Lee Pitts: Man perfume
November 12, 2010
As a cattleman I hate to admit this but I like pigs. There, I’ve said it. So sue me.
In fact, I like almost everything about pigs, from how smart they are to how good their pork chops taste. But there is one thing I don’t like about pigs: they stink.
During my college career, when the kids would go home for Christmas break, I worked at the swine unit where the unique fragrance worked its way into every cell of my body and every thread of my clothing, which made it kind of hard to meet coeds. I had to burn my clothes just to attend classes when school started up again.
I’ve never used smelly colognes. In fact, I still have 20 bottles of Old Spice Cologne and toilet water that a favorite aunt gave me for Christmas every year. She gave me an Old Spice gift set that contained deodorant, cologne and a beaker of toilet water. The last thing I’m going to wipe on my mug is water from the toilet and me, being a cattlemen, I don’t need cologne because as we all know, cattle and cowboys don’t smell. I hardly even needed the deodorant. I take that back, cattlemen smell but we smell good. Why else would there be a Stetson cologne if other people weren’t trying to smell like cows and cowboys? Cattle smell so good that I’ll often roll down my car window if I’m driving past a feedlot because, as we all know, there’s nothing quite like the smell of wet cow chips after a rain.
One Christmas break I buddied around with a friend who worked at the sheep unit. Now, sheep also have their own unique aroma also but I’ve found that if you stay away from sheep for a year or two, or smoke cigars, the sheep smell will eventually be overcome with other scents. Not so with pigs. We got into a debate over which one of us smelled worse, placed a wager and decided to have an expert determine who reeked the worst.
Who better to judge than one of the pretty women in the department store downtown who manned the fragrance booths? We drove to the store with me in the back of the sheepherder’s truck because he didn’t want my piggy smell getting into his air conditioning ducts. We waltzed through the store in our knee high rubber boots like a couple of drunk boars and, using my body smell as a weapon, I cleared out the holiday crowds in our path. As we approached the stools at a cologne counter several women customers were kind enough to hastily vacate their chairs. We explained to the lady behind the counter, at least I think it was a lady, that we wanted her expert opinion as to which one of us smelled worse and if there was anything she could do to make us more attractive to the opposite sex? I explained that, as hard as this was to believe, some women didn’t find me all that attractive. And I blamed the pigs.
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She held her nose with one hand and spritzed us, but I didn’t need a spritzing, I needed a dipping! She tried a variety of man perfumes like English Leather, Aramis and one called Polo but switching from the smell of a pig to that of a horse wasn’t much improvement, so she poured a container of Musk on my arms. Great, now I was going to smell like a water buffalo! I may have even received a touch of Passion, Fantasy and Tabu, which I believe are women’s perfumes. It all created the worst stench I’ve ever smelled, not bad really. But even all that couldn’t get rid of the cologne de Duroc. For some reason the employees didn’t want us to linger and we were asked to leave without a clear cut winner being decided.
It was on our way out of the mall that we made a startling discovery. My advice to any student faced with trying to find a wife or husband while working with swine or sheep is to pass on the $50 bottles of perfume and treat yourself to a mall cinnamon bun. Even better than a automobile air freshener tied to your belt or spritzing yourself with a can of Glade every morning, I found that the smell of cinnamon buns attracts women like buzzards to a carcass. (Not a great analogy, but you get the idea.)