rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Offending Even Satan's Nose

The Sunday paper brought me unintended amusement. There is a coupon supplement which contains a promotion for Proctor and Gamble products, tied into the fashion advice television show "What Not to Wear." If you buy $10.00 worth of participating P&G brands, you get a free "What Not to Wear" DVD full of fashion tips, plus you'll be entered to win a makeover in New York. The funny part is that one of the participating brands for which there is a coupon on the page is Old Spice Deodorant. Irony, on so many levels!

A number of years ago, one of my nephews went through an Old Spice phase. He would attempt to use their abysmal after shave lotion as a substitute for bathing. The combination of three-day-old sweat, dirty sneakers, unwashed denim and that foul product was astonishing. He was going out to check out the ladies, but I doubt he could have gotten laid in a French whorehouse, smelling as he did. Eventually, he got over his misperceptions about cleanliness and manly scents, and moved on to merely unpleasant colognes such as Draakar Noir, or whatever the hell it was called. But it is apparent that P&G continues to find men who think that Old Spice makes them smell good.

When I was about the age my nephew was at the time of his lamentable lapse into the worst of taste, Old Spice was widely advertised in a television campaign which featured little storylets about a young sailor going ashore and being given a bottle of Old Spice by an older seaman, perhaps his skipper. (The latter, incidentally, was played by Matt LeBlanc's dad- a bit of showbiz trivia for you.) The skipper would then stroll off with his arm around a buxom female, and the youngster would be so grateful for the hint; he was going to get some because, thanks to the wise skipper, he was now wearing Old Spice!

I came to read into these commercials a subtext which I found entertaining. I imagined that, once the lad had passed out of view, the skipper would slip the buxom female (who probably had a bad cold, preventing her from smelling anything) a few bucks for having pretended to be his date, then return to the ship to await the boy's inevitable return in a state of extreme horniness, his liberal splash of Old Spice having repelled every woman he met, just as the skipper had intended. On his return, the skipper would be there to comfort him in his disappointment, and give him sage advice about the unworthiness of women, and then would teach him an alternative means of assuaging his sexual frustration. Hello, sailor! I found this reading of the commercials implicit in them, because I know that Old Spice is a smell only someone accustomed to the odor of a ship's bilges, or worse, could abide.

Old Spice Deodorant, indeed! It is what not to wear!
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