Subjects to write about often come to me in the most unusual places. Today it was while I was under my arms.
As I have previously written, I used to enjoy shopping. Today shopping is almost like a full contact sport, battling corporate America as it tries as hard as possible to slam us into blind submission. With profit margins razor thin they need to do all they can to gleam that last penny from our pocket to add to their bottom line. Sadly, much of what they do is borderline criminal as they prey on the weak and mindless while they shop. Notice I said “they” not we? I know better, or do I?
I sweat, and
stink smell when I do. I am not ashamed of this admission as many other guys do too, hence the billion dollar market for antiperspirant/deodorant. My daily routine includes applying liberal amounts of said product to my pits underarms each day in an effort not to offend or stain my dress shirts with vile sweat. Some days this works better than others. After years of testing and trying different brands I recently came across Old Spice Red Zone solid (OSRZ*). Not only does it work, it smells good, and it doesn’t leave that nasty white mess on my dark shirts. I have been a happy little camper buying my OSRZ at the local evil empire Wal-Mart every few weeks for some time now. There are many types of Old Spice and I found the perfect one, OSRZ and, of course, it cost more than all the other products. $4.18 a unit or whatever you call it. Bliss. No sweat, no smell, no white streak marks. Pure contentment at last. Goodbye Arrid XXX, hello manly OSRZ at $4.18 instead of 10 for $10 at Albertsons for the old school Arrid XXX.
That sense of bliss came to a crashing end yesterday.
evil empire Wal-Mart is freaking moving every damn aisle and shelf to utterly confuse and confound me remodeling their store. During this mind screw process, some products are not being restocked in a timely manner.
As I bounded aimlessly about the store, I managed to locate my beloved man care aisle next to the pharmacy. Proud that my aisle remained intact, I went to grab my next to nirvana Old Spice only to discover it was missing! The little track that normally held it in place was empty! I could feel the sweat pooling under my arms as I stood there and began to manically search the shelves for a lone lost OSRZ. No such luck. While they still had a plethora of other Old Spice products, mine was out of stock. Hence began the joy of picking up each and every one to read what was in it and what its claim to fame was.
Evidently in this world exists a man who smells but does not sweat, or sweats but does not stink. So for each of those men, we must produce an underarm product. Old Spice has shelf upon shelf of deodorants, antiperspirant, antiperspirant & deodorant and for the true man-ape, pro- strength antiperspirant & deodorant. Old Spice also has 4 or 5 scents and for each type of product, a set of scents. So using simple math
because frankly I don’t want to invest more time in this than I already have there are roughly 16 different Old Spice underarm products. If only it were that easy.
Old Spice’s manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, has decided that it would be fun to screw with the consumers of the world by manufacturing several products with different labels, yet has all the same ingredients as their existing items, and charge more for it. So in the case of Old Spice, they have my beloved Red Zone, High Endurance, Ever Clear, Sweat Defense, Clear Gel, & Invisible Solid. In total they have 50 different deodorants! I cheated and went to their web site for verification.
So back to my dilemma at hand, finding a replacement for my Red Zone. After reading about 15 different labels I chose the High Endurance antiperspirant/deodorant, for $2.18.
Once home I looked at the Old Spice I just purchased and compared it to the now empty Red Zone sitting on my sink. My Red Zone is 2.6 ounces, the High Endurance 3.0 ounces. They both have Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Glycol (17%), they both have all the exact same inactive ingredients (sorry to interrupt, but honestly, what the hell is an “inactive ingredient?” If it’s inactive why the hell put it in there, to fill space? Just wondering) and same scent. So to sum up, I basically paid $2.00 less for .4 ounces more of the exact same product with a different label.
You got to give it to corporate America. The titans of industry are just as kniving and ruthless now as they were in the great industrial revolution, taking advantage of everyone and anyone who would let them.
This time, by accident and pure luck I won. Next time I may not be as lucky, who knows what they have up their sleeves. Keep reading the labels, and be aware, someone is picking your pocket while you shop and it’s someone you know and trust!
* Old Spice got enough free advertising for one day, and frankly OSRZ sounds cooler than its real name anyway.