Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Xtreme Blogging

Read with interest a thinkpiece chronicling the "Xtreme" food trend (Dentyne Ice Intense, Gatorade Fierce, etc.) in the most recent issue of Saturday Night yesterday. In "Taste for the Extreme", Mireille Silcoff (former Mirror and National Post writer/editor) asks, "These days, we like our coffee wickedly strong and chewing gum powerful enough to make us feel as though our mouths have been abraded with a windshield scraper. Have we become a nation of culinary thrill-seekers? Or are we just bored?"

Then she answers: "We're suffering from a relatively new, still-uninvestigated boredom epidemic," which we try to escape by "putting something hard-core in our mouths and feeling the synapses go wild." (She expands on this theory and it's much better explained than my summary here.)

So, I was in Loblaws today, shopping for milk, prosciutto and toilet paper, when I happened upon the deodorant section. Since I am getting near the end of my Gilette Cool Wave deodorant, I thought I'd pick up another one. (Hold on! There's a connection! It's coming...)

Anyway, with Silcoff's article in mind, I started examining the deodorants and was amazed that they were all "Xtreme" now. What the hell? Where's my boring deodorant? Where's my non-extreme alternative?

These were the Right Guard "flavours": X, Xtreme Spray, Cool Peak, Fresh Blast, Clean Impact. Also Xtreme Sport Ultra Gel. Ultra Gel? What does that mean? Also, Power Stripe Anti-Perspirant Accelerate. These are real products, not parodies!

The varieties of Speed Stick were equally bizarre: Cool Fusion, Fresh Rush and Icy Surge. Excuse me? I don't want an ICY SURGE in my ARMPIT. You've got to be kidding, Mr. Speed Stick. Who buys these? Also, Speed Stick Avalanche and Speed Stick Ultimate.

As for Degree: exhilaration, extreme blast, cool rush.

Even Arm and Hammer wasn't immune. It's Advance deodorant claimed to have "Advanced Deodorancy" and "36 Hour Power." I think that the most I would ever need or want my deodorant to last would be 24 hours, frankly.

Anyway, all these absurd buzz words almost made the Adidas deodorant look like the most sensible purchase. But then I read the Adidas deodorant closer. It said, "Team Force." I don't know about you, but my deodorant need only be strong enough for one person, not a whole team.

For those of you dying of curiousity, I bought the "Exact Men's Deodorant: Extreme Energy" brand. Yes, it's extreme, but it was also cheaper than the other brands. And it smells a bit like my old Cool Wave.

Post-script

I hadn't read Saturday Night for a while, but Hey, there were more than a few interesting articles in it. Which is more than I can say for Walrus, unfortunately. (Still holding out hope.)

Been reading more magazines lately. I'm a big fan of The Believer. I'm an advocate of Maisonneuve, which is much better than I thought it would be. Also, strangely enough, I picked up Vanity Fair at the Loblaws check-out today.

Also, isn't it funny that the guy who owns Loblaws is named Bob Loblaw? Someone told me that this summer and it still amuses me.

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