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SPF 100 Is a Nefarious Lie (and Other Happy Truths)

It's just one of those things, one of those everyday, widespread consumer-oriented lies that have anchored themselves in the culture.
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There is no such thing as 1,000-thread-count Egyptian cotton bed sheets.

Did you already know? Were you already aware of this trifling yet entirely obnoxious little lie that is regularly foisted like (Sarah Palin's insufferable wink) on an unwary populace, by an evil bed sheet manufacturing industry that is drunk on power, black tar heroin and the tears of Chinese sweatshop slave laborers? I bet you did.

Indeed, it's an ongoing, nefarious ruse that effortlessly dupes housewives and sorority girls by the millions as they browse Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target and run their middle finger over the slippery pink sateen and coo about how if 500-thread-count is yummyslippery like dime store baby oil, then 1,000 must be twice as Barbie-liscious. Right?

Wrong. Of course, anything beyond 300 or 400 threads is complete BS, total fakery and often less soft or comfortable, wherein they cheat the verbiage by twisting multiple threads or adding extra layers or coating the threads with oil wrung from dead baby seals (just a guess) and forcing them into entirely useless weavings until all meaning is lost, and no one cares anymore, and buying sheets is basically an insufferable crapshoot, and the industry goes ha ha, snicker.

It's just one of those things, one of those everyday, widespread consumer-oriented lies that have anchored themselves in the culture like some sort of contemptuous tumor, one of a million myriad obstacles you gotta navigate around, through, up and over just to make it through the day and try and sleep at night -- without slipping off the goddamn bed in a fit of oh-my-God-why-did-I-buy-these-stupid-things.

(Oh, and beds? Mattresses? Those posh, $5,000 ones with the four-inch pillowtops and gold-dipped European springs that have been individually licked by eunuch gnomes? Also a total lie. After about a grand for a great, basic mattress, your body has no clue what it's riding on, and that includes Charlie Sheen and Stoya. Just FYI).

On it goes. Recently was I at Walgreen's perusing the candy-colored collection of hardcore chemicals known as consumer sunblocks. All those supposedly safe, healthy, body-protecting lotions, liquids and sprays, nearly every one claiming something quite happily impossible (100 percent waterproof! Total sun block! Does not cause instant blindness in monkeys, we think!). All of them so full of marketing gloss that you're meant to believe one shot of "Bullfrog™ Super Waterproof MegaSport SunPreventer Extreme II" lets you go traipsing completely naked through sub-Saharan Africa for a month, never suffering so much as a freckle.

It's a crock....

Read the rest of this column here!

Mark Morford is the author of The Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism, a mega-collection of his finest columns for the SF Chronicle and SFGate. Get it at or Amazon;. He recently wrote about the KFC Double Down, the Texas Board of Education, and what it's like being part of the evil liberal conspiracy. His website is Join him on Facebook, or email him. Not to mention...