Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Do It For Your Prostate - 2010

I like to grow mustaches. Plural. I just can't keep them.

The growth is rich and thick, sure. But short, bald and oddly groomed facial hair don't mix. No matter how hard I try.

So I grow them for as long as I can bear to be laughed at, and then the inevitable shave.

It drives the wife bonkers. Which is kind of my way of getting payback. Besides, it's a super cheap thrill.

So for the last two Novembers, I've used
Movember, a fund raising effort that seeks an end to prostate cancer, as my excuse to 'stache out.

I don't know anyone who's ever had prostate cancer, so this is not a personal mission for me. And, as I mentioned here last November, I'm not much of a "giver," so this is not just another altrustic hobby I've jumped on.

This is about me and mustache. And without this blessed annual event, there is absolutely no reason for me to look this absurd.

Last year, I didn't raise a dime. I didn't even donate to myself. Nor did I inted to. I set up a Movember page just to keep up my shaky charade. And to be fair, I started growing the mustache about a week into November and shaved it right before Thanksgiving dinner. Fails on both counts.

But this year, I'm all in. I've had this bad boy growing since day one. And I'm taking it on the road, to spend Thanksgiving with the in-laws. The wife couldn't be more thrilled.

I've even raised some money. $160 to date. And I'm only about half way through the month. And yes, I plan to make a financial contribution myself, this year.

If you'd like to contribute to my mustache, and other people's prostates, you can make your donation here

Or just grow your own mustaches.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Chemicals May Just Kill You - A Love Story (Part 6)

The wife and I don't get out much. At least not with each other. Our lack of babysitters and the cost associated with them have conspired to keep us socially irrelevant.

But when our good friend invited us to the opening of his new bar, we made a thrice-annual night out of it. Not only did we want to support our friend, this particular bar opening was slated to be a real big deal, based on said friend's past endeavors
(I'd mention the friend and the bar, but we have a very strict, no real names policy here at Look Lefty).

Parking was a challenge and we found ourselves walking, hand-in-hand through a bizarre stretch of road framed by Dennys restaurants and cheap convention center hotels.

About a block away, my wife quickly veered off the sidewalk and through some bushes into a random parking lot, pulling me with her. "What's going on?" I asked, only with a super annoyed tone. Disgusted, she replied, "smokers!"

I hadn't even noticed, but sure enough, right in our path was a plume of hot, steamy carcinogens. I acquiesced and joined her through the bushes.

I think it's important to note here, that this woman who claims to experience such volatile reactions to all things chemical, was actually a smoker herself when we first met. And the really weird part - while many people claim to be social smokers, only opting for the fashionable little cancer wands when out with friends, my dear sweet wife, was a closeted smoker. She would only puff in the privacy of her own home (where she all but chain-smoked), extinguishing any sign of them when people (including myself) came around. Nowadays, she can't lick a stamp without getting chest pains.

Now back to the bar.

As we rounded the corner, we ran into two more smokers standing right outside the door. There was no getting inside without walking right past them. And the best part was, one of the two smokers was a partner in the bar. The wife had never met him, but I had on several occasions, so an introduction was not only in order, it would have been terribly rude to enter his bar without doing so.

The wife extended a tentative hand like a little mouse about to get batted around by feral cat. The
friend took her hand and smiled graciously, not knowing anything of my wife's afflictions, all while his cigarette continued to burn just inches away.

I reveled in the moment, watching my wife squirm before finally entering the bar. Not nice, but that was my only entertainment for the evening.

As expected, the place was incredible and packed to the gills. The food looked amazing and the space was styled out beautifully. Surely, a place I will frequent.

And like any new establishment, the air was thick with the lingering aroma of fresh paint and toxic adhesives.

We said hello to our friend, congratulated him on the opening and promptly

All in all, a night to remember.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Chemicals May Just Kill You - A Love Story (Part 5)

I have officially found my muse.

Cassavettes had his Rowlands.

Woody had his Farrow. And his Keaton. And his Soon Yi.
(I don't know about you, but I still don't like looking at his stepdaughter's cleavage, even though she did just turn 40).

My muse, and I love her for it, is my wife's central nervous system.

I worried that such a niche subject simply couldn't sustain itself. I mean, how many disruptions to her environment could I expect to write about in a given year? And make a good story out of it? One? Maybe two?

