I was going to call this “A Salute to Armpits!” but thought it might confuse people into concluding I’d developed a surprising new fetish.
I have no affinity for armpits -- mine or yours -- although some do. I, of course, found countless sites celebrating those who enjoy romancing the armpit.
I make no judgements. Armpit lickers may find it kinky I enjoy it when my wife nibbles on my ear lobes.
Really, other than during the nano-second morning swab with the Old Spice Matterhorn stick, I rarely devote more than a moment to thinking about the pits.
But for more than a week the world’s armpits have been right in our faces.
I’m talking about the Olympics.
My avid viewership has turned me into the Fareed Zakaria of armpit observation. He’s the CNN expert on international affairs. I’ve become the Latrobe expert on international armpit customs.
Very few summer Olympians wear modest T-shirts. They mostly wear strapped tank tops or less.
I’m sure there are competitive reasons for being as nearly naked as possible, but I suspect it’s mostly vanity.
They want us to see their magnificent upper bodies. I’m sure most Olympians would gladly compete naked if allowed -- and imagine what that would do for viewership!
They have fabulous bodies and want the world to bask in their grandeur.
I understand this, too. I was in Mississippi in March and a pretty girl told me I have beautiful hands (humility prevents me from posting a picture). I got home and the first thing I did was throw away all my gloves.
Probably a good thing she didn’t say I have a nice ass.
But this epidemic of televised near-shirtlessness has unintended consequences: armpits are everywhere. Anytime an athlete raises an arm in celebration or waves to the crowd it’s hello Pitsburgh!
Bushy ones, shaved ones, black ones, yellow ones, white ones, brown ones -- it’s a United Nations of armpits.
I wanted to know why some shave their armpits and some don’t. Men even.
We’re actually coming up on an interesting cultural anniversary here in America. The year 2015 will mark 100 years that Western women began shaving their pits. That’s when popular magazines began showing a scandalous picture of a voluptuous woman in a sleeveless shirt revealing shaved pits.
And let’s all marvel at the innocence.
Profiteers sensed opportunity with another way to make insecure women feel vulnerable about their looks. Soon every woman was shaving her pits.
The anecdote reminds me of a Feech La Manna moment from “The Sopranos.” He was the 60ish Robert Loggia character who’d recently been liberated from nearly 20 years in prison.
In a rare reflective instance, someone asks what surprises him most about societal change since his release. Was it electronic innovations? Social considerations? The fall of the Berlin Wall?
Feech becomes thoughtful and says, “Know what the biggest change for me is? These broads are all shaving their beavers.”
I was surprised to learn it is a religious duty of faithful Muslims, both men and women, to shave their armpits. That’s a hygienic directive straight from the holy Prophet Muhammad.
There’s much to admire about the Muslim faith, but learning their holy men issue religious directives involving the nitty gritty of armpit grooming makes me glad I’m a casual Christian who reads the Bible to learn big picture life lessons like about whom it’s okay for me to screw and when.
Biologists say the hair’s there to wick away sweat and reduce friction between the arm and the thorax, which seems to indicate campfire-starting matches are unnecessary as long as any of us has access to a husky woman with shaved pits.
I’m already suspicious of any profit-minded industry that tells us how we should look, smell or behave to be popular.
That’s why I’m chagrined to announce here an innovation of mine that will certainly revolutionize the body scent industry:
The scorching summer had me two weeks ago looking for ways to micro cool. Putting the Old Spice in the ‘frig seemed like a natural. I’m pleased to report the sensation is heavenly, if fleeting.
Understand, I only do this with my office ‘frig, fearful the girls at home will hastily mistake the deodorant for yogurt pops.
I’ve even coined a handy promotional slogan for my favorite brand:
“Room temperature deodorant just isn’t cool anymore. Try COld Spice!”
I encourage you to give it a try. Anything else is just the pits.