My brother always tells me I smell bad, so I tend to use a lot of deodorant. You can imagine how excited I was to find Target selling my brand of deodorant in packages of three. You see, normally I have to buy deodorant one stick at a time, which is incredibly inefficient. Why make a trip to the store to buy just one stick of deodorant, when you can get three? They should last me months.
I had a roommate in college who bought a huge tub of shampoo. That was a really good idea. He told me he wished he could buy a year’s worth of shampoo all at once. That way, he wouldn’t have to worry about running out. I could sympathize. You already know what kind of shampoo you’re going to get, but the hassle is remembering when you need it and then physically going to the store and buying it. Why not cut out the middleman and just have the shampoo all the time, for the rest of your life?
It’s not like I’m going to change my mind about what kind of deodorant I use. My tastes haven’t changed since I was 12. (That’s a slight exaggeration.) There were actually two events that crystallized the brand and type of deodorant that I buy. The first happened when I was 12.
My science teacher, a man who infamously made us run our own multiple-choice tests through the Scan-Tron machine in class (that way, everyone could hear whether you did well or poorly), was also the man responsible for our brief “Health” lessons. This included Sex-Ed. For reasons I’m still unsure of, he decided to tell us all about deodorant. He said you shouldn’t put more than “a fingernail’s thickness” of deodorant on your underarm. Whose fingernail, and how you’d get that much deodorant on in the first place is anyone’s guess. His other major contribution to my learning was stating that the aluminum content in antiperspirant deodorants was thought to cause Alzheimer’s. His advice? “Smell bad now, or lose your mind later.” There was another option, thankfully. Deodorant (without the antiperspirant) does not contain aluminum. You could smell okay (but still be sweaty) and the possibility of getting Alzheimer’s was not increased. A perfect middle path.
I learned years later that my science teacher was full of it. There is no known linkage from wearing antiperspirant deodorant and Alzheimer’s. But by then my tastes were already solidified. No going back now.
The second event that locked in my brand of deodorant was my not wanting to be like my brother. My brother used the same brand of deodorant as I did. He got the “Original” scent. I was not about to smell like my brother, who is, in all honesty, really lame. I got “Pure Sport.” I figured, I liked athletics, and you can’t really go wrong with smelling “Pure.” It is the deodorant I have worn to this day.
(Below is an episode from my college comic strip Atticus and Glen. You can see I’ve done a lot of thinking about deodorant over the years.)