two countries separated by a common …

In the way of me being fascinated/curious by odd things, I’ve been intrigued for a while about American dryer sheets.

People seem to rarely use dryer sheets in Aus, while the internets tell me that everyone in the US are all about them. Were the US versions the same as those you could acquire here? Or were they magically different/better/worse?

A few months ago (okay, it could have been up to 12 months ago) it was utterly impossible to find dryer sheets on any supermarket shelves and so when Don was making an order from usafoods.com.au, I decided to assuage my curiousity and add some Bounce dryer sheets to his order.

When the order arrived, I was interested to discover that the contents of Bounce box were exactly the same as the Australian varieties, but that the packaging was vastly, vastly different.

Further research has uncovered that all American laundry products are packaged in scary red, orange and yellow, while, as you would be aware, ours are all pastel and feature soft, cuddlesome, fluffy, adorable, baby animals and the occasional teddy bear.

The Bounce is “outdoor fresh scent” and the Fluffy is “field flowers”. I’ll point out again that the contents are identical – down to the scent.

It was then realised that I have been completely indoctrinated by the messages in the packaging. Bounce made me think of horrible, crunchy, crusty, inflexible washing, such as that which had been out in the summer sun for a couple of days (and which might have been rained on at least once) and I assumed Fluffy would produce washing that was all soft and lovely.

Yes, I’ve conquered the curiousity about the dryer sheets, but am now intrigued as to how the orange/pastel packaging was arrived at, at what it says about the respective countries.

And I feel the need to track down dryer sheets from other locales.

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