Monday, July 13, 2009

"Ewww! Men Smell Like Balls"

© 2009 Leighann Lord

This was the consensus of The Women in the locker room. We had all just finished an hour long Bag Training class at my martial arts school. And while none of us were exactly spring time fresh, The Men in class had been a special kind of funky. They weren’t James Brown funky, but under-funded, public zoo funky.

To be fair, you can’t put in an hour punching the heavy bag, kicking the shields, throwing combinations on the Muay Thai pads, and not end up a bit wiffy. But in our earnest locker room recap, The Women agreed that to smell that bad, The Men must have come to class already reeking.

In truth, it was probably only One Guy but one bad gonad spoils the whole bunch; and The Women lumped them all into the same sack. "You know it’s bad when they stink during the warm-up," one lady said. "By the time we got to the sit ups I wanted to pass out."

As if we were sitting around the camp fire telling each other scary ghost stories, theories abounded as to the origins of this Man Stench. The most popular hypothesis was that The Men weren’t washing their uniforms. Were The Men training, sweating and putting their soiled uniforms back into their gym bags until the next class, without the benefit of being laundered? Ewww! The Women were repulsed at the very thought of such unsanitary practices and yet we felt compelled to identify said scent, as if by naming it we could reduce it’s power.

"Old sweat?" said one.
"Ass?" offered another.
"Ewww! Yes, balls!"
we agreed, wrinkling our noses and shaking our heads.
Key areas of the human body – male, female, or trans-gender – when not regularly tended to, can produce a cornucopia of distinctive odors. Much like an old container of milk, you know when it goes rogue.

Ironically, this entire conversation was punctuated by the sound of spritzing. Most of us were getting ready for the next class. With just enough time to change t-shirts and freshen up, The Ladies took the freshening up part very seriously. To a woman, every one of us was armed with a toiletry bag of wipes, sanitizers, deodorant, perfume, powder, and an awesome assortment of sprays from Bath & Body Works. The air was heavy with Creamy Coconut, Cherry Blossom, Cucumber Melon, Sweet Pea, Warm Vanilla Sugar, and my personal favorite, Moonlight Path.

We Women are well aware that on "The Rock-Paper-Scissors Scale" bad body odor beats Bed, Bath & Body Works. Spritzing is only a temporary fix. So why bother? Lady Logic: We may not mind landing a cross punch to our sparring partner’s head, but we don’t want to smell bad to them while doing it.

And then it occurred to me, maybe The Women were going about this all wrong. Unlike other animals, human beings do not possess many natural defenses. We are not the strongest or the fastest. A sharp tongue is no match for sharp teeth. Perhaps The Men are wisely using all the tools in their arsenal. While We scent sensitive Women are busy fighting the funk, The Men are using their funk to fight. Brilliant! Horses aren’t the only creatures who can win by a nose.

Does this tactic have a name? The Grody Gambit? If it works, I might need to ditch the Moonlight Path and buy some black market Zicam.

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