Friday, December 01, 2006


is a funny instrument. I hesitate to use that word, "funny", as what has recently occurred, causing me to write the above, was not at all "funny", but rather a calculated, programmed response to certain stimuli, the reaction of which was a sudden and unexpected onslaught of memory prompting me to exclaim (to myself--in the shower)

"Pert Plus+ smells like Jamaica"

Let me, dear reader, elaborate. If not to entertain you with a small musing, to prove I am not insane. At least, insomuch as exclaiming the above to one's self, in the shower, alone, is insane.

First, the utterance was actually, at least in my head, punctuated with the small "++ found on the bottle. Second, it was caused by a series of events that, when put together, are altogether normal.

I did not bring my regular toiletries on my trip to Jamaica. Instead, I packed the little travel size bottles of everything I normally use. Now, that is not in my nature in any other regard. I must have packed, easily, twice as many clothes as I needed. I budgeted far more money than we used. But, for some reason unknown to my forebrain, I like to use the wee bottles of stuff, and leave my day-to-day bottles at home, safe should something happen to me mid-flight. Perhaps I just like the labels.

At any rate, I usually use Suave for Men. I like the scent, and it is not too expensive. I can also match all the bottles: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, after shave, etc. However, Wal-Mart, the beacon of all things consumer, did not carry the travel size shampoo. So I switched, to Pert Plus+. No big deal, I thought.

And indeed, it wasn't, for the duration of the trip. The showers, such as they were, carried both hot and cold water through a tube, out a spigot, and pouring down to my head and body. They did not, I should point out, carry BOTH hot and cold at once. Rather, in exactly three second intervals, they alternated the two. I solved this problem by taking only cold showers, so as to combat both the heat of the day and the potentially harmful waves of scalding water which attacked the showerer every 1/20 of a minute.

And I explain this only to point out the familiarity I had with the shower. Sweat, salt water, pool usage, and frequent clothes changes (both for the above sweat and for the multiple dinners we took) caused me to use the showers an average of three times daily. And each time I showered I used my travel-sized Pert Plus+.

When the trip was over the Pert Plus+ was relegated to the travel tote carrying all the other small-sized accoutrement associated with travel. I had forgotten about it, and its smell, until this morning. When I ran out of Suave for Men, and was forced to rescue the small bottle from its nest in the third drawer of the bathroom bureau, and apply it to my hair. Once applied, the hot water (my shower works fine, thank you) activated the scent, which upon entering my nose caused my brain to trigger the olfactory sensors, linked (most accurately, I am told, of all the senses) to memory, in this case of my trip to Jamaica. Then, because my body is in control of me, and not the other way around as I pretend, my mouth decided to confirm for me the thoughts I possessed by exclaiming

"Pert Plus+ smells like Jamaica"

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