I am here to tell you, that my dear, sweet, afflicted wife is providing an endless cannon of material. A bottomless treasure trove of absurdity. If the Chilean miners dug into this one, they might never make it out.

Last week I was tempted to write a post, applauding the hyper-sensitive receptors built into this woman,
rather than ridiculing them. While strolling through our otherwise sleepy little neighborhood, she sniffed out not one, but two gas leaks coming from separate houses. The gas company was called on both occasions. Leaks were found and repaired. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Incredible. Imagine what might have been without that uncanny sense of smell. Explosions. Lifeless bodies on kitchen floors. To think, my wife - a modern day Toxic hero.

I just couldn't find a good hook.

But like any proper muse, that good wife of mine came back with all new material. This week's episode: Don't Turn On The New Furnace.

Most people will only succumb to purchasing a new furnace after the old one completely shits the bed, and even then, only after the temperatures drop below 55F.

Not us.

Our furnace was operating pretty much just fine, save for an irregular filter space. Which meant we were never getting 100% filter coverage. And that meant, the basement smells wafting up through our vents were a chronic issue for my wife. When the furnace experienced an operational hiccup last April, repaired with only a q-tip and some olive oil, a decision was forced - the Cadillac of furnaces with the uber-hepa-filter system, to be installed during summer's warmest months.

The installation itself posed a bit of a threat. What with all the industrial tape and epoxies required. In fact, my wife worried so much that she made plans to sleep at a friends house for that entire week. As it turns out, she stayed home and was only mildly affected with a bit of an itchy throat. Huge progress.*

Inching our way through the gauntlet of this home improvement project, we were feeling pretty good. All that was left was to turn that baby on. Crank it up. Find out exactly what Melba Toast was packing down there.

But the smells! Yes, we were told, there would be some initial smells. Internal coatings or what have you would need to burn off within the first couple of hours of use. Which meant, we'd wait.

The wife wanted to wait until she left town for the Thanksgiving holidays. Through all of October and most of November. No heat.

Until then, the plan was to just double sock it and throw on an extra afghan. Think of the money we'd save not using the $4000 dollar furnace we just bought.

Were it not for our neighbor - one of the two gas leak victims discovered - coming over to watch our kid this week, we'd still be living in a meat locker. She looked so sad and cold when we came home, bundled up under every blanket we own and maybe even a few bath towels. Empathy took over and my wife decided it was only right to apply the heat and suffer the consequences.

There was a smell. It was chemical-born for sure. And yet, here we all are, on the other side, warm, breathing easily and blogging about it.

Thanks honey. Keep up the good fodder. We'll all just wait for whatever comes next.

*Addendum: After reading the post above, the wife reminded me that she did in fact spend one night sleeping out of the house. Still, not an entire week. And by my measure, still a great stride forward.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Chemicals May Just Kill You - A Love Story (Part 4)

It's my wife's birthday today, September 17. For those unfamiliar with the back story on this wonderfully complex creature, please see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

So anyways, I was coming up blank on what to buy the woman who wants nothing, and fears everything that off-gases. There were some suggestions bandied about the office including a gas-mask, a HEPA-one-piece, and a hyperbolic chamber. All good ideas.

If you recall my last post, I am happy to report that the case of the of
f-gassing phone has been resolved and the wife no longer speaks to people through a BPA-free plastic bag. She is braving it, placing that little plastic cancer vessel directly up against her face. And barely complaining.

So I thought, perhaps, what this woman needs is a head set (wired of course), that would keep her head a nice safe distance from her radio frequencies. Only problem, this nearly new phone of hers only accepts a head set through one of those mini-usb ports - not the traditional ear phone jacks everyone else in the world has. And because no one else in the world uses such a ridiculous item, they are not sold in any physical retail space.

Hence, my recent purchase on Amazon.

The wife is absolutely thrilled and the whole thing (S&H included) only cost me $15.

All birthdays should be this sweet.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Chemicals May Just Kill You - A Love Story (Part 3)

I should probably just rename the blog, focusing on this theme as it is by far my most compelling. In any event, we've got a real doozy.

As was briefly noted in my last post, the wife, subject of both T.C.M.J.K.Y-A.L.S (Parts 1 & 2), was none too happy with my recent purchase of the iCancer. In fact, I've already received a litany of emails from her detailing the SAR levels, or Specific Absortion Rates in all phones. While she may be right (I looked it up, and subsequently, I turn the wifi off and the Airplane mode on, anytime I put the phone in my pocket), the wife is certifiably insane.

exhibit a:
No, my wife isn't so insane as to believe that the radiation will be stopped by a flimsy little ziplock. That would be far to simple a problem.

