When playing the game Two Truths and a Lie, I prefer to lead with a gargantuan whopper such as 1) I’ve visited all 50 U.S. states, followed by 2) I once was a tattoo artist, and finally 3) my uncle invented dish soap.

The strategy is simple: people assume that you need a little time to conjure a believable lie, therefore you will, most likely, start your list with a little nugget of truth. Additionally, everyone knows that you can’t bury the King Whopper and Whale of a Tale right in the center of the list, because that’s too obvious.

But the real trick is to save your purest form of That Just Has to Be a Lie, even though it’s perfectly true, for the end of the list. The real conundrum is that people are so thrown off by your second and third items, that they have no choice but to label either as a piece of fiction…never suspecting the first…but I’m getting ahead of today’s narrative.

Beauty (or Lack Thereof) of Homemade Slime

I’m torn on the topic of homemade slime. Half of me loathes the substance; the other half of my brain encourages the mass production of said slimy substances.

Slime stains are prevalent on several carpeted areas of my home. Glitter fragments can be found on every surface of my home, from the dining room table to pots and pans—sometimes I even find speckles on the dog, glistening in the late-afternoon sunlight which passes through the side window at a low angle. The smell? Oh, I nearly forgot that. The presence of shaving cream within the final product makes my house continuously smell like a barbershop quartet. Where are all of the old men hiding? Lastly, the sticky texture of it all just drives me bonkers, to say the least.

But sometimes, just sometimes, life isn’t all about me; sometimes it’s not all about you, either. And that’s where it gets tricky.

The second half of me (also known as “Push-over Dad”) agreed to chauffeur my two girls around, during my Friday lunch break, in search of shaving cream, glue, glitter, liquid starch, and other crafting sundries. While the creation of homemade slime is not new in our household, it seems that they both want to explore creative options such as semi-transparent slime (accomplished with clear glue, in case you’re wondering) or slime tinted with acrylic paint punctuated with Styrofoam beads.

It seems that the entire female elementary school population desires to push the proverbial envelope of do-it-yourself chemical engineering. The creation of homemade slime seems to be taking the country by storm. Kids, including my own two girls, take their slime to school. They stretch it, ooze it, and ply it between their fingers while chanting the collective mantra: Slime, Slime, We Love Slime. Not really, I just made that last point up, for dramatic effect. There has also been an unofficial, extremely-non-scientific proclamation of Slime Helps Us Focus. Maybe, maybe not.

Here’s where I wish to make my point. Parents should never stifle the creativity of children or discourage the exploration of Science or Art. In due time, the world, on its own accord, will do a fantastic job of suffocating our children’s hopes and dreams, replacing them with false promises of Aspiration, Career, and Success as a teen or young adult. The opportunity to encourage my two girls in pursuing their own interests supersedes my own displeasure of glitter and shaving cream stench. Today, it just has to. Life isn’t all about me.

The DNA of Dawn Dish Soap

Specifically, my Uncle Karl invented Dawn dish soap. While employed at some well-known company, he utilized his chemical engineering magic to concoct the formula for the popular consumer brand soap. The product name was attributed to my uncle’s sister, Dawn. And there you have it, all of the facts. This statement is not fiction, but pure truth; although, I didn’t know the exact details of his professional claim. So I did what any self-respecting-hobbyist-blogger would do—I asked my uncle directly for the facts of the matter.

You can imagine my disbelief when he debunked my own mythology. Yes, my investigative reporting has turned up facts that contradict everything that I know about dish soap.

While working for Procter & Gamble in the 1970s, he didn’t invent any type of dish soap at all; although, in fact, he did invent the formula for Tide laundry soap (not the original though from 1948!). Not only did he formulate your mother’s favorite soap for cleaning dirty underwear, but he reformulated it numerous times over his career. He tells me that this process of formula modification is normal for corporations, to maintain a constant product interest from the general consumer. His name is attributed to four versions of Tide. Don’t believe me? Just Google it, and check out the patents for yourself (which is what I did).

When pressed for the story of how Dawn dish soap came to bear the name of his sister, he easily cleared that up for me: “I think they named it after the sunrise rather than my sister…I didn’t have the clout to get a product name after Aunt Dawn…I was just 1 of 100,000 employees!”

I’m pleased that I learned something new today: 1) the value of fact checking (even if it is your own personal mythology), and 2) my Uncle Karl invented Tide laundry soap (versions #50-53, according to him).

I suppose that I now, technically speaking, need to think of a new fact when playing Two Lies and a Truth. Let’s see…what could it be?