One Shot and You’re Good for the Whole Day

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This past week I broke my longest standing personal hygiene ritual and it was not without considerable anxiety.

I have been using the same deodorant since I was 16 years old. It’s Right Guard. Not just Right Guard…but the classic original Right Guard with the copper-coloured top. I have used nothing else. I will accept nothing else. This has damn near driven The Frau clear round the bend at times because she does all the household shopping. Sometimes she can’t find that specific brand in that particular colour. When she does see it, she’ll hoard it. She’ll buy a dozen cans…just in case there’s some kind of Armageddon and we’re all holed up in an underground bunker for a year. I’ll be the best smelling survivor.

Right Guard was the world’s first aerosol antiperspirant. Gillette started it….then sold it to Dial which is now a division of a large German company.

So I’ve had a kind of relationship with this copper can longer than I’ve had with my children..or my wife.

I can still recall the product’s television commercials in the early 1970’s with comic Chuck McCann who was sharing a medicine cabinet with a neighbour. I can hear his, ‘ Hi Guy ‘ greeting and picture the concerned  neighbour calling ‘ Mona ‘ to his wife. If you know what I’m talking about and can picture it too, we’re exactly the same vintage.

All of this is a roundabout way of telling you that I was forced to break with format this week. Flying without any checked luggage forced me to leave the Right Guard can at home. You can’t get through security with the standard size aerosol cans in carry-on.

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The late, great George Carlin used to do a bit about travelling with all of your stuff…the stuff you need to feel comfortable..the stuff that you line up on the bathroom counter of your hotel room. This trip I suddenly found myself without an integral part of my stuff.

Shortly after we landed I hit a drug store and bought, for the first time in 40 years , a gel deodorant. It was still Right Guard but it wasn’t the same aerosol in the same can. You’d think, after all these years, I’d be mature enough to handle this kind of switch…but it still felt a little weird. There was no soothing spray sound, no comforting scent at play in the air.

There was just a swipe…an economical, effective, pedestrian swipe. Where’s the cachet in that?


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