After extensive research on the SAR levels of every make and model of phone, my wife settled on this hot little number, a LG CF360, knowing that I would be switching us from Sprint to AT&T with my far more fantastic, tumor phone.

As rudimentary and absurd as the phone she wanted may be, it was light years ahead of her former free phone (and way less cancer-causing), so she seemed excited about that.

But as soon as the small mass of plastic and silicone emerged from the box, a wave of noxious chemicals hit my dear sweet wife in the kisser with all the force of a Nazi gas chamber.

The tongue and throat started to swell. The chest palpitated. And the brain throbbed.

That evil little communication device would have to go to the garage, where it would be left to off-gas. This lasted about a week. That's how long my wife went without a cell phone. A week. Because the chemicals were off-gassing.

Finally, she gave it another go, with similar results. But she needs a phone. So, like any rational person might do, my wife put the off-gassing plastic phone, inside an off-gassing plastic bag. And while it doesn't seem to be quite as offensive to her highly sensitive nervous system, she has ultimately decided to trade this one in for another, plastic, off-gassing phone.

This is currently how she takes her calls, so if it sounds like she's wrapped in plastic the next time you speak to her, rest assured. It's just her phone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Procuring the iPhone

After three years of working in an industry that labels you a professional pariah if you can't "bump" phones or shoot grainy, faded looking photos with your hipstamatic, I finally gave in. But man, it wasn't easy.

My wife didn't make it easy. Besides not wanting to spend the money, she claimed that the games on this new device would stunt our child's brain development and that we'd all be exposed to Silkwood amounts of radiation.

Apple didn't make it easy. Despite making $200 off of me, plus all the kickbacks they get from the app purchases, three separate stores in my state were completely sold out of the iPhone4, one full month after the product's release date. I could either order the device and wait 7-14 days, or I could check back daily, as they receive sporadic deliveries and sell whatever shows up on a first come basis. How is that a business plan?

AT&T didn't make it easy. Even though they're gonna take me for $114 per month over the next two years, every one of their locations in the greater Portland area also "claimed" to be sold out. The last store I tried gave me the same story, until I disclosed the part about me switching over from Sprint. Once I uttered those magic words, the clerk looked both ways to make sure no one saw him, and pulled the holy grail of modern communication out from under his register. He said it was his only one. That motherfucker!

And yet, here I go, diving into an abyss of chemotherapy, poor customer service and apps that help me geo-track my TV remote. Ah, iPhone. How did I get by without you?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Living With The Gout

(And how the American medical system failed me)

4 am. July 5th. I sat alone, tired, and in excruciating pain under the bright
emergency room lights at Providence Medical Center.

I don't mean alone like, no one came with me. I mean I was the only human in the waiting area of the emergency room. Weird, given that these were the wee hours following a
long night of young children playing with illegal explosives and residential neighborhoods sounding like the streets of Kabul.

If there had been just one severed extremity or any searing flesh in line before me, I might just have hobbled back outside, pointed a roman candle straight into my own eye, and
prayed for a distraction from the pain in my foot.

I was ankle-deep in throes of a gout attack.

If you don't know what the gout is, or you think it's the same thing as gangrene or hand, foot and mouth disease, then let me quickly clarify.

Gout is an acute form of arthritis that typically affects the big toe, though it can show up in any joint. I get it in the ankles, too. It feels like getting your foot caught in a bear trap. If it was on fire. And you had to give birth, while getting kicked in the nuts. And shot. In the face.

When people talk about this horrid affliction, it's never just "gout." It's always, "the gout." Like "The Hague." Or "The Fonz." Why the superfluous "the?" Because pain of this magnitude just demands that kind of respect.

It's also known as the "rich man's disease," which is either because of the rich foods rich people eat, or because it only affect 1% of the population (mostly male).

Ironically, I spent much of my childhood fearing that I would suffer through the unimaginable pain of a kidney stone - a close cousin of the gout in that they both result from high uric acid levels. Those dreaded little calcium deposits were things of lore in my family, passed down from (and through) my father and grandfather before me. The mere thought of having to pee stones out my...well, my legs are tightly crossed as I sit here typing.

