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Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Delights of being a MAN (part 2)

In an ongoing project to celebrate the differences between blokes and our lovely ladies, I may occasionally meander into areas of some disagreement.

I am quite willing to agree that you may disagree with some of my comments, but I know who's right.

Let's look at cosmetics.

Bloke's ideas on this topic have changed over the years since I was a boy.

I can remember that my grandfather had only three things in his section of the bathroom cupboard.

A safety razor
Spare blades for said razor
A Styptic Pencil (if you don't know what the hell a Styptic Pencil is then you can look here.  But is was basically a solid mass of a rather nasty coagulant called Aluminium Sulphate, which stopped bleeding Try and think of applying a concentrated mix of salt and acid to a cut.  By God, it really stung, but it stopped any bleeding from shaving nicks very quickly.  If you ignored the muffled screams, it was quite efficient)

A Styptic Pencil

My Dad had the same, plus
A bottle of Old Spice aftershave (remember the opaque white glass bottle?)
A jar of Brylcream
A bottle of Vaseline Hair Oil

Men were men and not afraid of smelling like one (although rather an oily one in my Dad's case)

I, like most of my generation are rather more effete (bloody poofs in my Dad's words) and would rather not smell of 5 day old rancid sweat, so we do tend to use deodorants.  But that was basically it.

Then I got older.

I have a terrible dark secret, of which I am deeply ashamed.

I moisturise.

For the last 5 years, after showering every day (another effete habit.  My grandfather had a quick wash using cold water from a bucket and a flannel cloth every night, and a bath once a month) I have discovered that I really need to use a moisturising cream on my face, otherwise it gets terribly itchy and flaky. This I can understand.  As one gets older, the body changes.  The youthful surplus of skin oils, which kept my boyish complexion fresh and supple, can no longer be relied on to maintain my epidermis in a comfortable state, so I now use a moisturising cream. I can hear my grandad spinning from over 13,000 miles away.

Well done Granda, 2,700 RPM

But what makes it odd, is that I also exude oil.

I don't mean that I drip Castrol GTX from any orifice, or even sneeze Shell Multigrade, but the fact remains that I now have an oil problem.

I lost most of my hair at a relatively young age, after getting a fungal infection on my scalp in my Army days. (Try wearing a beret or steel helmet on your noggin for 14 days under field conditions during the height of summer, with no chance of having a proper wash (Grandad would have been proud) Half of my scalp sort of detached itself with the accompanying hair (and large scab) when I returned to base)

And age has slowly caused the rest of my hair to unaccountably disappear, so I'm almost bald.

Now my poor disfigured and hairless scalp is exposed to all environments, and it responds by trying to protect itself by exuding oils.  Lots and lots of oils.

I sometimes imagine that I've got oil hockey matches going on, with little teams of beasties skating around on my follicle-challenged scalp.

After just 2 days

It has reached the point that my Beloved insists that I use a protective cloth, wrapped around my pillow each night.  This cloth has to be washed every week, to try (a vain attempt) and remove the yellowish stain that is left.  Even more peculiar, it smells like ear wax.

I did try an experiment some months ago, when I attempted to store some of the surplus head-oil to use on the dried out skin on my face, but it was not successful.

Too much earwax

Mainly I think, because the stored oil quickly turned rancid, and smelling like rancid ear-wax was not helpful in maintaining my sophisticated appearance. The students even complained.

What they exactly complained about was the supposed presence of a dead/dying rat somewhere under the classroom. I did not even try to explain, but went back to using a store-bought moisturiser instead of the recycled head-oil.

But I digress.

The contents of my section of the bathroom cabinet (1 drawer) can be easily stored in a small toilet-bag.  My Beloved would need a bloody cabin trunk to store hers.  Honestly, how many jars, bottles, tubes, sachets and sprays do you think I found when I tried to do an inventory last week?

I only discovered this when I found some of her stuff in my single drawer, and I wanted to make some room.

I lost count at 138.

I also tried to estimate the total cost of all of her unguents.  It came approximately to $3560.

The total cost of mine was $78

So there is the real reason I'm delighted in being a bloke.

I spend less money, and to a Scot, that is quite important.

Anyway, it's well known that blokes get more good looking with age, so I am content.

I can shtill pull the pusshy


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you.

      I see my post hit exactly the level i was aiming at.

  2. Replies
    1. It means too much information..

    2. Like, say, me printing our weekly shopping list here? "Potatoes, Kumera, Red Onions..."

    3. Eeyew...I thought he'd been watching Winnie the Poo

    4. There's never too much information...unless we're talking about the students.

    5. Richard (of RBB), I didn't know you'd gone vegetarian.

    6. I'm a part time vegetarian.

    7. Also, when you enter the supermarket, you normally come across veges first.

    8. Richard (of RBB), don't you find the veges at the checkout? (normally ex NLHS pupils)

    9. Red Onions? You'll be shopping at Nosh next.

    10. He's a musician...we have to make allowances.

  3. MMmm Sean Connery.
    What was I saying? Oh, right... I also spend quite a bit on things that get stuffed into drawers, shelves and the two wooden cabinets I have in the bathroom. Hubby has one shelf in one cabinet and the rest is filled with my stuff. We ladies have a lot of needs.

