end of the American deodorant


2012 in pictures


So I needed a reason for coming here, however arbitrary. New Year’s giant boot upside the ass gave me one good reason. But, apart from the tyranny of unresolved resolutions that prey on my mind each year around this time, the thing that’s really been giving me pause is the all too foreseeable end of the American deodorant. (There are workarounds to be found, though — mere millimetres from the end of its life, I recapped the deodorant — out of respect, I guess, and also it had started crumbling the final shards of its being all over the carpet (it is — or was — deodorant of the retractable stick variety) — so it will be forever immortalised, never completely spent.)

You may have thought that the end of the American deodorant would turn out to be an allegory about American life — an allusion to a masked stench associated with fiscal cliff-hanging or the political quagmire of proposed gun reform, maybe…  But it’s not, sorry. For all the possible soapboxes I could stand on, that’s not one I would feel comfortable debating from. Also, my little bro goes in for all that stuff far better than I ever could. Here.

No, I’m talking about an actual stick of deodorant. I bought it in a Walgreens in Grass Valley in late May of this year. It was super cheap. I think I paid less than US $3 for it. Plus it was damned good quality. I got nearly six months out of that deodorant. That’s less than US 50c a month. Not that I make a point of working out what each of my toiletries costs me on a monthly basis… but I’m fairly confident that’s a bargain like no other on my cosmetics shelf. (I just calculated… daytime moisturiser = $5 per week; night-time moisturiser = $5 per week. My moisturisers and my American deodorant wouldn’t even fit on the same chart.)

I don’t know why I felt so sad about it coming to an end. All good deodorants do. (And bad deodorants, probably.) I should probably point out that as part of the Walgreens deodorant purchase I also bought a spectacularly shitty, eye-gougingly bad eyeliner: the worst, most crayon-like, eyelid-incompatible eyeliner I have ever had the displeasure of gouging my eyes with. So it’s swings and roundabouts… and there’s some consolation in knowing that.

Also in my nearly six months of American deodorant use, I have been reminded of many happy times in Walgreens, a lot of those spent buying Junior Mints. The best memory, though, gave us much to speculate on for the rest of our time in America, and I still don’t have a conclusive answer. Overheard in a Walgreens in San Francisco:

[So and so] to shaved meats, please… Or… [So and so] to shave needs… There were three of us hearing this (four if you count Oscar), and for some reason, although we couldn’t agree which was correct, we still exited the Walgreens without seeking out empirical evidence. And the more opinions we solicited from knowledgeable American folk, the more divided things became.  And although I frequented many a Walgreens after this, I never did find a shave needs or a shaved meats section.

As luck would have it, I found a new deodorant under my bed. It’s about five years old — not that you’d know it — and this time it’s spray on (I note from the packaging that not once is the word aerosol used). And now I have written myself into a strange little cul de sac, realising I have just spent 500 and something words talking about deodorant, with no witty segue making itself apparent, and not an allegory in sight.

So. In cases of no segue, photos of small children (or cats) work a treat.

Oscar, playing with designer toys this week at the New Dowse:

Osc in a box

One Response to “end of the American deodorant”

  1. 1 Tony Robinson

    Your son/my Grandson is gorgeous. He looks so handsome in this photo.
    I also hate it when my deodorant runs out! Tones xx

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