But I digress. Back to that big, lonely emergency room. This was my saving grace. Maybe this would be quick. Get in, shoot me up with some pain meds, and get out.

Nope. I waited two hours, writhing in pain every minute of it. When the doctor finally did show up, he hurried me through a diagnosis (sore ankle) and a suggested treatment (anti-inflammatory), and handed me a prescription. Oh, and he gave me two Percoset to get me through the current attack.

Before I could limp out of the hospital, the front desk stopped me for my copay on the visit - $125.00. ONE
FUCKING HUNDRED AND TWENTY FUCKING FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS. My copay! Presumably, the insurance company would owe the hospital more on top of that.

Two-hours and $125.00 later, and all I got was a band-aid to a problem the doctor didn't even suggest fixing. Yes folks. This is your American medical system (if you have insurance).

I've been plagued by the gout for about eight years now, the first three of which went improperly diagnosed.

The first time I had an attack, I woke up feeling like I'd sprained my ankle. My primary care physician told me I had a blood clot.

The next time it came up, an orthopedic surgeon thought I might have misshapen bones in my feet, but he wanted to inject me with dye to find out for sure. Dye! The opposite of "live."

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Finally, my wife convinced me during an attack on my big toe to see a Chinese acupuncturist who spoke no English - Dr. Chan. Limping through the sketchiest part of Seattle's Chinatown, I wasn't sure if I was gonna get rolled, or offered a hit off the communal crack pipe. Instead, I left the oddly sterile offices still in pain, but with a used, brown, paper bag full of roots to boil and soak my foot into. Needless to say, I was not super convinced.

Yet, despite all that skepticism, this was my first "gout" diagnosis (Dr. Chan had
a translator).

It was like the veil had been lifted. The great wizard, with the fancy prefix on his name that only doctors get, is really just one of your father's drunk fraternity brothers with a nice car.

Still, I wasn't ready to give up on western medicine. Not after all the wonderful vaccines and inflated insurance premiums they've given me all these years. Not because one wise, old medicine man proposed an ailment that sounded a lot like what I might have.

I went back to the "traditional" doctors to get some second and third opinions. And what do you know? I had the gout. Well, at least as far as they could tell. The only true diagnosis for gout, according to Quincy, was to take a fluid sample from my affected joints during the height of an attack. Translation: They have to stick a needle in my toe and pull stuff out when the pain is at its most unbearable.

Here's the crazy part. Every one these traditional doctors wants me to take a pill everyday for the rest of my life to prevent any more attacks from coming. The rheumatologists, the orthopods, the podiatrist, the family doctor - all of them. The boilerplate line has been, "if you don't want to take the pills, don't complain about the pain."

The pills in question, are called Allopurinol. And it's true. The pills do help reduce the production of uric acid in your system (my grandfather also suffered from gout and was on Allopurinol most of his life - he also died of a heart attack after beating Hotchkins Lymphoma).

Now I'm no doctor, but the notion that a 38-year-old, otherwise healthy man needs to take a chemically engineered substance for the next 50 or so years was kind of preposterous to me. I might rid myself of the gout but at what cost? A golf ball sized tumor on my liver?

So, despite the pain, which was coming more frequently and with greater force, I began searching for an alternative cure.

As wise as old Dr. Chan was, he admitted that acupuncture doesn't always help the gout. And in my case, he was right. What I did learn from him though is that gout is highly affected by diet. No organ meats, shellfish or heavy creams.
Done. Oh, and no alcohol.

Now I'm not a big drinker anyway, but they can't mean "no," right? Less, maybe. But "no?"

Actually, "no" really does mean "no." A few sips of beer, and I feel it. That goes for wine and whisky, too. The only social lubricant I've found gout will allow is small amount of the clear stuff - gin and vodka. So that's fun.

Then I started looking into the natural treatments. Black cherry extract is probably the most well-known, though the traditional doctors claim to know nothing about it. Unfortunately, it's an incredibly expensive habit to keep up, and I seemed to grow immune to the sweet little capsules.

I made it through the last winter with a mild amount of pain and was pleased with that. But as the weather warmed, I noticed the inflammation building again like a hemorrhoid on the backside of Mount Vesuvius.

Then I discovered "the Mother." Part of the miracle treatment known as Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinnegar. I found it online as a natural prevention for the gout, among other things. But it has to have "the Mother."

The more I asked people what they knew about Bragg, the more I found out that it was being touted as the natural cure-all (much like the Dr. Bronner's, complete with quasi-religious text on the label).

