My wife’s birthday is coming up and I’m hustling through the mall in a rush to get a present. The good thing is I know what she likes, and that’s perfume. I like perfume too. Forget Horny Goat Weed and all that fake shit they sell in GNC for “enhancing male libido”, whatever that is. Perfume is the only genuine aphrodisiac, recognized not only by most of mankind for thousands of years but also by moths, mosquitoes and mammals. It’s built in our genes.
I like Victoria’s Secret because they have good perfume, and they have these little variety boxes. For about fifty bucks, you get a box of about six or seven little bottles with names like “Dream Angel” and “Wish”. They’ve fun and odds are there’s bound to be something good in there so I can’t go wrong. Until I do. A young lady informs me they have them in the big bottles right now (she points at them) the little bottles are only at Christmas season. They just have three kinds in the big bottles and I’m pretty sure she’s got them all. Time for Plan B.
On my way out, I glance up at the life size black and white photos of Victoria Secret models, grainy shots of thin, sullen snow maidens lounging in push-em-up bras and thong panties. I get free color photo catalogs in the mail of these girls, glaring at me in their underwear like I’ve already pissed them off.
Could you Would You?
No, I kind of don’t think so. I guess I’m supposed to want to but I don’t feel it.
There’s an ancient game men play in their own imagination, and sometimes out loud with other men over beers. I suppose women play this game too.
On the downstairs escalator, I see this little store on the basement floor called “Perfume Palace.” I’ve never been there. I always go for the Victoria’s Secret or Macy’s without thinking much about it. It’s automatic. This is a little family owned place run by dark skinned people with slicked back hair. Scooting off the escalator, I pass the Dav- Vee Nails Salon. Inside are a half dozen hard working Asian ladies, hunched over people’s hands and feet. They’re sleek as greyhounds, exotic and celestial as if they’d arrived on a flying saucer.
I can’t take my eyes off them as I walk by. One of them looks up at me and smiles and I smash into a guy in a feed store cap coming the other way. Raised on water dense noodles, soup and rice, they’re as thin as the girls in the photos upstairs but for some reason the effect is completely different. They look frisky.
Could you would you?
Oh yeah. Absolutely.
In the Perfume Palace, the lady behind the counter waits patiently as I look over the goods. There’s nobody else in the store so we can’t ignore each other. There’re paper cups of coffee beans on the counter but I don’t see any coffee machines. They’ve got a lot of the big names and also a lot of novelty stuff. I don’t know what to do. Victoria's Secret is starting to look good again. She feels my hesitation and speaks. “What may I help you find, sir?” That’s an accent, India or Pakistan maybe. Her voice makes me look at her for the first time. Her skin is dark, a kind of light nut brown, and her thick straight hair is pinned back. She has a beautiful aristocratic nose and full lips, like the Creole ladies in the Cajun parishes in Louisiana. She’s by no means fat, but there’s nothing skinny about her either. Lush. She could be a model for those tantric Hindu temple statues of Krishna and his cow herd maidens. It takes an effort not to stare.
Could you would you?
She’s looking at me and I just remembered she asked me a question. “I am, yeah. My wife, she’s got this birthday. What do you think she’d like?”
“How old is your wife?”
Now that – that is very cool. The Victoria's Secret ladies upstairs never ask me shit, they just point out the bottles. I’m a little taken aback. How old? I tell her, and she thinks for a moment. “Come over here.” I follow her to the other end of the counter. She takes out a bottle of “Red Door” and spritzes a square of paper and passes it to me.
She’s no spring chicken, but no matron either. Maybe fortyish. She has very intriguing deep breasts and doesn’t need special engineering to bring them out. The paper I sniff makes her look even better and I hang on the smell a while.
“This is not a perfume for a young woman, it is a more mature scent with a soft spice in the high notes. Do you smell the lavender?” She waves her hands like a philharmonic conductor as she speaks.
I like it. I like it a lot. “It’s nice,” I say. “What else have you got?”
She turns and bends over to bring a bottle from a lower shelf. She has a big ass, a wonderful primitive fertility goddess butt. She probably got that cave woman ass from bearing the babies that gave her those breasts. She’s not some skinny androgynous girl posing for cameras, she’s somebody’s working mama. She’s a woman at that special moment in life when beauty begins its decline. There’s something powerfully erotic about perfect beauty in that moment when it starts to go to seed. Happy husband. I envy him his nights.
Could you would you?
Now the “Could you” part of this equation is very important. It’s the difference between me and say, Elliot Spitzer. Without the Could You, you’re left with Would You? Would you betray your loyal wife, burden your son with a lifetime of distrust and cynicism, blow your job and the good opinion of others for five or ten minutes hot and heavy with this woman?
Uh . . . No.
In some parallel universe, maybe in the astral plane or a lucid dream or some other way where it doesn’t count, where nobody gets hurt, sure. But this world? This reality? Nope. That’s what “Could you” means.” It means something almost impossible.
She reaches under and pulls out an odd shaped bottle, perfume bottles are always odd shaped, with something pink in it. She spritzes a paper and passes it to me.
My nose has died and gone to heaven from the other bottle. I can’t smell a thing. She hands me a cup of coffee beans. “Smell this. Then try.”
I snort some coffee beans and try again. Damn! That does the trick – I am in the hands of an expert. I love it. I wonder what other subtle things she can do.
This second bottle, “Sensual” is definitely it. I almost don’t even care if my wife likes it, it does the trick for me. This smell in the presence of this fabulous female flesh gives me the shakes.
“I’ll take it.”
While she’s wrapping it up, I sneak a lonesome glance at her bust, shifting bulkily in her soft and clinging clothes. They’re even bigger viewed from the side. She probably knows I’m watching her. What I wouldn’t give to see her in those thong panties and a see through bra on one of those posters upstairs. Why don’t they use people like her? In fact, there is a reason.
Because she’s too sexy.
Tolstoy should have said, “Skinny women are all the same. Voluptuous women are each voluptuous in their own way.” No matter what PR reps say in promotional interviews, when it comes to making money with a product, unique is not what you want. Formula is what you want. Formula sells, and that is the name of the game. That’s true for almost everything. Originality is death. That’s the secret of Victoria’s Secret, it’s a franchise, the McDonalds of sex. That’s why you want skinny when it’s about protecting your money. You can’t replace Sophia Loren, or Pamela Anderson. They can push you around. Skinny models are generic and interchangeable as mass produced industrial components, which in a serious way is exactly what they are. It makes them cheaper to hire and fire too. "Get snotty and we'll replace you with someone who looks just like you, toots. Nobody will even notice."
One day you feel like a hamburger. There are two restaurants next to each other. One is McDonalds. The other is Big Al’s Diner. At McDonald’s you know exactly what you’re going to get and how much it will cost. There are no surprises. This is comforting. This is safe. Especially if you’re dragging a kid with you. A Happy Meal with a SpongeBob toy and the kid’s squared away. With Al, you don’t know what you’re going to get. That’s not comforting. Most people will choose McDonald’s every time. Skinny girls in advertising - those are Happy Meals with tits.
Now this woman here, ringing up my credit card. This is Al.
This is big Al, he of the hairy arms, the stained apron, the wet cigar clamped in his teeth. With a grunt he puts down a heavy white china plate on the counter in front of you, with a half a pound of ground round dripping heart stopping grease mixed with cheese, steaming of fried onions and pickles. This is a burger for carnivores, for men who work with jackhammers, stride steel beams with hand tools and whistle at girls.A Happy meal? When you could have this?
Could you would you?