Thursday, June 28, 2007


As long as I have to stay in the house anyway I may as well write, right?
Stupid rain.

For some reason my imagination has always been attracted by the image I have of what the 1920's must have been like. America was still largely rural, but the economy was booming, the cities were lively and growing and nobody had a hint of the coming Crash. The clothes, the architecture, the intellectual movements, the modern art, everything about it draws me.
I would have made a great farm wife...and I would have made an excellent flapper too. Isadora Duncan? Please. I would have done her pale.
I remember reading one of my mothers books years ago....the title was 'Flaming Youth'. And it was about young, devil-may-care children of wealth coming of age in the 20's, all gin and sin and fast cars and the Charleston. Now I remember it as being a cautionary tale, but I stopped kind of short of the caution and just dreamed on the cars and the men and the music, the cocaine and the rolled stockings and the Deusenbergs filled with slim laughing women.
I love to picture the southern women of the era in their beads and feathers. I think of them gossiping and blotting their lips on their hems as they repair their Tangee Red in round mirrors and take lights off each others cigarettes, or knocking back white lightening out of mason jars at some house party waaaay back in the far back they have to pipe in sunlight, smoking hot country blues falling out of the windows. And I wish, I wish I could have been there.
Early radio, the crooners singing over the static coming through the wooden horn of your Stereola...78 records played at the drop of the needle on the black shine and that anticipation of crackles right before the music soars out...damn.
I was able to hear some faint echoes of this era when I was a child and the grown-ups around me would reminisce, or show me the contents of their closets and boxed memories. My grandmother had a collection of boy-chested dancing dresses from her own flaming youth, covered in long golden moonbeam trumpet beads. Imagine all that swinging around in a room full of saxophones, whirling around the center circle of a laughing woman taller than all the rest in the room.
It would have been amazing to be in on the eve of radio, speaking to strangers from continent to continent and hearing the voices of strangers come back. Back then, s.o.s was CQD. My father was a little boy with a crystal set he'd made himself, listening to the catastrophes and the announcements of strangers abroad in languages he'd never imagined.
One friend down the block had a brother interested in ham radio and in the small hours, in the middle of winter, sometimes he would catch a reflection straight out of time. From the darkness of space, in the middle of the night, amidst all the Bakelite knobs and indicators, old broadcasts first issued live from the Sky Rooms or Music Halls of some long forgotten nightspot in Chicago or New York returned to replay in full. I can't think of this without feeling some kind of mystery come over me. All those happy people, dancing and applauding, the musicians all a little nervous because this was a live broadcast, captured on a wavelength and by some chance of meteorology or orbit going out and returning from some hard place deep in space all those years later. And the lone man listening in the night, in the silence of his makeshift radio room, to...'it is nine 45 in the evening, friends, and this is a live broadcast from the Starlight Ballroom, coming to you from Cincinnati Ohio. My name is Charles Sinclair, the date, November 23, 1922.'

Damn. November 23, 1922.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Violet Weasel The Gland Is Powerful ! NauseaTail Revenge! !

Last post I mentioned a men's aftershave fragrance called 'Andron' that came out in the late 70's. If you go to this* site (brought to my attention by the lovely and talented Homo Escapeons) you can read the masturbatory fantasies-recounted-as-facts of one (chinless, single, Linux-coding) individual who apparently swore by this crap back when. Oh man, the chicks were ALL OVER ME! It was CRAZY I tell you!

Andron was, quite simply, the most God-horrid shit ever marketed. Even worse, because of it's ridiculously over-inflated claim 'Proven by science: Women are powerless once they smell it!' it rapidly became the signature scent of the desparate loser. Nothing said quite so clearly quite so LOUDLY 'I have no social skills and I live with my mother! ' than wearing Andron.

What did it smell like? Imagine the delicate aroma of a tender which Frankenstein had wiped his ass with. Sweat, limburger dick, buttfoot and a note of citrus...all these things describe the subtle, lingering fragrance of Andron. Knock a buzzard off a shitwagon...? Thank God they don't make it any more.

For a short while when it first came out Andron was marketed via the sleazebag advertisements found at the back of men's magazines and singles/swingers newsletters. For a very, very brief window of time, wearing Andron meant: " Hey! I fuck!"
But that was a very, very brief window of time, and it only said something that should have been pretty obvious anyway. Remember too, that once upon a time a perfume called 'Shalimar' said something very similar about the woman who wore it...oh yes. It was considered quite risque when it first came out...shortly after the beginning of the last century. Now it suggests orthopedic shoes and Afternoon Bible Study (although you gotta wonder if Grandma stills feels naughty wearing it.)