It's cheap. Easy to find. And while a little unpleasant to the taste, it has no harmful side effects, other than possibly removing the enamel from your teeth. Fuck it. I was in.

I took two, one-tablespoon doses daily, cut with a little distilled water, and after one week, I was already feeling the effects. Not only was I not having any attacks, all the tenderness in my big toes had vanished completely. This was the best my feet had felt in five years.

And just to be sure this wasn't some weird placebo effect, I held off on buying another bottle after I drained the first one. Within three days, my toes started hurting again. I was back suckling at the restorative teet of the Mother.

So you may be wondering (if you've made it this far), if this stuff works so well, what was I doing in the hospital early Monday morning?

Well, it was fourth of July weekend. And while I've never been capable of a true bender, I did let the beer flow a bit more freely than usual. I had gotten drunk on my feet's new freedom and I paid the price.

What then is the point of this absurdly long post? I've really proved nothing. I hate the western medical community and yet, I found myself begging them for mercy just a couple days ago. I love the Mother and all of it's healing benefits, but I still can't knock back a couple of cold ones without a reaction. What's a guy with the gout supposed to do?

My plan: Make all my cocktails with two parts apple cider vinegar and let Dr. Chan handle everything from the rectal exams up.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Huffington Enquirer

According to the Huffington Post, back on June 5 "Mom finds (my) missing kid after 15 years using Facebook." I say "my" kid, because it was my kid, pictured alongside this headline.

Mind you, my kid is only four years old. And other than that one time back in Nam, she's never really gone missing.

Now despite that little subtlety, a photograph - not a screen-grab, a photograph - of my Facebook page was featured with this story about a woman who's kids were taken by her husband 15 years ago and she just found them through Facebook. On the front page! Mid-way down, but on the front-friggin page of the Huffington Post. (This screen grab is my only proof, as the picture has since been removed from the story).

I read "HuffPo," as the loyalists call it, from time to
time. I've always considered it a reputable news source, if not just a little too entertain-y to be considered "real news."

So why this photo? Well, if you've stuck with this sorry excuse for a blog for any length of time (and I can't imagine why you would), you might remember a little story that was published by the Associated Press, also a fairly well-repsected news source. It featured yours truly and largely referenced an earlier post from this very blog. The original story can still be found at various
respectable online news outlets, like msnbc.

I authorized the AP photo. I even posed like a self-satisfied grinning schmuck next to a glowing monitor featuring my little princess. But never did I imagine such a brazen act of journalistic vandalism would result.

I contacted the AP and learned that this was an isolated incident (the story about the missing kids appeared all over the Net, but only the Huffington Post used my Facebook page as an accompanying photo). So I sent the Huffington Post a letter expressing my displeasure with the situation.

After five days, they removed the photo. No apology. No response at all, actually. But hey, now they're practicing real, legitimate journalism.

I kind of wanted to get a little more out of the deal. Like a half-million dollar settlement or something. What's my case? Well, who's to say, the next headline to accompany my Facebook page won't read "Child impersonator uses Facebook to find best birthday clowns?"

Scary stuff, people.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Don't you LOL me.

This morning I received an email from one of my oldest friends, who will remain nameless as he is no doubt reading this to keep up with his blogosphere. Yes, he is one of those. You know the type. Always tweeting and tagging friends while he virtually "Checks In" to his off-line destinations. I understand that it's critical in his career that he stay current. But the trend has now led us into knowing way more about these people's lives than you'd ever need to. And it's just annoying as hell.

It should also be noted that he didn't simply send this email to one of my three primary addresses. He emailed my facebook page.

We chatted back and forth a bit before I asked for his take on the latest internet sensation, Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Just in case you haven't heard the Das Racist buzz, here it is. And it's wonderful.

Somehow, this darling of SXSW had escaped his RSS feed. He replied, "I actually
don't know the Das Racist meme - but sounds right up my alley."

Meme. Come on. Don't talk to me like one of your chat room buddies. I'm a human being and that thing I asked him about is a song - not a meme.

Yes. I know what a meme is. For those of you who do not, it is defined on wikipedia as "
a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena."

That's not the point.

I've known this guy since 1987. I went to high school and college with him. He was at my wedding (I was not at his, because he got married in Puerto Rico and I wasn't on any cruise ships that week). But I've known this guy long before there were online memes or tweets. Or emails for that matter. He can't just casually throw meme into a conversation with me and not expect me to devote an entire blog post to it (don't think the blogger who calls the kettle black is lost on me).

