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I was called Fatty Farmer at school for many years. I couldn’t complain really, the ‘Fatty’ aspect resulted from my inability to realise that the orifice receiving food was a lot bigger than the one disposing of it, and ‘Farmer’ was an ingeniously simple use of my surname (not my profession). Being fat was not a major problem for me. The wobbling didn’t bother me so much, neither did my inability to view my maturing manhood without the aid of a mirror, even the oh-so humiliating last-to-be-picked-in-P.E., when team captain’s selected their squad and I was reluctantly chosen second to last (the short-sighted boy with chronic asthma was awarded the prestigious bottom of the pile trophy) never made a dent.
It was the sweating.
Possibly the most unattractive of my many fat-related attributes, heavy perspiration comprises three main side effects. Firstly, there was the clammy warmth exuded from my swollen body, a strong and constant steam that in all probability could have allowed the entire sports team to enjoy a full sauna just by standing me in the middle of a small room. Secondly there was the look, not so much wet ‘patches’ but more the occasional dry area to be discovered only with close inspection, usually somewhere on my wrist. I had to wring my clothes out at the end of school, or more appropriately, roll myself in talc until the leaking subsided.
Lastly, there was the smell. An odour so pungent that during school assemblies, all the children ensured that they were not downwind of me, or if they were, clothes pegs and bags of smelling salts were at the ready, kindly distributed by the always helpful form tutors.
As you can imagine, my school life was less like an educational centre and more like an episode of Survivor, with the minor exception that my personal experience lasted around five years and I wouldn’t have thought twice about eating a rat if it had kept my mouth busy for a while.
After heeding the sound advice of my classmates (‘we will beat you up every day that you smell bad’). I decided to lose the weight and aid my meaty aroma with a bucket of Hai Karate per day. At the age of Sixteen I shot up in height, began to work out and cut down on my drinking (misspent youth), but despite my new leaner appearance I couldn’t shake that imaginary whiff. To this day, I am obsessed with my smell and experiment endlessly with new and improved deodorants that I no longer need.
The Gillette series have always been amongst my favourites, subtler than a can of Lynx (not difficult, really), cheaper than an over-marketed and under-filled fragrance and longer lasting than an armpit rub with a vanilla pod.
I bought the whole range of ‘Arctic Ice’ some time ago and the only one that remains is the Anti-perspirant. Even now, it stares at me with its cycloptic eye, taunting me with its fancy merchandising and its tough, manly container. So, in the name of Ciao, I have decided to conduct a real-time test of its attributes.
As instructed I have shaken the can well and I am dictating to the Mrs whilst I hold it approximately six inches from my armpit. The spray comes out sharp and cold, refreshing the offending area with a gust of wind and a subtle yet masculine fragrance. The giant cloud that billowed out has filled the room, blinded the Mrs, caused a coughing fit in both of us and damaged most of the electrics in the room. My frightened underarms are cold and have been beaten into submission faster than Frank Bruno’s comeback fight against that unheard of Swedish bloke. The smell is good, fresh and musky, but not overbearing, in other words, Gillette’s usual high standard.
But wait, something strange is happening. The perspiration under my arms has combined with the anti-perspirant and mutated into some kind of super-strong glue. Attempting to raise them even slightly rips the poor hair away from the skin like a plaster from an old wound and the tears have begun to flow freely. I am now attempting to separate my bonded arms from my side by ferociously flapping them like a crazed chicken, simultaneously freeing the hairs and cooling my stinging pits.
The Mrs has now left the room, banished for her fits of hysterical laughter at my suffering, all for the sake of Ciao. The lengths I will go to for a thorough review.
So, the results of this test are as follows. My armpits are raw, the hairs are brittle and I am weeping and coughing uncontrollably from the mass of smoke. The room is now covered with a thin film of anti-perspirant residue, my T-shirt has a slight discolouring to it and I am sweating more profusely than before thanks to my attempts to take flight. I do however smell nice.
The Gillette series on the whole, is excellent. It is very good value at around £2.20 per can of deoderant (or anti-perspirant, if you are feeling masochistic) and lasts longer than an acceptance speech from Sir David Attenborough, although the amount of crying is probably the same. If you are looking for a new and improved crowd-control device, then this can of tear gas/ Bostik is the baby for you. If however you intend to spend an evening in polite company and do not wish to launch into the actions associated with ‘The Birdy Song’, avoid this canister of doom like a mute would avoid a sing along.
I am willing to make certain sacrifices to smell good, but the only way I would ever use this product again would be if I began shaving my armpits, I was bribed or if I suddenly took leave of my senses and decided to dance around naked, covered in jam whilst doing impressions of The Prince of Wales.
Great op! For some reason, most of Gillete's spray anti's do the same thing-that is, turn to glue! I haven't laughed so hard since my roommate used foot spray for deo!
fords 29.07.2001 21:45
but im sorry to say i do not agree!
i have found this product to be excellent!
my favourite colour tin is the blue, dont ask me what flavour/scent it is because i havent the foggiest!!
eca99ajm 29.07.2001 12:32
That was probably the funniest thing I've ever read on Ciao and I thank you for suffering for your art! Anna.