Lucky Tiger

This evening the haze came back to Singapore. I left the apartment just after 8pm and that horrible stench of burning was thick around the lift lobby again. Just when La Serpiente was getting over her stomach upset, we get back to a situation where her dear little lungs are going to be assaulted again. This is really rather wearing.

To be more positive, I’m going to instead wax lyrical about a different smell, or absence of: or rather, my favourite deodorant, Lucky Tiger. Lucky Tiger is wonderful for several reasons:

  • it comes in a 100ml bottle, so when you forget to remove it from your carry-on bag when going through security at the airport, they don’t get to take it away from you because it’s too big
  • it’s a pump spray, rather than an aerosol, so you don’t feel guilt about killing the ozone layer while applying it
  • the top of the bottle unscrews, so if you accidentally buy three bottles and then use half of two of them up, you can just decant from one bottle to another until you have a full one. Never get depressed about having a bottle with an unusable half centimetre of deodorant swilling around at the bottom
  • it’s called Lucky Tiger. Every time I put it on in the morning, I can think of myself like a particularly fortunate large cat.

What I didn’t realise was that as well as a deodorant, it is an antiperspirant. Or at least the product page on its website seems to suggest as much. I don’t like the idea of antiperspirant so much. I certainly don’t like the advice that you should apply antiperspirant before you go to sleep at night, rather than in the morning, to give it more opportunity to soak into, and completely bung up, your pores. I think that, by and large, sweating is a good thing. Sure, it may be inconvenient at times, in hot humid places like Singapore, but I’d take a damp shirt over a failure to maintain homeostasis any day.

Up to now, I’d assumed that Lucky Tiger was just masking the stench of my body pumping out gallons of sweat. Now I’m worried that it’s also impeding my sweat production, something that I’d never want to interrupt.

However, if that isn’t a qualm, and you like the smells of vetiver, rosewood and spearmint, Lucky Tiger is wondrous stuff. If I research in more detail and find that it is a genuine antiperspirant with all the joys of aluminium and all that provides, then I’m just going to go outside and spray it in the hope it dehazes the air. Can’t be worse than anything else anyone has tried.

What I learned this weekend

Your children will trample on your dreams. Literally.

Before…

Don’t expect a hipster hairdresser to be on time, or anything to do with time at all.Because I look like this, my wife demanded I do something about the increasing invisibility of my mouth behind a hedge of facial hair.

Desperate to get this sorted out, she booked me in for a beard trim at the local hipster hair doctors. What neither of us realised though was that if you make a booking for eleven a.m. on a Sunday, what you’ll actually get is whatever time the barber drags himself out of bed after a hard night and recovers from his hangover/”finishes running errands”. Still, after waiting an hour in the haze, I figured I’d request a haircut too, not realising that this would take 75 minutes (these hipster types are nothing if not painstaking). My wife called me at 1:15, frantic to know when I would be home to assist with naptime. I, having lain in the barber’s chair for the last hour, was calm and relaxed. And probably half asleep.

and after
and after

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Splitting hairs

I can’t remember the last time I had my hair cut. Certainly it wasn’t this year, and it probably wasn’t since we went to Seattle in December. With the warmth and humidity in Singapore my hair has grown and grown, so today I finally went to rectify the situation.

Here’s me before my haircut: bamboozled by the world and fluffy around the edges.
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And a little while later, looking like a small-town hoodlum with access to some clippers:
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Of combs and lifts

Yesterday I bought a fine tooth comb, and I have to say, what a fine comb it is too. The combination of probably too much hair conditioner, plus combing my hair with the magical comb, has given me a new, much suaver aspect. I suppose anything would have looked suaver than the broken mess that staggered off DL172 on Saturday afternoon, but still I’m happy with the visage presented in the mirror by the lifts in the hotel.

Which is fortunate, because I’m left with a lot of time to look in the mirrors.
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A good shave

Today I bought a shaving brush, an implement that I’ve never used before. It was a revelation.

There are lots of different ways to remove hair from your face. There are electric razors, which never seem to go close enough. There are cut-throat razors, which to me are a dicey proposition; some of the barbers I’ve been to have nicked me all over my face with little cuts, and then suggested I was at fault for having "delicate skin". I don’t see particular advantages in having skin that’s leathery and tough, so I don’t generally allow people to shave me with a cut-throat razor any more. Finally, there’s the safety razor. (I know, I shouldn’t say finally, because there are plenty of other alternatives: kitchen knives, scissors, tweezers, sandpaper, pulling hairs out with your fingers, but let’s concentrate on what seems practical.)

Then once you have your razor, there’s a wide range of unguents and liquids you can apply to make the depilatory process more pleasant. I did read once that the main purpose of shaving foam was to allow you to see where you had and hadn’t shaved. Having tried to shave dry once, and been in increasing pain, I can only assume the author of that was being malicious, stupid, or possessed of either peach fuzz or the aforementioned Face Of Leather. Don’t do it.

In the house, we have cans of shaving gel. This spurts out in ever excessive quantities, and foams up into a thick foam that tends to clog the blades of the razor. We have tiny cans of seventeen year old Japanese shaving foam, which is wispy and doesn’t clog my razor, but fails to provide any lubrication. There’s shaving oil, which is either there to prepare for the shave, or to replace the foam entirely, and then there are tubs of shaving cream; last Christmas I had a present of some very expensive, sweet smelling L’Occitane stuff, which I used up and then replaced in Seattle with some Art Of Shaving cream, which smells of damp and misery. Then when I’m done, I have the choice of four or five different after shave balms (again, the L’Occitane is the nicest, but I’m saving it for special occasions). But I’ve never had a brush, until today.
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