"Buddy," I said, "I think we're going to have to look into some deodorant for you."
He responded with a whole lot of 'no', which I basically ignored. I brought it up again on the ride as I was bringing him home. He whined a little.
"Well, it's nothing bad, Handsome, nothing to be ashamed of or anything. It just means you're growing up and your body chemistry is changing."
I kept driving, but I kept talking too.
"There are some people who don't use anti-perspirant or deodorant because they say it's not 'natural' and that a man should smell like a man. I think that's fine, just as long as you don't smell like a stinky man."
I raised my voice a a bit.
"If those guys want to be all 'natural', they should get rid of their houses. Living in trees and caves, that's natural! Running water should be found in streams and brooks, not coming out of the pipes that carry it to your unnatural house every time you turn the taps! And heat? Go chop some wood and hope for lightning, there's your heat!"
Handsome was laughing in the seat beside me.
"And television," I shouted. "Cable and satellite, all of it, it all has to go! And computers, the internet, the whole deal, even radio, that's unnatural too! You don't see those guys who want to be all 'natural' chucking their wide-screens into the street, do you? Of course not, 'cuz then for entertainment they'd have to resort to talking to people. Face-to-face, not on their 'unnatural' call phones!"
Handsome was pretty helpless by then, sprawled in the passenger's seat gasping for breath but still laughing.
"And this Jeep!" I was bellowing now. "This Jeep is pretty darn 'unnatural'! If you want to be one of those 'natural' guys, you better hop out here and hoof it the rest of the way home! Lucky for you you've never broken a bone or anything, since without the benefit of 'unnatural' medicine you'd have a hard time of it! Break you leg and you just have to hope to God it heals straight, because if it doesn't you're gonna wind up with a bit of a twist to it, maybe have one leg wind up shorter than the other and then you'll never make it home because all you'll be doing is walking in a circle all day!"
I was breathing a little hard after all this, and Handsome was curled up in his seat trying not to wet his pants.
I drove on.
Eventually he managed to sit up and look at me, still trying to catch his breath.
"Fine. I'll try the deodorant."
"Thank you," I said, pleased as punch. "Now, was that so hard?"
He just stared.
* * * * *
Don't forget, if you're interested in my fiction at all there's a link to my new website in the upper right corner of the page. It's called "The Storyteller", and it's a place for me to share some of my stories. The ones that come out of my head, not out of my life. Some of them even get published!
Talk to you later!