Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Caveat Emptor

Last year, I accompanied my wife and daughter into a Bath & Body Works.  I wasn't interested in picking out hand soap so I began to drift, eventually landing on the needle in that haystack - the Men's section.  I saw a peppermint body wash and thought of the time I had fallen into a chair at a nice salon and gotten my hairs cut. Included in the cost of that haircut was a shampoo, so a shampoo I got. The stylist used a mint-infused shampoo and, I'm not going to lie to you, the tingling felt nice. Back in the store, I looked at the body wash. On the back I found the following directions: Lather over skin, rinse well. For the more "sensitive" body parts we recommend a quick wash and rinse because of the invigorating sensation peppermint has on the skin. 

Now I ask you, has there ever been a more suggestive use of quotation marks? I can think of plenty of sensitive body parts, only a few that I would consider putting quotation marks around. And it is no accident that those quotation marks are there either. They know damn well that no man reading that in a store is going to put the wash back on the shelf. To be fair, I was leaning towards buying anyway.

At the Minnesota State Fair last weekend I checked out a booth that was more to my liking. It was a booth devoted to spices, peppers and hot sauces. The man working the booth directed me towards the hottest sauce he had, "Ghost peppers. Many, many times hotter than a habanero." This I believed when I saw the sauce, which came in a vial and included a dropper. The vial was enclosed in a child-proof medicine container. The directions were clear:  Use ONLY one drop at a time. This sauce is very HOT. Wash hands after handling and before touching any sensitive body parts. 

You'll notice that there were no quotation marks, so I forgot about "sensitive parts" and thought, "What fool would touch his eye or whatever after touching that sauce?"  I didn't buy the sauce- that's too much for me. I like some heat, but a vial and medicine dropper seemed a bit excessive. At home that night I cut up a fresh habanero for a salad. When I was finished chopping, I knew I needed to wash my hands. But I also needed to relieve myself. I don't like to waste time, so it seemed silly to wash before and after going to the bathroom. I walked into the bathroom, unzipped my fly, and got the Truth into position. And that's when I remembered the rest of the sensitive body parts.

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