Deodorant Wars: A Very Special "Am I Okay? I Might Not Be Okay?" Late Stage Pandemic Edition

Like many of us, in a valiant attempt to maintain my mental health, I've spent much of the past year past year-and-a-half-twenty-twenty-garbage in a place of quiet self-reflection and contemplation. When so many things you held to be true and constant are suddenly proven to be false or shifting -- the inerrant goodness of humanity, the forward curve of justice, the strength of the global toilet paper supply chain, etc. -- it's important to try to stay grounded and focused on what hasn't changed, on what you can depend on. For me, in particular, it's the enduring and absolute marketing battshittery of the deodorant label. I mean, look at this thing. This is no mere tube of armpit goo. This is Degree® MOTIONsense® ULTRACLEAR BLACK + WHITE PURE CLEAN INVISIBLE SOLID antiperspirant. Or more accurately: Degree® MOTIONsense® ULTRACLEAR BLACK + WHITE PURE CLEAN INVISIBLE SOLID antiperspirant This thing has not one, but TWO registered trademarks! It's got the balls to put the three most specifically descriptive words about the product at VERY BOTTOM, in VERY TEENY TINY TYPE! And it STILL needs to spill over to the lid space to assert that it is also ANTI YELLOW STAINS and ANTI... Read more →

Ghosts of Nonsense Past

Would you like to use the bathroom? Check out the guest room, perhaps? OR WOULD YOU LIKE TO DIEEEEE???? "The basement's not a mess, is it guys?" "NO MOM IT'S FINE ALL CLEAN ALL GOOD. " (Please tell me someone else has a child with this particularly distinctive play style, better known as the "pull everything out until I have barricaded myself into a six-square-inch square of free floor space within a deep murky swamp of every toy I own.") And yes, those are the same Thomas tracks and trains from oh, so long ago. And yes, I've made oh, so many attempts at giving them away over the years. And yet they remain, much like the zombie toddler-sized socks that I keep finding and throwing out, finding and throwing out, over and over again, while also being haunted by much larger poltergeist child who keeps leaving his dirty socks on the dining room table. Because none of my living children will own up to being the dining room dirty sock leaver, oh nooooo Mom, it definitely wasn't meeeeee, those aren't myyyyyy socks, and there is no spoooooooooon. Anyway, looks like Infrastructure Week is going great! But. Wait. Is Read more →

Ghosts of Deodorant Wars Past

Jason: At store. Need anything? Amy: Deodorant plz. Jason: oh god what kind there are four million kinds. Amy: Dunno an invisible solid of some kind. Jason: Degree? Dove? Secret? Clinical? Motion activated? Amy: OMG it's all the same shit. Just get whatever is on sale. (Later...) Amy: What the hell is all this? ' Jason: Yeah I didn't know whether you wanted to smell like Shower Clean or Sexy Intrigue. Amy: And what's this third one? Jason: That's Black & White Pure Clean. No idea what that smells like but it promises not to leave stains or marks on your clothes! That seemed cool. Amy: Just how long were you there reading the labels on women's' deodorants? Jason: Wait. Are you judging me for spending an excessive amount of time pondering the nuances of deodorant marketing? You? Really? Amy: Touche. (I'm a Shower Clean girl and he damn well knows that, by the way.) Read more →

Deodorant Wars: Go Home Deodorants, You Are Drunk

part one || part two || part three || part four || part five MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SINK: "Listen, Samuel Adams Alpine Spring, we need to talk. Are the rumors true? "I'm afraid they are, fellow cheesily-named Seasonal Brew. I'm in love." "Then it's time for you to decide. Are you a beer... ...or are you a deodorant?" MEANWHILE, IN BETWEEN THE TWO SINKS: "We can't keep meeting like this, Alpine! It's too risky. If my brothers ever found out..." "But I need you, Suave Invisible Solid! I need you and your extra-effective 24-hour protection! You are my everlasting sunshine! Nothing can keep us apart!" MEANWHILE, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE OTHER SINK: "We know what's going on. We know and it stops now. You've changed, Suave. You used to be so simple and gimmick free and powder fresh and now you and your boyfriend and non-properly hyphenated and redundant promises ARE TEARING THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY APART." "Listen, Suave. I am the BOSS OF YOU. I just took the word "Matterhorn" and decided it was a SCENT. Cuz BAM. I smell like ICE, WIND & FREEDOM. The mountain-forest-water tableau on my label looks suspiciously similar... Read more →

Deodorant Wars: Where Are They Now? Edition

Once upon a time, I noticed that deodorant labels had kind of lost their damn minds. It was no longer enough for a deodorant to promise you the basic trinity of Shit You Want It To Do — keep you dry, keep you non-smelly, keep your clothing not completely streaked in white chalky goo — because suddenly one single tube was promising at least seven different things. PH balance! Active Body Responsive! Moisturizing! Skin Nurturing! Smoothing! Hair Minimizing! Continually Renewing Fragrance! 24-hour wetness stank protection so yo ass don't even need to SHOWER with this shit, baby! And it needed to do all that while also looking less like a plastic tube of B.O. balm and more like some kind of fancy ornate perfume bottle with lots of pretty swirls and metallic accents. It's hard out there for a deodorant, apparently. So also once upon a time, I combined these Overly Deep Thoughts On Deodorant Labels with my compulsion to anthropomorphize inanimate objects and create elaborate soap operas with them. (WHAT.) Thus, the Deodorant Wars were born and I managed to accrue quite a collection of deodorants purchased specifcally for the series. Most of which I shoved in a drawer... Read more →

The Deodorant Wars, Crime Noir Edition: The Devil Had Dry Armpits

(This entry is based on actual events.) (I mean, kind of. I made up some parts up. See if you can guess which ones!) (Also, certain events have been recreated for photographic purposes.) (I wore gloves. Ew.) (Also also, if you have absolutely no idea what in sam blessed hill is going on here, allow me to direct you to the previous entries in the Deodorant Wars Saga [linked below], which goes further and further off the rails with each ridiculous installment.) Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four The official cause of death? Accidental toilet drowning. "Some clumsy dumbass probably just knocked it off the bathroom counter and into the toilet with her elbow," the coroner said. "It's a real shame. By the looks of it she had a good 10, maybe even 20 clicks left in her." I didn't think too much of it at first. Once you've been Dermatologist Tested and equipped with patented TRIsolidTM body responsive technology, you pretty much become numb to this sort of thing. I just show up to write the reports, file the paperwork. The name's Lieutenant Degree Men Clinical Protection. I'm a cop. Maybe there was a... Read more →