Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Anti-Perspirant

I use Arrid Extra-Dry antiperspirant FOR MEN. I emphasise the "FOR MEN" bit because so, too, does the antiperspirant. Indeed, the words are printed in 72 point bold uppercase. This is no doubt in order to differentiate the product from effeminate rivals such as Right Guard. Here, the "for men" is displayed in tiny type, almost as an afterthought. (In fact, it probably is an afterthought. People who use this stuff are, in actual fact, most probably pillow biters. It's just that you can't easily advertise a deodorant as being "for arse bandits only", however much you'd like to.)

Anyway, it occurred to me as I sprayed my under-arm areas this morning that, although the can was at room temperature, the spray came out feeling very cold, almost exactly as if it had been chilled. But how could this be achieved without the use of complicated, miniaturized refrigeration technology? I decided that an investigation was in order. But before I could progress with this, my thoughts suddenly drifted back to other conundrums (conundra?) in my life. In particular, to Signal Toothpaste.

One of the main selling points of Signal, as you may recall, was that it was one of the first toothpastes to incorporate stripes. In my primary school days, there was much discussion as to how they accomplished this. The consensus, even amongst my teachers, was that the manufacturers first produced a quarter inch diameter line of pure white toothpaste into which they drilled four grooves, which afterwards were filled with a red toothpaste mixture. Thereafter, the individual, ensemble lines were fed, laboriously, into separate metal tubes.

This was a satisfactory explanation for some. But it was not in my nature to accept such simplistic orthodoxy. So, heretic that I was, I performed my own, independent investigation. Accordingly, I took a razor blade to a tube of Signal and sliced it apart. It turned out that both my teachers and my classmates had been wrong. In fact, the tube contained two separate reservoirs of toothpaste: one of red, one of white, both of which fed into an elaborate nozzle arrangement, resulting, when squeezed, in the aforementioned stripey effect.

Not at an earth-shattering discovery, I agree, but to my five year old mind, this was on a par with Galileo proving the heliocentric nature of the solar system in the face of opposition from the established religious and scientific hierarchy. Thus was my childhood over. At that instant, I had become, not just a man, but a Renaissance Man.

So, should I now do the same with Arrid Extra-Dry and take a hacksaw to it? Much as I'd like to, my enthusiasm is stilled somewhat by a warning on the bottom of the can advising me that, if I cut into or puncture it, it will explode. Are they serious, or as they just bullshitting me, worried that I'll discover their secrets and disprove some long-standing, divinely inspired theory, along the lines of God being present in each can of Arrid, personally cooling the spray with his holy breath?

Again, I feel as did Galileo. In Galileo's day, of course, telescopes were used solely for spying on the woman in the house opposite as she gave herself a sponge bath, soaping her pendulous breasts with hot, steaming water. Lest people attempted to contradict Holy Writ with the things, the Holy Inquisition insisted that telescope shops labelled their products with warnings such as "If you point this at the sky, your cock will drop off" and "God will give you venereal disease if you attempt to observe the satellites of Jupiter using this device." Just like Arrid do with their "do not puncture this can or your house will be destroyed" warning.

Most people heeded them. But Galileo scoffed in the face of such admonitions and revealed the nature of the universe. On consideration, following his example, I think I will scoff, too. I shall saw the can in half. And if I discover that God isn't in the can, and the freezing effect is actually produced by a little refrigerator powered by a mouse on a treadmill, I will publish my findings. Even if the Holy Inqusition threaten me with imprisonment or torture on the rack, I will not recant. Unlike that poof Galileo. I bet Galileo used Right Guard. This accounts for his wimpishness. What a twat.

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