    1. Hi again Mary. I know you lovely ladies have a lot of needs (most of which I cannot comment on, because i really am a gentleman) but why do we blokes have less?

      If you cut us, do we not bleed (That's what the Styptic pencil is for)

    2. We just like having multiple bottles of lotions, perfumes, sprays, powders and oils in all the scents they come in just in case we are feeling more rose than cucumber melon one day. The 'other' needs are why we keep you men around and we can't have you smelling like a sewer during those times so that's why we give you a drawer or shelf for your good smelling baubles. lol

    3. Ahhh, but there's a difference between NEED and WANT.

      I understand about not wishing us blokes to smell like sewers, but as long as we avoid the dreaded shart, we should be OK.

      Actually, smelling like babies is one thing we can all agree on.

      They just smell so sweet.

  4. I imagine that you are of a certain generation otherwise your no win no fee lawyers would be busy suing the army to kingdom come for negligence in beret and helmet provision, troops for the use of.

    I can fit my toiletries in a small bag: mark you, I'm not putting up a photograph....

    1. True, it was at least a generation ago, when even thinking about suing the Army was the equivalent to cutting one's own throat.

      If you can put ALL of your toiletries in a small bag, are you 100% sure that you are female?

      Photographic evidence would be nice.

    2. Trained by professional soldier father at an early age to travel light....

      Have husband who hates make up on women...and even more on men...
      Suits me, I don't have to put it on with a trowel in the morning only to have to take it off with a chipping hammer at night...

      If I could work out how to put up a photo here I it is you'll have to take a look at the one on my blog.

      I sometimes think that i am sure of nothing.

    3. Well done your Dad.
      I have to pack our cases before travel, and even after 36 years, I still have to explain about weight limits, and that the case is not like the Tardis, with more room inside than out.

      You do what hubby wants???

      Lucky man.

      I'll have a look

      That is, I believe, the path to wisdom.

  5. I exude lots of oils too that stain the pillow! Interesting that these come from the scalp.
    Though my wife also puts too much oil in the fry pan so it balances out in the end.

    1. The oil is from my scalp, in my case.

      I cannot be sure about yours Robert.

      Yours may well be some sort of miracle oil or unguent.

      There is no such thing as to much oil in the frying pan.

    2. I've also been through the stigma of oily head pillow yellowness.

      I changed shampoo and the head oil thing seemed to stop. And then we accidentally used one of the "eco" laundry liquids and it mysteriously managed to get the stains out when the standard chemicals had failed...

    3. Strange...I used an "Eco" stain remover, based on Lavender Oil, and it worked really well.

      The Greens are f*cking insane no matter what.

  6. I'm delighted to hear that even a bluff codger such as yourself has metrosexual habits! I suggest you shave your head completely and consider having your right earlobe pierced. The head oil sounds fascinating - have you tried making a candle out of it?

    1. Bluff or Buff? Never quite sure.

      I tried having my head completely shaved, but the pain of the old spice hitting the raw scalp was just too much, and I had to remove the barber from this plane of existence.


      There are limits, and you've just gone completely over it this time.

      I'd be very careful about your selection of your next stick of celery. You may find a hungry leopard waiting for you.

      As for the candle of head oil, no. The melting point is too high. it never really solidifies. I could however try an oil-based lamp using the head-oil as fuel. The danger is that as my own personal head-oil is so enriched with massively powerful male pheromones, that using it as lamp fuel may result in an uncontrolled assault upon me by ever female in the valley.

      I can't wait.

  7. I think that gathering up your sweated out oil to use as moisturiser can basically be summed up as a waste of energy. It's so much cheaper to buy moisturiser. Actually, go on, admit it. Women wouldn't do something as daft as that, would they?????

    1. AAaaaarrrggghhh...NO.

      I admit it, women wouldn't attempt to gather scalp oils to use as a moisturiser..

      They'd get their blokes to do it for them

  8. Replies
    1. As always Laoch,
      concise, accurate yet somehow enigmatic.

  9. I have considered making an infographic histogram of my product in the bathroom cabinet vs her products across the bathroom cabinet, handbags, several drawers and the kitchen bench, to illustrate how much contact dermatitis I get (none) and how much she gets (lots).

    However, I know what's good for me, so I daren't.

    1. Wise move.

      Mind you even putting it into a graph/histogram is a bit dangerous.

