The Friday Report: Love Stinks!
Grand County, CO Colorado
I’ve been through diamonds
I’ve been through minks
I’ve been through it all
J. Geils Band
You don’t get stories about armpits with the fancy columnists in the hi-falutin’ papers, but I’m like a bloodhound on the scent of a good story. Let’s start with a language exercise and try a tourist phrase useful in any European country, “Excuse me, but you smell a fright. Would you like to borrow my deodorant?”
These friendly words, spoken with beaming American charm, can make you a foreign friend for life, no matter how many more seconds that life might last.
Of course, you’d never say that to anyone armed with a sword or a pistol, but society must have been pretty malodorous before deodorants were invented in 1888. Most frontiersmen truly were polecats, or at least smelled like one.
Sweat doesn’t smell for about the hour it takes the skin’s bacteria to break down the sugars and fats to start the stinky process. Deodorants simply kill the bacteria that cause the break-down process, while anti-perspirants close the sweat glands, preventing sweat from reaching the surface of the skin.
You don’t much hear people talking about sweat unless they’re promoting a deodorant on TV. My favorite goes: “Tough enough for HIM, delicate enough for HER!” Then flowers appear all over the lid of the deodorant. Most single guys I know wouldn’t use that alone in a Best Western, even with the curtains completely drawn.
Anti-perspirants are scary chemicals that fool your sweat glands into puckering up tighter than Aunt Ethyl’s lips on Easter. The main ingredient of most of them are aluminum salts linked with Alzheimer’s Disease. I forget where I read that.
In one’s lifetime, the human body produces about sixteen quarts of sweat. Four gallons. Just about enough to paint the inside of your house, but you might have to get a neighbor to add some sweat to finish up the trim.
Some scientists tell us that sweat is an aphrodisiac. Through our underarm sweat, humans emit pheromones. Humans cannot smell these chemicals, but our bodies register and react to them. Researchers have determined that women’s ovulation cycles are lengthened and shortened by exposure to different pheromones.
Which might explain an Elizabethan custom noted in a 1966 National Geographic article. Women held peeled apples under their arms long enough to imbue them with their particular essence. Then they would give them to their lovers to inhale while they were apart.
Members of a New Guinea tribe take leave of one another by placing their hands under each other’s armpits and rubbing themselves with each other’s scent.
People who still use those messy white anti-perspirants need help getting dressed otherwise they’ll get white smears all over their clothes. “Honey, (hands up, elbows pressed tightly to the love handles) will you pull my shirt over my head, please?”
But wait, maybe sweat doesn’t have to be smelly at all. Dr. Ola Madsen, chief executive officer of Easy Pha-max USA has developed an award-winning technology that it employs in the cultivation and production of wheatgrass, a powerful detoxifier and odor neutralizer. According to Dr. Ola, a pound of fresh Easy Pha-max wheatgrass with leaves and roots goes into every 2g capsule of wheatgrass powder.” Its 70-percent chlorophyll content neutralizes body odors brought about by certain food, alcohol and tobacco as it effectively neutralizes bad breath and perspiration odors.
I don’t doubt you, Doc, but I gotta ask, if wheatgrass neutralizes body odors, how come sweaty horses smell so rank?
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