South London Review of Hand Sanitiser

by Kitty Drake in September 2020
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The South London Review of Hand Dryers was born in 2019 as a loving spoof of the London Review of Books. The premise was completely nuts: instead of books, the subject under review was hand-dryers, because, as editor Wedgley Snipes put it at the time, “To me, hand dryers are like weird little animals that breathe on you”. 

The magazine has just renamed itself The South London Review of Hand Sanitiser. In some ways this is a cynical move: who is even using hand dryers anymore, post-corona? Happily, the content is just as impractical as ever. Take the first story in the issue, for example; it’s about a conversation between a lucozade bottle, a blue smartie, a white malteser and a jaffa cake:

“I have some good news to announce,” Pink Lucozade proclaimed as copper-coloured glucose dripped out of various saccharine orifices of her plastic body.

“What’s the news Pink Lucozade?” shouted Blue Smartie while jumping up and down on the floor.

Spoiler alert: the chocolates end up dead, because they coat themselves in hand sanitiser and dissolve.


The rest of the magazine is given over almost entirely to reviews (The Body Shop Coconut Hand Cleanse Gel, Carex Aloe Vera etc.) The writing style is florid, with reviews usually opening enigmatically (“It’s a jungle out there, so you need to be ready for anything.”) There is also poetry:

It comes in tubs
With lots of love

Although it often veers from pleasurably to forbiddingly nerdy — at its best, The South London Review of Hand Sanitisers is a delight. Read it and you will never look at a bottle of hand sanitiser in the same way again.

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