Shimmy Scrub – Fit for purpose?

August 26, 2022

How do you scratch an itchy back? GARY STEEL thought he’d found just the product to relieve his torture, but it wasn’t to be…

I love the As Seen On TV stand at The Warehouse. It’s pretty much endlessly entertaining for a small mind such as mine, and one of the few ways to relieve the inevitable tedium of small-town living. (Don’t get me wrong, I love living away from the thronging masses, but just occasionally I need a shot of consumer stimulus).

The geniuses at As Seen On TV never seem to run out of ideas. Where else could you get a comfy pillow pad for your tablet, a jandal/brush hybrid for cleaning your feet in the shower (Easy Feet), light-up shoelaces or the Bowl Light (“Turn your toilet into a night light! Change the colour to match your mood and décor!”)?


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You can see it all online of course – and there are HUNDREDS of mostly quite preposterous products available -but it’s nowhere near the fun of gazing longingly at the real thing.

From time to time I’ve found myself unable to resist buying something from the As Seen On TV stand. Not that I’ve ever seen them on TV (I don’t watch ads or shopping channels, in any case). The rather cumbersome microwavable heat pack for my sore muscles was quite good, if massively overpriced. Generally, however, I’m drawn to the As Seen On TV stand for entertainment purposes.

Except that a few weeks ago I was looking online for a solution to my incredibly itchy back when I came across the Shimmy Scrub, which – luck’s on my table! – it turns out was available at my local branch of The Warehouse! I had suffered over the past six months from indescribable joint pain in both shoulders. The pain mimicked to some degree the frozen shoulder condition I’d experienced a couple of times previously. I’d been to my local medical centre but no solution was found there. And of course, problems seldom occur in the singular. With horribly sore shoulders and arms that would not extend in the right direction, I had no hope of reaching the profoundly itchy spots on my back.

I know from experience that wooden body brushes can work wonders, but the last one I had hung there forlornly in the shower until it slowly went mouldy. A brief search confirmed that the good ones were between $60 to $100, and therefore, beyond my “temporary needs” budget.

The Shimmy Scrub for a mere $22.95 at my local red shed looked like a solution to my maddening dilemma, but my hopes were quickly dashed. Described on the packaging as a “back and body scrubber”, a “massaging back scrubber” and capable of scrubbing and cleaning those “hard to reach areas” – and featuring over 1000 scrubbing bristles! – it sounded like just the thing. In reality, the Shimmy Scrub is a rubber strap with handles on either end. “Shimmy Scrub’s thousands of soft micro bristles help to remove dirt and dead skin, while reaching those hard to clean areas. Flip Shimmy Scrub over to enjoy the relaxing massaging beads that knead tired muscles and helps rejuvenate the skin.” Or so the blurb goes.

Admittedly it doesn’t advertise itself as a reliever of itchy backs, but what I found was that – once I’d figured out how to hold either end against my back without killing myself with shoulder pain – it was perhaps the least sensuous experience I’ve ever had. I know there’s such a thing as a rubber fetish, but the feeling of the wet rubbery compound rubbing on my skin was indescribably unpleasant. I could never quite figure out which side of the thing I was using because I couldn’t see it, but my super-sensitive skin could detect NO DIFFERENCE between the micro bristles and massaging beads. Both sides just squelched across my skin with no apparent benefit and certainly nothing to awaken the pleasure points on skin or muscle.

In short, the Shimmy Scrub is one of the most pointless things I’ve ever spent hard-earned money on. That said, I’ll probably get a load of comments about how they LOVE their Shimmy Scrub and how it’s an essential part of any shower routine, but going by the comments on The Warehouse ad (yes, I should have taken notice at the time) I’m not the only one that questions whether it’s fit for purpose. Yes, there are only three reviews but the product has a 1-star rating. Looking further afield for consumer reviews, quite a few came up with lines like this: “Total waste of money. Is at least 30 cs too short, and needs far too much soap to have any effect. Needs a lot of dexterity to reach all areas of back.” On the other hand, some total weirdos raved about the Shimmy and pronounced it a godsend for scrubbing their backs.

Horses for courses, I guess, but for me, the Shimmy Scrub was a total waste of cash and time. I’ve been trying to figure out if there’s a way to repurpose this slab of blue rubber, but haven’t yet had any brainwaves. I’m sure the kids would have an awful lot of fun whacking each other with it, and fighting over it, but brisk disposal might be the best solution.

Steel has been penning his pungent prose for 40 years for publications too numerous to mention, most of them consigned to the annals of history. He is Witchdoctor's Editor-In-Chief/Music and Film Editor. He has strong opinions and remains unrepentant. Steel's full bio can be found here

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