Today I went to Rite Aid to pick up a refill on my psychiatric goofballs, and also to get some more deodorant. Sounds simple enough. Getting the psychiatrist-authorized Pfizer candy was no problem, but getting the deodorant was another matter. Allow me to explain.
In days long past, you would go to the drug store and buy deodorant. There were maybe a few different brands, and the ones that decided to get really fancy might have two or three varieties to choose from. But other than that, the one brand was that company’s product, where deodorant was concerned. After all, why have more than two? Was something wrong with one of them? Was the extra-strength iteration necessary because the regular/original one didn’t actually do anything? And if that was the case, why not discontinue the shitty one that didn’t do anything and just make the maximum-strength one the one product that was sold? Why not make 10 that much louder instead of making it go to 11?
I went to the shelves where all the deodorant was and found the Old Spice products, and I’m not exagerrating when I say there were at least 20 different iterations of Old Spice deodorant. I should have taken a photo, since I can’t really remember any of them, but suffice to say that we are long past the days of just “regular” and “extra strength.” Each variety of Old Spice had a subcategory of what product line it was (mine was called “Swagger,” all written in what appear to be pirate letters) and beneath that whether it was deodorant, anti-perspirant deodorant (one of which made some claim to the effect that it fucking totes destroys sweat, will decapitate sweat and impale the head on a stake outside the city limits and wear its skin as a dress while its widow and children weep in agony), on and on and on, and so forth.
Of course my immediate response was one of panic, followed by a very exasperated thought that they should also just make a “classic” or “regular” version for crabby pricks like me. I eventually made my decision, based entirely on the fact that the Old Spice deodorant subcategory “Swagger” in its extra-strength iteration was being sold at a discounted rate if you bought two. Actually, you had no choice but to buy two, since they were packaged that way, like conjoined twins mutated by their manufacturer for maximum unit-shifting. Luckily for me, the customer care representative (otherwise known as a “cashier”) had a coupon and applied it to my purchase, thereby saving me a dollar, and my Rite Aid experience was bolstered further when the UPC code on my Rite Aid card was scanned, thereby saving me another two dollars on my overall purchase.
Then I came home.