The last thing B. J. and I do at night before dousing the lights is apply a coating of hand lotion. I usually use Corn Huskers Lotion which is a heavy duty oil free hand treatment that was popular with my family in the old days down on the farm. Corn Huskers cost less than two dollars a bottle and works just as well or better that B. J.’s Curel in the fancy container. Sometimes I forget and B. J. smears some ointment on my hands with the admonition, “Here, rub it in good.”
B. J. has ultra-sensitive sinuses and purchases only fragrance-free stuff. Loud smelling perfumes, hair sprays, lotions, etc. can kick B. J.’s sinuses into overdrive and create havoc.
Last night, we were preparing to hit the sack when B. J. pointed to a bottle on my night stand and said, “Try that cream. Somebody gave it to you for Christmas and you’ve never used it.”
I picked the bottle up and read the label carefully; it read “Classic Body Lotion for Men.” Then it added: “Signature Collection by Bath and Body Works.”
The label on the back read: “This fast absorbing body lotion with a refined, masculine scent is fortified with powerful ingredients like super conditioning Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil and vitamin E to provide intense moisture and defense against dryness to keep skin looking healthy and strong. Apply oil all over body and go.”
Nothing on the label indicated whether or not it was fragrance free.
Well, I was sure that my loving wife would not sabotage me with a bad lotion just before bedtime so I opened the container and squirted a little blob into my hand. At first, there was no tell-tale adverse aroma. The cream felt good to my hands so I began rubbing.
The smell surely had to be delayed action. Just as I was getting into rubbing my hands, it hit me and in another second, it attacked B. J.’s delicate sinuses.
I have a handle for loud smelling lotions and ointments. I call them “polecat perfumes.” You can sometimes smell them a long time before you can see who’s wearing them. This stuff will wilt flowers and run cats and dogs crazy. This “Classic Lotion for Men” is the ultimate “polecat perfume.”
B. J., already prone in bed, bolted upright with a wild look, and exclaimed “Get out of here with that stuff! Go wash your hands!”
As I headed for the bathroom, she called out again, “Turn the air conditioner down! Turn the ceiling fan wide open!”
I did all of the above as quickly as I could including washing my hands.
“Wash them good,” B. J. urged from her stance in the hallway.
I washed my hands “good”, I thought, and returned to our bedroom which was thoroughly fogged with the “Classic for Men” by now.
We lay down again but it was as plain as the runny noses on our faces that we were not going to be able to spend the night in that bedroom.
We were wide awake.
“Go wash your hands some more with hot water,” B. J. insisted.
I washed my hands three more times with soap hot water but the strong tang lingered.
B. J. sprayed with the Febreze to no avail.
“The only thing left to do is move to another bedroom,” I suggested.
“You’ve still got that scent on your hands so you can move to another bedroom; I’m going to the couch.”
So, at 11:00pm, we closed off that end of the house and B. J. went to the couch and I piled in another bed.
Sleep finally came and the next morning when I arose, I went sniffing in our bedroom to see if the “polecat” had gone. Only a slight spoor remained.
I read the label again. It said “Apply all over your body and go.”
If I had put that stuff over my whole body, I would have had to go to the East Beach and stand in a strong wind.
Really, I’m inclined to believe that terrorists slipped some poison gas into this stuff.