      Just leave it as numbers.

      Their little brains will never figure it out.

      Avoid Pink.

  10. Out here men are still men, but they are under attack from their other half who insist men should shave (every day) and use deodorant and cologne. (Stink Pretty was what my uncle called it)
    But in my long and uneventful life Ive noticed that men change constantly to make their partners happy but always fall short. First they want their men to shave and smell pretty then they toss them out for a rugged, unshaven sweaty worker type... Ive cut through all the bullshit by staying the same until whatever it is that I have comes back in style...

  11. Good idea,but doomed to failure, as is any attempt to apply logic to the female/male condition.

    At least, that's what it said in the latest edition of Cosmo, and it must be right, as my Beloved said so.

  12. You never fail to surprise TSB. Last year you told us how you had the necessity to wear women's sanitary pads. Now this year it's moisturiser on the face. What next? Women's silky knickers or stockings or both? Being a bloke's bloke must obviously be too boring these days.

    1. It's becoming much harder to stay a real bloke.

      I'm even thinking of giving up plucking my moustache hair.




  13. "...but I know who's right." is such a manly thing to say. It's like a genetic glitch we pass on to our sons.

    My dad had a Styptic Pencil. The reason you don't see them anymore is because it feel like a concentrated mix of...ah, you know.

    I care way too much about my hair-do. We all have our flaws. As long as we don't stink, I think we're okay.

    1. It may well be a manly thng to say, but I've heard women say it as well. Thinking about it, they say it much more often. I'm fighting a rearguard action here...HELP.

      Yes, I do know. I tried it ...ONCE. It hurts like hell. least you've got need to brag about it. One of my students complained that he couldn't see the image on the data projector screen, because the glare off my oily, bald skull was blinding him. I had my revenge later.

  14. Many men do maintain a handsomeness in maturity, the bastards, and moisturizing (hello from the U.S.!) is just smart. Who needs broken, angry skin? Not me. Certainly not you.

    My grandfather smelled of three things: Manure, Old Spice, and Lava soap. Weather-beaten and craggy, I thought he was the most handsome thing...


    1. What can I say?

      In the words of Sir Sean... "Itsh a gift". *flashes a boyish smile*

      Your grandfather was obviously a paragon of manliness. Can I assume that he was a farmer rather than a sewage processing operative?

  15. It's nice to hear of a man worrying about something. How is it that women worry about everything though? Not fair!

    1. Didn't you know?

      Men worry all of the time.

      We just don't show it.

      We've learned to hide it by shouting at the TV when the fottie is on.
      We've learned to hide it by drinking lots of beer.

      We do it all for you lovely ladies, so you can avoid the angst of seeing us worry.

  16. You are right in that blokes get better looking with age, however that was never a problem for me as I was created handsome. But moisturiser? Poof!

    1. I admire your self-confidence, however misguided and deluded you may be.

      Quite honestly, I'd almost prefer to be called a poof, rather than suffer from the non-stop itching of flaky skin.

  17. Never before have I been so grateful to read the words 'But I digress...'
    Thank heavens I had already had my tea.

    1. Which bit got to you the most? Just curious.

      I'll try and remember to put a health/nausea warning on the next one.

  18. Blokes using moisturiser is nothing new. My Dad did for years. He used to steal Mum's. Put some on every night before going to bed after washing his face first. He also had an oily type skin of olive tone that went very brown in summer ( I suspect we have some unknown genes in his line of the family). I used to think he was "Poofy" doing this when I was a teen. But I tell you, when my dear Dad passed away 9 years ago at 73, his skin was amazing and his face had no wrinkles, just a few lines under the eyes like all of us. Fortunately I have inherited his great skin and am forever grateful.

    1. Lucky you. My skin is more akin to grade 100 sandpaper.

  19. Hairspray... I mean I buy can on can of it when I do the shopping - what the hell does she do with it? Seriously I think she has a solvent abuse situation going on frankly

    1. Be very, very careful. She may be experimenting with new flamethrower techniques. If i were you, I'd invest in some asbestos underwear.

  20. Thank you for explaining the mystery that is the styptic pencil, I have always meant to ask...

    1. Sorry for not replying before Blighty, but I like being mysterious.

  21. Old Spice isn't in opaque bottles anymore!?! What the hell?

    Sorry about your head leaking. Maybe a gasket blown?

    1. I know.
      It doesn't seem like authentic Old Spice without it.
      Mind you, the new bottles don't leak like the old ones with their narrow plastic plunger masquerading as a stopper.

  22. Tartarus always has looked after his skin - cos he's working with engine oils etc. So I have had the joy of a big hairy biker stealing my moisturiser for years :-)

    He's only recently Come Out about this and bought his own moisturiser :-D

    1. I feel for your loss.

      Has Tartarus started wearing your bloomers yet?


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