at the drugstore tonight, making a bonus trip because the wait for a script fill was an unprecedented 1.5 hours–after the holidays, we all need drugs to recover, apparently–i notice a few of the old standby gift packages that emerge only during xmas time (jovan musk for men soap and spray, emeraude body powder and lotion) are beckoning the olfactorily challenged at 50 percent off, and lo! what do i spy but that old refrain from the Seventies, "calgon, take me away!"
to my amazement, the slogan is still in use. i thought it was merely a marker to identify how old i am that the voices in my head still say that. but wait, calgon has had an image update and is now skewed not toward the enjolie woman who can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and take two valium with her dry martini to make it through the pork chops and applesauce. no, it’s now available in such juvenile double-entendre-enducing scents as marshmallow, vanilla twist, and morning glory. how can i chose among these three which to purchase and send to richie for a post-holiday gag gift? they’re all equally delicious, and a bargain at $5 each. but the shipping on a $15 gag gift would be another 10 bucks, and there are better punchlines to be had for that price. or an actual gift with amazon super saver shipping.
how did we ever reconcile the calgon as mr. lee’s secret laundry booster ("ancient chinese secret, huh?") vs. calgon as the cure-all that turns basic benzene-laden (at least in my neighborhood) tap water into a magical elixer of womanly luxuriousness? will we ever come to terms with that? or has our cultural literacy faded just enough that we don’t associate the two?