Thursday, October 16, 2014

New International Standard Proposed: Updated



There needs to be a new international standard for the strength of deodorant.  Really.  Just think about the various situations in life that you face regularly and how your deo either cuts it or it doesn't.

For the record, in Africa, I stink.  Two hot baths a day, plus my so-called deodorant and I still smell like hell.  The problem is, in part, that I have chosen one that is "unscented".  This is perfect for my mighty endeavors of things like eating lunch with the girls where I don't want anything to clash with my carefully chosen perfume.  Can you imagine what the other ladies who lunch would say if I did otherwise?

When I was packing for this trip, I bought a flotilla of my normal deodorant being certain that they would not sell any that was worth the money in Uganda.  On this account, I was right.  Remember Ban roll-on from the 70s?  Well, all that left over Ban that did not sell in the US in the 70s is now for sale in Uganda.  And, get this, the deodorant that they do sell is kept behind the counter with the booze and condoms.  I guess smelling presentable must be more likely to lead to sexual encounters here than in the rest of the world.

So here's a starting proposal to deal with the problem of assessing deodorant strength and developing a rating system.  First, since this is a global problem that affects all Westerners and therefore it affects the non-Westerner too even though they are not yet enlightened enough to know it, I propose that the UN, the World Bank and NATO (just in case there are strategic military interests at stake in the the solution to this problem) form a joint committee to study the problem.   From my friend/colleague Carolyn from Sydney, I know that it will take 2 years to come up with a name for this working group.   Carolyn has also taught me about the skill of vague-ing things up when dealing with international committees on the resolution of anything.

But this is the rough outline of what I hope the standards will look like in ascending order of strength:


  • Mall Walking for Seniors
  • Part-time fast food worker
  • Middle distance runner
  • Endurance athlete
  • Africa strength
Pretty good start don't you think?
Anna, Agnes #1, me in my ubiquitous aid worker skirt and Mary Akengo

Saturday, 18 October 2014:  I have just paid 20,000 UGX for a stick of Old Spice high endurance.  This translates at the current exchange rate into about $8.00.  8-f'ing-dollars!  I better smell darned good all day for this price.