Which all brings me to a larger discussion. As a rule, emoticons and online acronyms are the work of barely literate teenagers, too jacked up on Monster energy drinks and chatroulette masturbators to actually write their own thoughts, because it might tip their character count. Don't try and charm me with a tongue-out, winking smily face. It ain't happening.

Just to illustrate how bad the problem has gotten, I was watching a television show the other night where one character said out loud to another, "TTYL." They were standing face to face. Is this what we've come to, people? If we go out to dinner, in a real restaurant, and you tell me a good story, am I simply to check a box that reads, "Lefty likes this"?

And just for the record, I have never so much as typed the letters LOL (until now). I don't believe anyone who says they are LMAO. These terms barely have relevance in the online world. But please, if you must communicate like this, keep it online and directed at someone other than me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

B.O. vs. Cancer

So, I smelled. Pretty fucking bad.

In the last year or so, I developed an odor so profound, some kind of weird, old man overactive pheromone stink so distinct, that I almost have trouble going to bed with myself. I can only imagine how tough it is for my wife.

It all started when I decided it was time to forsake the aluminum-filled Old Spice for something a little less Alzheimers-y.

Mmmm, Old Spice. Before the new ad campaign featuring LL Cool J and showering Centaurs, aiming squarely at the Axe Body Spray market, this was a scent you could only inherit from a father. In fact, I did inherit from my father.

I loved that smell. It was strong. You could smell an Old Spice man, whistling a mile away. Back in the 90s, one of my work colleagues quietly advised me to "ease up on the cologne," refusing to believe that such a mellifluous scent could come from a single off-yellow stick, applied generously to my underarms.

I started rubbing all that muskiness on my t
ender 13-year old pits well before I even had an odor. All 79 pounds of me, with a thick pair of glasses and an unruly Jew-Fro, trying to smell like a grizzled old sailor, as he returns home from sea.

Now, with 24 years of Johnson and Johnson lab work seeping deep into my pores, I'm probably already mutating cells like a 3-mile island resident. So I started seeking an alternative. Problem is, the natural stuff doesn't work. I was going through deodorants like other people go through breath mints. I had long talks with the natural grocers about my desire to smell ok and not get weird diseases from my hygiene. One of them steered me toward a Tea Tree Oil based stick from JASON natural body care products.

It seemed to work so I stuck with it, despite the fact that my wife told me she has bad reactions to Tea Tree Oil and a new work colleague told me that Tea Tree has high levels of estrogen that will soon cause me to grow breasts. Fuck it. It smells ok and it probably won't give me cancer. My wife and my man breasts would have to suffer.

But then I made a fatal flaw. I went and messed with my then harmonious pH balance.

Up until this point, I had been very happy with my natural bath soap - the bar version of Dr. Bronners soap. Yes, the same Dr. Bronner's soap you hippies use while touring with Phish and cleaning your dishes in a nearby stream - if you clean your dishes. But the bar version doesn't come with all that baggage. Because it's a bar and it lives in your shower, it's indistinguishable from the chemical laden Coast or Ivory I had lived without for years. In fact, I didn't even realize that I had been using that Dr. Bronners.

Then one night, my wife told me she rented a documentary called "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap Box." A movie about soap.

It was fascinating. Truly. I recommend it highly. Seriously.

I decided to switch from Dr. Bronner's bar soaps, to his liquid bottles, just like the one hippie campers use. It would be like taking a little camping trip in my shower every morning. It smelled way mint-ier and it makes your balls tingle. No joke. I have discussed this phenomenon with other users and they agree, the Dr. Bronner ball tingle is great way to start your day.

And then it started. The stink. It was huge. Powerful. And it literally started the moment I got out of the shower - even before I could apply my new natural tea tree oil deodorant. It made no sense. How something so sweet and minty, could make me smell so foul? And it was unlike any body odor I had ever encountered. I could smell it in meetings at work. I could smell it while eating meals. You can only imagine what a smell like that evolved into by day's end.

So I went off the Dr. Bronner's liquid. Back on the Dr. Bronner's bar soap. I think I'm smelling better everyday and I'm keeping it natural.

But this whole thing really made me wonder; could hippies earn more respect if they just used Bronner's bar soap over that stink-filled liquid?