At some point we seem to have accepted that, as peasants, if a bank or other large company imposes on us a penalty fee, for instance for paying a bill slower than they’d like, that as long as the company does it following the company’s own rules, we should find it fair for them to charge it. The historian of the future must see us as sufferers of Stockholm syndrome – as forlorn hostages who’ve somehow come to feel they owe something to their captors.
Have we forgotten how we got here? While you and Daisy ran hand-in-hand in the garden, ecstatic in the rain, they set about to laying claim to all the best flowerbeds and fencing them off. Now they charge you for the flowers and have convinced Daisy’s mother that if you don’t send seven a week, you don’t respect her. The Shamshiel they’ve posted at the gate doesn’t even have a flaming sword, just a valium of meaningless apologies.
Some time ago, Lynx deodorant in Australia started selling deodorant sprays in two-packs, called Lynx Combinable Fragrances, that you mix together in your armpit. The nerve of these guys! Bad enough that they convinced us that we need one deodorant to smell ok, but now they want us to use two deodorants?
This picture shows one side of the can of one of their older types of deodorant named for the three billion hectare landmass of Africa:
According to their website, another variety of deodorant, Lynx Vice, comes “packed with high levels of exotic fruits, designed to turn unsuspecting nice girls naughty”. If the word ‘unsuspecting’ here makes you think of a pre-dawn raid launched to seize a strategic ridgeline, you can choose Lynx Instinct instead: a scent “crafted from rare leathers encouraging guys to unleash The Man Leather to get the girl”.
A few years ago, I mailed Lynx a letter:
I’ve used Lynx deodorant for over a year. I began with Lynx Vice, packing my armpits with the high levels of exotic fruits you have designed to turn unsuspecting nice girls naughty. Last month, I switched to Lynx Instinct, hoping that it would at last give me the encouragement I needed to unleash The Man Leather to get the girl.
To my regret, at the end of a year of using the product, I find I myself still no closer to pulling the ‘ultimate girl’ your award-winning commercials discuss. Or indeed, any woman.
I therefore conclude that I must’ve used your product in the wrong way. So far, I’ve sprayed it on my armpits and the section of torso between them. I hope you can advise me on how else I might use your products to pull the ultimate girl and of which other parts of my body on which I might, with profit, spray them.
A. B. Smith
For reasons that I can’t fathom, a customer relations consultant named Sue Connolly emailed me back the next day:
So I sent Sue a new letter:
If I had known that my valuable feedback would assist you in continuing to provide quality products, advertising and services to your customers, I would have written much sooner!
Inspired by your last letter, I have continued to perfume my armpits with your product’s scent of rare leathers. While I have no doubt that in time those rare leathers will give me the encouragement I need to unleash The Man Leather to get the girl, I cannot help but wonder if the craftsmen who selected them have paid sufficient heed to Australian conditions. Might not the leathers in question prove too rare for many Australian women to respond to? The animals whose leathers entice women in the United Kingdom might not exist at all here in Australia. From which rare animals do the rare leathers derive?
At this late epoch of human history, it reassures me to note how much value Lynx place on my feedback about their deodorant.
Yours by the grace of God,
A. B. Smith
So far, I haven’t heard anything back.