Sunday, 12 November 2017

We Stink

I have read that the main reason human ancestors managed to survive long enough to become the dominant species on this planet is that we stink and taste bad. Sure, we also have opposable thumbs which enable us to fashion and handle tools, a large brain that tells us when it is smarter to run than to fight. Almost always is the correct answer. However, our survival is really due to the horrific smell our bodies can generate.

I suspect that in the distant past when we lived in caves the smell we created would keep most predators at bay. A strategically placed fire would take care of the rest. I don’t know why the smell didn’t keep us from each other thus ending the homo-whateverwewere. We must have managed to ignore the defensive smell we created. It could be that a small cave filled with aromatic wood smoke helped somewhat.

Fast forward a few hundred thousand years and we would be in the beginnings of civilization. Instead of just a few smelly individuals squatting around a fire, fighting over the last bone, there were tens of thousands of us working our asses off building a pyramid for some king that wasn’t smart enough to have someone taste test his food. Writing may have been invented, but there was still the vestigial body odour from our ancient past. Luckily for us we had devised a method of making aromatic oils which we would slather on our bodies to mask our smell. This had an added benefit of cleaning our bodies when we scraped the oil off every now and then. Our skin was soft to the touch as well.

Thru the centuries since then we have continued to mask our stink with oils pressed from flowers, trees and some minerals. There has never been a perfect system, just ride any subway or bus at the end of a long, hot workday and you will know exactly what I am talking about.

A few decades ago, the deodorant of choice was spray on. It was effective, convenient, and easy to use and it contained Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which nearly destroyed the ozone layer of the planet. Our bad.

Just recently, I had to buy a new stick of deodorant which is always difficult for me. When I am in the deodorant aisle, it is like a stoner with the munchies standing in front of a candy counter. I just can’t make a decision. I would like to be one of those guys that smell wonderful all of the time. I fear that I am one of those guys that just smell old. I have come to the point in my life where I am really just happy if I don’t smell of socks, urine or shit. Instead of picking a new scent, I stuck with the “Ocean Surf” that I have used for a long time. The name is misleading; it doesn’t smell like the ocean, no dead fish or rotting seaweed, but a faint, fresh smell.


I have the feeling that “Ocean Surf” has the same odour as my distant ancestors in the jungle did, since I have never been attacked by lions, bears or wild boars.

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