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salesmanship

drowning2
 


“There is a moment in a sales pitch when an arm around the shoulder or a hand on the back will help swing the deal. . . But you must know that moment! Try it too soon and you kill the deal—too late and you’ve lost your opportunity.”
 
Julius Fast and Meredith Bernstein, Sexual Chemistry M. Evans and Co., 1983. Julius Fast. Such a good name. This book is the source of the questionable hankie armpit dance. The authors assign it to Greece and some Balkan countries. Dance ethnographers please step in.

 

The man in the yellow cigarette boat sees the drowning woman. He doesn’t think the men in the white cigarette boat can see her. The white boat is headed right for the drowning woman. (Boy is she ever in trouble.) The man in the yellow boat decides to aim his bow straight at the woman’s head; this will force the white boat to veer away because at that point the two boats will be headed for a collision. Woosh. The white boat heads off, and the man in the yellow boat pulls the drowning woman aboard and saves her life. He towels her off. She loves him instantly and for as long as he’ll allow it.

There may or may not be a traditional folk dance which involves handkerchiefs and armpits. Allegedly, in this traditional folk dance, the men put handkerchiefs in their armpits during the dance. After getting the hankies sweaty and foul, the male dancers wave these artifacts under the noses of attractive young ladies in the audience. The idea being that smelly, damp handkerchiefs have an aphrodisiac effect.

I read about this dance in a hardcover book. I also found a mention of it in the L.A. Times online. But I am suspicious.

In an unrelated reading adventure, I read a newspaper article which implied that a woman who is taking birth control pills runs the risk of being chemically attracted to men who aren’t going to be good lovers for her in the long run. I am not going to research this article or try to find it, so enjoy my thoughts on this topic as fiction.

Birth control pills simulate pregnancy in a woman, more or less, and trick her body into thinking it is already pregnant, so it won’t release eggs. A woman who is pregnant, the theory goes, has a chemical attraction to brotherly men, friendly men, as well as other women, gentle folks who will nurture the pregnancy and help the woman get to the finish line (birth.) When this same woman is not pregnant, or on birth control pills, her chemical draw is going to pull her towards a different type of man altogether. Perhaps the type who would run her over with a cigarette boat; a heroic, pomaded marauder.

All of this is very heteronormative and I acknowledge that. I am working with old images, that’s my excuse.
But really, what is that girl doing way out there in the water all by herself? Is she in a channel? A bay? A spit?

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