(1) My husband and I have always surmised that face wash would be very difficult to market to men (eg “X-FOLIATOR! It will punch your face clean!”) yet, this morning, I discovered that such a product actually exists. It is called Facial Fuel. It comes in a blue bottle with a picture of a biplane on it. The smell also aspires to manliness. I expected it to have a sort of musky flavor like Old Spice or shaving cream for dudes (which is generally blue, and seldom comes in mango or passion flower scents), but it went in a surprisingly briny direction. Because a metrosexual product like face wash cannot smell even remotely pleasant, or it might as well come in a pink bottle that reads “you are gay.”
The copy on the bottle did make sure to let me know that the contents are not “gentle” or “exfoliating” like those lady face washes; they are “energizing.” By “energizing,” the copy means, “burns the skin slightly on contact.” Really. See? This is a manly product, because its use is physically uncomfortable.
Facial Fuel made my whole morning by reminding me how hilarious all marketing is, especially when it is gendered. If you need a good laugh in the shower, I recommend it.
(2) My husband and I stopped on the street corner, trying to figure out where we were relative to the Museum of Modern Art. Before we could even pull up our location on our iphone, a guy stopped by and said, “hey, where are you going?” It took us a moment to realize that he was talking to us, and another moment to understand that he was offering his help. “Oh, um, MoMA,” my husband sputtered. “How come it took you so long to get that out?” our new friend asked, before he gave us the directions. He was being a spontaneous good samaritan, but he simply couldn’t do something nice without being a dick about it. We thought his fine mélange of helpfulness and douchiness captured something essential about the New York spirit.
(3) There were two kinds of art works at the MoMA. For one kind, the placards were unnecessary because the pieces spoke for themselves. For the other kind, the placards made me laugh my ass off. For example: a gigantic white canvas with a big dark blue smear on it. The placard explained that the artist had theme parties during which he had a nude model soaked in a shade of blue paint he’d named after himself roll around on a piece of canvas. He served blue cocktails, and congratulated himself on “not having to get his fingers dirty” to produce art. Magnificent, no?
My favorite piece, however, was a chair covered in plates, cutlery, and leftover food glued sideways onto a wall. The placard explained that the artist had been inspired while watching his paramour eat breakfast. He glued her meal’s discards to the chair where she’d left them, and epoxied the whole deal up onto the wall. That was his work for the day. This piece is now in the Museum of Modern Art. Tell me this guy wasn’t (a) Loki, God of Mischief (b) a marketing genius (c) a huge pain in the ass to live with.
Look for my next art installation forthcoming at the MoMA. It will feature such pieces as “Husband’s Shirts Mixed with Concrete, Poured over Marital Bed,” “Husband Asleep with my Underwear Glued to his Face,” and my personal favorite, “Infuriated Cat Rocketing through Museum, Covered in Crisco and Flecks of Tissue Paper.”