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Morning Sun
  • TRUE STORIES: AQUA VELVA Man

  • This column was originally published, in slightly different form, June 17, 2002.

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  • This column was originally published, in slightly different form, June 17, 2002.
    One of Pittsburg's finest downtown stores ran an advertisement in this paper about a week ago for Father's Day fragrances; namely, INTUITION, Pleasures, MIRACLE, tommy, ETERNITY, OBSESSION, ESCAPE, CONTRADICTION and TRUTH.
    I found myself chuckling and wondering who thought up the their names. Certainly not the same kind of people who came up with AQUA VELVA and Old Spice.
    AQUA VELVA and Old Spice are aftershaves. An aftershave is slapped on heartily — as opposed to a fragrance that is dabbed or sprayed on gently.
    I got to thinking about it and started wondering what names more manly merchandisers of old might give the new fragrances.
    INTUITION Men aren't known for their intuition. When asked how they knew that the 49ers were going to lose to the Ravens in the Super Bowl, they don't reply, "It was my male intuition." Nope. They say, "I had a hunch."
    A real man wouldn't be caught dead with a bottle of INTUITION cologne in his medicine cabinet. But HUNCH aftershave? You bet.
    Pleasures How many times have you ever heard a guy say, "I went fishing yesterday … and it was a real pleasure." Never. What they say is "The fishin' was damn good yesterday."
    So they should have an aftershave called Damn Good. Made to be splashed on just before fishing, it would both repel women and attract fish. Smell like a cross between Catfish Charley and aged chicken entrails.
    MIRACLE Guys don't believe in miracles. They believe in facts. Scientific facts. They might allow that something kind of unusual happens now and then. Like when they catch a fish with an old lure in its mouth. Especially if it's the same lure they lost in that pond a year ago.
    So let's change MIRACLE to UNUSUAL. Also, guys don't like to talk much. If you were to walk up to guy and say, "That aftershave you're wearin' smells unusual," he could just respond in manly voice, "Yup."
    tommy This one's easy. tommy sounds like a bubble bath for an 8-year-old girly boy.
    Shorten it to TOM, or maybe TOMCAT, a manly euphemism for foolin' around. Also brings to mind Tom, Dick and Harry, three names that sound like they belong to real guys. Come to think of it, DICK and HARRY would be good names for aftershaves, too.
    ETERNITY Most guys are lucky if they can stay focused on one TV channel for more than 10 minutes, let alone conceive eternity. Even the thought of it scares them. Eternity represents how long they waited in the mall for their wife to finish shopping for shoes.
    Page 2 of 2 - LONG would be the new name. Guys would love it for its connotations … like long ball and long shot.
    OBSESSION Of course men get fixated on cars, sports and sex, but that doesn't mean they need a feminine sounding fragrance that calls attention to it. Tone it down a little.
    Guys don’t get obsessed. They get preoccupied. PREOCCUPATION is a better word for a man’s aftershave.
    ESCAPE Every guy needs to get away now and then but this one sounds a little too lame. Like eluding or dodging or sneaking away. Real men don't do that. They use their toughness and intelligence to breakout of everyday routine.
    Change this one to JAILBREAK. More macho.
    CONTRADICTION Life's full of contradictory people. People who say one thing and do another. When a guy runs across someone like this he doesn't say, "He's being kinda' contradictory." He says, "He's a liar."
    So let's just call this one LIAR. It would also make for some interesting conversations, as in, "What's that aftershave you're wearing. I like it."
    "LIAR."
    "Hey, who you callin' a liar, buddy?"
    TRUTH This one (which the ad said will be arriving soon) would be okay to leave as it is. After all, what man wouldn’t benefit with a little help in his search for truth.
    On second thought, though, with truth getting so hard to find these days, it might be best to just change it; maybe to FANTASY — which is, of course, what all the aftershave splashing and cologne spraying is about anyway.
    J.T. Knoll is a writer, speaker and prevention and wellness coordinator at Pittsburg State University. He also operates Knoll Training, Consulting & Counseling Services in Pittsburg. He can be reached at 231-0499 or jtknoll@swbell.net.
     
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