I only bought antiperspirant a few times until one of my middle school teachers – a science teacher, no less – told the class that antiperspirant was a cause of Alzheimer’s. “You can either smell bad now or lose your mind later,” was how he put it. I switched to deodorant for the next 20 years.
Eventually I settled on my brand. Old Spice Pure Sport is a good-smelling deodorant. I would’ve used Old Spice Original but my brother used that one and he told me we couldn’t use the same scent. I don’t know why I listened to him on that particular point, since I didn’t care about his opinion on anything else. I must’ve known, deep down, that he was right. You have to be your own man in this hard land. There are so many scent choices; why not celebrate my individuality? Never mind that roughly 8 million other men probably buy the same stick of deodorant. Of the three men in my house, I was unique.
In college my freshman-year roommate told me a wonderfully idiosyncratic story about his seasonal deodorant changes. He’d wear two different types of deodorant: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. It was never a strict date that he made the switch, more of a feeling in his bones that the season was changing and he had to change with it. He had a third deodorant for going out on dates. Apparently this third deodorant really drove the ladies wild. I was so taken with his story that I made a comic strip about it.
After college, when I started making enough money to pay for both my rent AND sundries, my nose began to wander. I’d stand in the deodorant isle of Target, awestruck at the selection. Why was I limiting myself to a choice I made as a kid? As a full-grown man, I should maybe reassess. Thus began the experimental deodorant phase of my life.
It was during this time I made the mistake of buying the most horrid, clingy deodorant scent I’ve ever come across. Maybe you’re saying, “What a pampered oblivious white guy. Where I’m from, deodorant smells like wet newspapers and we’re happy to have it.” But I’m not white whining about deodorant. I’m trying to save you, dear readers, from making the same mistake I did. Save yourself three bucks and never buy this deodorant:
I know: the label is nothing short of awesome. I want to smell like that bird, too. But the deodorant doesn’t smell like a mythological eagle god. It smells like a flower dipped in corn syrup and rolled into cotton candy. A manly scent? About as far from that concept as is possible. A woman’s perfume smells like a triumphant bullfighter returning from his latest conquest compared to this monstrosity. This deodorant made me wonder where the good people who crafted Pure Sport went when this got the go-ahead.
Suffice to say I threw Hawkridge into the garbage instead of exposing my friends and loved ones to its odor.
Now I’m back to where I began. Old Spice Pure Sport, a scent that never did anything wrong, is back in my medicine cabinet. I now know that antiperspirant doesn’t cause Alzheimer’s, but I rarely wear it. I’m not that sweaty in the first place, and the daily life of a cartoonist does not cause one to sweat bullets. (Until that deadline looms, amirite??)