As a general rule of thumb, then, men should avoid wearing fragrances that were heavily marketed as magical sex bait, particularly if they came out during the Vietnam War era or before. Not only will it convey the message "Aint been laid since the night Gerald Ford took office! PLEASE BABY JESUS SEND ME SOME ASS!!!!"
...but you will, more than likely, find that you are wearing the same fragrance as her father wears.

You want to know what the ultimate turn-off is for a woman? Instant? Like a lightswitch?
Once upon a time, I bagged a fineass sailor boy who was all ready to present arms- when I got a whiff of his neck. Hoo! FULL REVERSE! Sent his fuzzy ass right into the shower.
Yes I really did this. Why? The man was wearing Old Spice.
My father wore Old Spice.
No soup for you!

And for some reason Old Spice continues to be popular, particularly among military guys and aw-shucks types. Why? Please, God, WHY?
No. Gentlemen, NO.
If there is one fragrance which you should avoid like the very plague, make it:

Old Spice.


Because everybody's father smells like Old Spice. And that's just ICKY.

Similarly: Bay Rum, Tres Flores, Wild Country, Ebony, Jovan Musk for Men, Hai Karate, Brut, Mennen Skin Bracer or AquaVelva. None of these convey 'hot sex ahead' to anyone with functioning sinuses. What they convey is that lingering funk in the hallway outside grandpa's bathroom.

Down at the other end of the spectrum, AXE is rapidly becoming the signature scent of the 'squat to pee' set. Check that I.D. Smell like 'Axe'? He's a pup. Fact.
'What dirty boys wear'? Yes. In Jr. High.

"Anything marketed by Avon" is an entire category of fragrances that all men should avoid. Nothing says 'I live in a trailer park where no grass grows' louder than Avon for Men. Child molesters wear this shit. Yes. Her uncle Sid? The one her mom told her never to be alone in a room with? He wears this shit.

In the non-aftershave categories, the biggest offenders are two.
The first one is Right Guard spray deodorant-antiperspirant**.
Do I have to tell you this? It should be obvious, if you have a nose. The object of deodorant is to make you de-odorated, right? Not to make you smell like a shoe store full of elderly Polish men.

The second is Irish Spring bar soap. They make this crap out of real Irish people, folks! Come on! Rather stew in your own juices than wash using Irish Spring bar soap. Not only is this shit an insult to the Irish as a nation (and their dead,) it smells like that freaky pink deodorizer thing in the restroom at the gas station.

Same thing goes for perfume. Ladies, read and take note. What is your fragrance saying about YOU??

Bonnie Belle: sleeps in a 'Tigger' t-shirt
Coty: Trying to smell French, and (sadly,) succeeding.
Emeraude: 80's hair, drinks boxed wine, stands too close
VanillaFields: saving for a boob job
Rare Gold (Avon) : lives in, has lived in or is destined to inhabit a mobile home
Obsession: perimenopausal
Poison: " "
Opium: " "
Anaiis Anaiis: dom/switch, works in a library
J-lo: ass wider than shoulders, myspace addict
ex*claim*a*tion: still convinced she can pull off the 'virgin' thing.
White Shoulders: aging badly ( In Oregon: gay, aging badly. )
Lady Stetson: convinced she can line dance, will demonstrate same after 2 beers, cries easily. gets worse. Lady Stetson inevitably graduates to
Krystal: perm with visible scalp, goes through a lot of pantiliners
Charlie: works in banking, diabetic, son still lives at home
Patchouli: leather, hot, righteous titties
White Diamonds: old
Clinique: old hypochondriac
Estee Lauder: old and wants you to think she's from New York
Charisma (Avon) : old, always orders a cocktail, wears a 'Longline' bra
Chanel #5 : old, pretentious
Red Door: old, feels up waiters
Guerlain: old, addicted to prescription medications
4711: very likely deceased

Now you are all set! Spritz on the appropriate fragrance and go hit that stuff!
I can't do anything about the polyester slacks or the tape on the glasses, but I'm not in the business of working miracles here. God helps those who help themselves. Still, isn't it nice to know that, even though you might be one, you no longer have to smell like an asshole?


* Use the 'search' function to find the post on cologne. It's hysterical!

** In fact, Right Guard is used by undertakers. They spray it into the mouths of the dearly departed before they glue the lips shut. This kills the 'dead' smell before it leaks out the nose. Oh yes.

Ok fine not really.