the Soft-meter [sic] says this fabric measures “Vagisoft” within a standard deviation of one softron, so it shall be named!
The Vagisoft Blanket measures 5 feet by 5 feet, is machine washable, and costs $60. It is available online only.
And if you just can’t countenance buying a product called Vagisoft—perhaps you suffer from word aversion?—then order the Woolly Wooby Blanket. Betabrand assures us that it’s identical to the Vagisoft:
You’re witnessing a bold experiment in product marketing, whereby we track the sales of both names — one quite adult and the other rather child-like — to see which sells best. Our supercomputer and crack team of statisticians will be tabulating every purchase in the weeks and months ahead to determine which product name proves superior.
Gentleladies, place your bets.
Hat tip: Martha Brockenbrough.