It Stinks

May 24, 2002

Normally I don’t like to break things down along gender lines, but I have to send out a general call to the men of the world. Men, looking at the variety of deodorant brands, labels, and scents available to us, all I can say is, we have to put a stop to this. Women’s deodorants smell like flowers, which is why their commercials remind us that they may work on men but we should avoid them because we don’t want to smell like flowers. Men’s deodorants shouldn’t smell like anything. In fact, there used to be "unscented" deodorant, which smelled like the chemicals used to prevent our armpits from smelling like three-day old catfish and nothing else, and that was fine. If men want to smell like something, we can wear cologne or aftershave, right? Although most of the men I know don’t wear that stuff, partly because it brings to mind images of that guy who took our photograph at the shopping mall when we were six, who wore a polyester shirt open all the way to his hairy navel, appeared to have just come from a tanning booth, had at least three gold chains, and smelled as though he bathed in aftershave. And the names for cologne or aftershave don’t exactly make them appealing–names like, "Butch" or "Brute" or "Saddle Up!" or "Lumberjack" or "Axe Murderer", or the slightly obscure yet masculine-sounding names like "Zygote".

But we can live without cologne. Deodorant is another matter. I think it’s proof that the forces of evolution have a sense of humor that when we men go out and do things like hunting and gathering, things that theoretically should make us more appealing in procreative terms, we end up with a smell that’s guaranteed to drive away our mates. In fact the whole course of technological advancement has probably been driven by a desire on our part to not smell like anything. Despite that there’s no longer any such thing as "unscented" deodorant. It’s all given names like "Extreme Arctic Sport" or "Extreme Arctic Chill" or "Extreme Arctic Chilled Maximum Sport". And think about this: in the morning, when it’s cold, you’ve gotten out of the nice warm shower and so you’re even more sensitive to the winter breeze seeping in under the door, are you really going to want to put something with the words "Arctic" or "chill" or "ice" on it in your armpits? I’d almost prefer something that made me smell like flowers.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

[After my previous-week’s paean to Canada, I thought I’d share this as proof that there are worse things than national health care.–CW]

Top Ten Signs You’ve Joined a Cheap HMO

10. Annual breast exams are done at Hooters.

9. Directions to your doctor’s office include, "Take a left when you enter the trailer park."

8. The tongue depressors taste faintly of Fudgsicles.

7. The only proctologist in the plan is "Gus" from Roto-Rooter.

6. The only item listed under Preventive Care coverage is "An apple a day."

5. Your "primary care physician" is wearing the pants you gave to Goodwill last month.

4. "The patient is responsible for 200% of out-of- network charges" is not a typo.

3. The only expense covered 100% is embalming.

2. With your last HMO, your Prozac didn’t come in different colors with little "M"s on them.

And the Number 1 Sign You’ve Joined a Cheap HMO is:

1. You ask for Viagra; you get a Popsicle stick and duct tape.

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