Right Toiletries for Adventure
My new deodorant says so much about me, the fellow I truly am.
It’s from the new “Adrenaline Series” of personal care products and is simply called “Adventure.”
Obviously, I am an adventurer. I require a deodorant that can protect me in the wild and unpredictable urban jungle. You have no idea the dangers I face in an average day. Absolute strangers break into a cold sweat just hearing about the adventurous life I lead. Hopefully, they have enough deodorant protection, too.
That’s the beauty of America, of course. There is a personal-care product designed for every taste, every lifestyle choice, anything you can imagine yourself being or doing.
For example, I suppose I could have chosen a new deodorant called “Dark Temptation” or another called “Swagger.” These are products primarily designed for teenage boys who heretofore had no idea they smelled like rotten gym shoes. There was also “Sahara,” “Mountain Rush” and something called “Pro,” presumably designed for those who sweat for a living.
I chose “Adventure” deodorant from the “Adrenaline Series” because, let’s face it, my life is an adventure. If the deodorant fits, as the old saying goes, roll it on.
On Thursday, for example, I took 16 products through the “14 items or less” express checkout line at the grocery store without even batting an eye. I could see the cashier secretly counting my items, wondering if a four-pack of digestive yogurt counted as four or a single checkout item, but I didn’t waver a jot in the face of her skepticism.
“Will that be credit or debit?” she asked, a tad suspiciously.
“Cash, Dollface,” I said, peeling off the bills the way a great white rhino hunter would pay a nervous guide who got him through the secret waterfall into the mythical preserve of the last great white rhino.
Next, I went to my usual coffee place on West Broad and ordered a triple espresso. It was only 8:15 in the morning.
“Did you say a triple?” the coffee girl asked, seeming a trifle shocked at my bold beverage choice, as did a sleek couple looking on. He was dressed in a gray business suit, sipping a medium mocha latte. She was in tennis togs, stirring her perky decaf Rain Forest. I’m guessing their deodorants were “Junior Bank Officer” and “Morning Tennis with the Girls” respectively. They smelled faintly of newly married tension with a hint of lemony first mortgage and baby on the way.
“On second thought, Pieface,” I told the coffee girl without a ripple of concern, “make that an espresso quad. I’m signing my federal income taxes in an hour.”
At the office, checking my overnight e-mail is always a romantic adventure. Lonely African widows want to give me millions, and beautiful Russian girls express their desire in touching broken English to meet me, possibly with adult fun or marriage in mind.
I almost hate to have to tell them I’m happily hitched to a plucky Yankee gal whose invisible roll-on antiperspirant is called “Hands Off My Man, Cream Puff.” And who needs African millions, anyway? A spiritual great white rhino hunter like me simply doesn’t need to sponge off the finances and affections of lonely widows and future Hooters waitresses.
The Next Game Changer
Talking to my boss is always an adventure. He bounds into my office on the balls of his feet, a bundle of pure entrepreneurial energy, eager to “knock a dent in the universe” as his hero Steve Jobs likes to say every morning, forever hungry for the next local Game Changer, the next Big Sandhills Thing.
Good thing he wears extra-strength “Rupert” power stick, the antiperspirant preferred by boy geniuses and emerging new media types more than 2-to-1.
“Hey, check this out, Sparky!” he says, and shows me his snappy new iPad, which looks exactly like his snappy year-old iPhone, only on steroids.
In mere seconds we’re on a whirlwind E-tour of the planet. He’s showing me courting sperm whales off Yucatan, Sarah Palin autographing palms and foreheads at a tea party rally in Spokane, an active volcano in Sumatra, Hamid Karzai pausing to water his young tomato plants on a palace balcony in Kabul, a live cam shot of Bill Clinton reading Hustler magazine in his garage.
“This is all happening in real time,” he enthuses. “Volcanoes spewing ash, militant tomato plants being grown on U.S. taxpayer dollars, world leaders at play! Here’s what I’m thinking, Ace. What if we equip every man, woman and child in, say, Robbins with a new iPad and a personal solar-powered mini-satellite dish mounted on a designer headband head that projects their most intimate thoughts and actions to everyone on the planet as they happen! Talk about instant global gratification! This could be big — front page Wall Street Journal material!”
“Sounds great, chief,” I say, wondering what happened to yesterday’s fantastic plan to bring the World Summit of Breath Mint Designers to the new Aberdeen recreation center. The International Halitosis Relief Committee was already rumored to be on board.
“Glad you like it. Get on it right after lunch! Gotta go.”
Luckily, lunch is up next.
The Urban Jungle
In true adventure fashion, I head straight out the door without a fig of concern where I’ll forage in the urban jungle. Food is basically irrelevant to a true adventurer like me, you must understand, though my wife has insisted that I add more leafy greens to my diet for fiber enhancement and better bowel maintenance.
I wind up munching something that tastes like pruned shrubbery on the patio of a swanky inn in Pinehurst, keeping tabs on the white-haired guy in the blinding Madras blazer making time in the corner with a beautiful top-heavy gal young enough to be his daughter.
Two-to-one odds he’s wearing “Viagra Falls,” the new fast-acting designer antiperspirant that works effectively up to four hours without a doctor’s prescription. And if I had to guess, she’s discreetly protected by the new “Sugar Daddy” powder roll-on that leaves no trace where it’s been.
After lunch, instead of getting straight onto the Robbins headband satellite project, I go grab a few moments of quiet adventure on the sunny Pine Crest Inn porch, dozing off to dream of Sarah Palin dressed as Xena: Warrior Princess, carving her name into the pale foreheads of terrified House Democrats with a gleaming scimitar while a bunch of middle-aged guys from Ohio with light beers argue about the latest revelations of Tiger’s mistresses. My new Adventure deodorant frankly never lets me down, even when I’m napping.
On the way back to the office, I remember to stop off for my annual spring skin cancer check, and good old Doc Grine presents me with a snazzy green sport hat with a 4-inch crescent brim and funky rear flap that blocks out all but 1/50th of the sun’s harmful rays and — I swear on the chest plate armor of Xena: Princess Warrior — makes me a dead-ringer for Livingstone in Africa.
It’s late when I finally let myself into our rustic bungalow near the uncharted forest of Weymouth Heights. The lights are turned low. Wild animals can be heard scurrying in the camellia bushes.
“What on earth are you wearing on your head?” asks my drowsy domestic Xena from beneath her mosquito netting. Or maybe it’s just the 400-count Laura Ashley sheets she picked up at Super Target. I happen to know for a fact that she recently switched to Secret’s new lifestyle antiperspirant “Deal With It, Pal,” the brand preferred by working gals who do it all.
“My new jungle hat,” I explain, quietly placing it on the dresser.
“Tough day, Jungle Jim?” my Xena wants to know with a yawn.
“The usual adventure.”
I note how I spent an entire afternoon trying with no luck to understand how to dial out on the new state-of-the-art new phone system at work, finally gave up and read Newsweek from cover to cover. Gosh, how I miss the days when news traveled by either tribal drum or blood curse through the urban jungle.
“Did you remember to eat your leafy lunch greens?”
“Of course,” I say before drifting off like David Livingstone deep in the heart of Africa. “I live for the adventure of better bowel maintenance.”
Best-selling author Jim Dodson, Sunday essayist with The Pilot and editor of PineStraw magazine, can be contacted at email@example.com.
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