Sunday, June 29, 2014

I Have An Axe To Grind

Serves me right.

The other day while buying my usual monthly allotment of toothpaste, deodorant, and other toiletries I came across something called "body wash".

Now, maybe I'm a little set in my ways. I like Dial Gold. It fits well with my comfort zone, even if I do occasionally have to break out the power grinder and weed burner when it's time to clean the shower walls of soap scum.

However, there are times when change is a good thing. The bar soap was a direct throwback to the days when dad would swing my bedroom door open and yell at me to move my butt outside and mow the lawn. Having watched some pretty risqué ads for something called Axe, I thought I'd try it even if women didn't gather en masse, per the advertisements, and chase me into a dead end alley upon catching a whiff of my oh-so-manly scent.

Almost immediately upon return to the ol' apartment I decided to take this stuff for a spin while my Kashi nuked for four minutes and thirty seconds. "Nothing ventured, etcetera", I mumbled as I cranked the water to notify-next-of-kin hot and hopped in.

I really need to pay closer attention to things.

I had already squeezed out the equivalent of several large dollops and slathered it all over myself when I was hit with an aroma reminiscent of a French Quarter brothel. Turns out that what I had mistakenly assumed was liquid soap, dyed in Viking Battle Blood Red or something, was actually "Axe Anarchy For Her". "Ugh!" was my only response while it occurred to me that the next twenty-four hours were possibly going to be lonely while this stuff wore off. No getting chased by gorgeous women. No irresistible ninja appeal. While reaching, desperately, for a good old bar of Dial, I read the marketing blurb on the back of the bottle about searching for some "spark". I don't know about spark, but I can tell you that at least I wasn't going to smell like a shrimp boat for awhile. Not with these "fun and fruity florals". While reading further about how my new scent would "unleash chaos", it occurred to me that that might have referred to my friends never letting me live this down if they caught a whiff.

Oh, well, I thought. Maybe I'm overreacting. I'm sure I wasn't overreacting while standing in line at the car parts store while at least three other guys gave me the "turn in your man card, dude" look normally reserved for married guys who get stuck pulling purse-holding duty while their wives hunt for bargains at Dottie's Scarf Emporium. How I got out of there without catcalls, a few hey sweeties, and a phone number is testimony to Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape training imparted at  Lackland Air Force Base to a twenty year old version of me. By now I was almost hoping that the Armor All would spill over me and remove this artificial fruit salad pheromone.

The fragrance, defined by Unilever as "fragrance", was assisted by prunus serrulata extract and is a marketing division's way of saying "you're going to smell like cherry flowers because you weren't paying attention when you bought this crud". Live and learn. I'm back to Dial Gold, back in my I'm-a-guy-and-I-sit-around-in-my-shorts-watching-tv comfort zone which not even Axe For Her can invade. I've since tossed the bottle out in the hope that this whole near-ptsd-inducing trauma will quietly evaporate like the smell which brought it into my life like a pink sledge hammer. I'm almost certain the odor is gone now. If it isn't, I have a weapon for it.

Tetrasodium Edta, you're on point. Induce sweat and ask questions later.

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