When I was a student in college I never went anywhere without wearing my Jade East. I’d get half-way to class, realize I’d forgotten to put it on and go BACK to my dorm to correct that sad situation. Serious stuff.
Jade East is a men’s cologne that used to come in a bamboo-shaped bottle that was way cool. Now, it comes in an ordinary bottle which reduces its coolness factor to zero, according to me.
All of us alpha apes back then had our own scent. Joe was Hai Karate, Dennis was Old Spice and Al was Right Guard.
Al didn’t get many dates.
As time went on the idea of having a scent made less and less sense until finally, at long last, we became scentless and senseless. It just became unimportant to smell special. It became more important not to smell bad. So, I guess that particular bar of life was lowered a few notches.
And, that brings us to the present and my quest for shoes this weekend.
My destination was the shoe department at Dillard’s where I bought my previous pair of Ecco’s about 5 years ago. Finally, the Ecco’s gave up the ghost, so to speak, bless their soles.
Standing between me and the shoe department, to my horror, was a gauntlet of Scent Ladies armed with bottles of the latest and greatest. As I walked briskly through the minefield of myrrh each Scent Lady offered her wares trying to bark louder than her competitor on either side.
“I’m not sure, let me check. Nope.”
Finally, I made it to the sanctuary of the shoe department. The Shoe Dude came up to me and asked “May I help you?”
Ah, a question I could answer. “Yes. I like your hair and the fact you have no scent. Now, I’d like a pair of Ecco Tracks, size 45 European, brown suede, Gore-Tex.”
Shoe Dude pondered this request and replied, “Could I interest you in some Clarke’s?”
I leaned in close, almost nose to nose and hissed:
“What do you think, punk? You have to ask yourself this question. Am I feeling lucky today? Well, punk, are you feeling lucky?”
Shoe Dude, obviously a Clint Eastwood fan, swallowed hard, turned slowly and walked briskly into the back room. Presently, he returned with a box of shoes exactly as ordered.
“You want to try these on?”, he asked weakly.
“Nope. You done good, kid.” I paid for the shoes and headed back out through the Gauntlet of Scent. With a new pair of shoes I was feeling my oats and my good mood was not going to be dampened by the Scent Squad.
“No, thanks. But I’ll try Pork Bar-b-Que if you have it. No? Pity.”
“Why, yes. I am.”
I snatched a plastic rose out of a nearby display, grabbed the Scent Lady around the waist and with head held high, back straight and knees bent proceeded to tango around Men’s Scent, through Men’s Ties, passing through Men’s Shoes and almost mowing down Shoe Dude, and finally through Men’s Suits, pausing to dip several times to great applause from shoppers, and back to Men’s Scent.
Breathless, Scent Lady gazed at me, her eyes limpid pools of blue and asked –
“When will I see you again?”
“That, my dear, was the title of my favorite soul song from the 70’s.”
I gave my self a squirt of Irresistible and headed off into the sunset. A good day, by all accounts.