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Manly Me!

October 17, 2012

This morning Mrs. Chatterbox said to me,” So how’s that shampoo I bought for you?”

 

I’d asked her to pick up some more when she went to the store because the bottle in my gym bag was empty. I looked up from my iPad and said, “It’s fine.”

    

“She looked at me curiously. “Did you notice anything different?”

    

“Can’t say I did. But it was nice. Real sudsy.”

    

“Was it different from the shampoo you’ve been using?”

    

I set down my iPad. “What am I missing here.”

    

“The shampoo I bought was specifically designed for men.”

    

Feeling like I’d failed a masculinity test, not my first, I said, “It felt like a real manly shampoo.”

    

She smiled and went back to watching Iron Chef, where a sweaty guy in an apron was cracking open a massive ostrich egg. Later, when the program was over and she wasn’t around, I pulled out my gym bag and checked the label on my new shampoo. I half expected to see ingredients like bull sperm or yak musk, but nothing über masculine was listed as an ingredient. I remember an antiperspirant once marketed with the slogan: Strong enough for him, but made for her. This marketing pitch made it seem like women perspired differently than men, which I don’t believe.

     

With too much time on my hands from avoiding useful pursuits, I decided to find out what made this shampoo male. Differences in packaging were obvious: her bottle was soft and pink as a kitten’s nose; my container was rigid, black like the Kevlar vests of swat teams and shaped like something to throw at the enemy. But these were superficial differences. I checked the ingredients on our shampoo bottles and subtracted the ingredients found in both bottles.

 

*Note to Homeland Security—I know you’re listening in and these are ingredients

for shampoo, not a dirty bomb. If it is a bomb, it’s a squeaky clean one:

 

  1. Water: Yes, we’re paying mostly for water.
  2. Alcohol: Drink this shampoo and enjoy your shower more.
  3. Methylchloroisothiazolinone: Wasn’t this the guy who enslaved the Israelites?
  4. Methylisothiazolinone: Or was it this guy?
  5. Citric Acid: I think this is in Fresca and 7-Up.
  6. EDTA: Isn’t this a department of government Romney wants to get rid of?
  7. Distearate: Actresses use this to fake crying, right?
  8. Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Technical term for a fart.
  9. Sodium Citrate: I bet this is good in margaritas.
  10. Fragrance: Female shampoos smell of flowers, male shampoo like cheerleader uniforms.
  11. Panthenol: a shiny but endangered catlike jungle creature.
  12. Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride: Probably the glue holding together Hydrox Cookies.
  13. Dimethiconol: Pulverized remains of a small dinosaur thought to have pretty hair.

 

These are the ingredients found in male shampoo but not in the female version:

 

  1. Cocamidopropyl Betaine: The ingredient in Coca Cola that makes you cry? 
  2. Carbomer: I once rebuilt one of these in my shop/automotive class. 
  3. Guar: A possible sixteen points in Scrabble. 
  4. TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate: ????????????

 

Actually I have no idea what these last four items are, but it’s apparent the beauty care industry knows more about male and female sexuality than regular scientists. No more nonsense about “X” and “Y” chromosomes; the difference between the sexes is written on plastic bottles for all to see. If you want to know what’s manly, what prompts him to make a withdrawal from the boner bank, the answer is in these mystery ingredients.

 

In the spirit of scientific study, I’ve paused for a shower break. I shampooed long and hard with my Suave Shampoo for MEN. I must admit to feeling…strange. I feel like humping furniture, and I’m experiencing a sensation that’s eluded me my entire life, the desire to engage in a bar fight. But before I head over to the nearest watering hole I think I’ll shampoo my hair again.

 



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