Pat Medicine

Butt Mousse and Beach Whistles

“I want my plastic.” All bright colors and boppy hairstyles, it looks more like a music video than a television commercial. She’s a free young woman of the late ‘eighties, she wants it all, and she wants it NOW. These days, a little square of plastic can get it for her—instant cash or commodities, instant gratification, instant recognition. No wonder she wants her plastic. And you, the viewer, are hypnotized by desire, yet redeemed by the message. You too can be as cool and confident as the new-wave chick with her polyvinyl petroleum product. On the TV, the clean and sexy mannequin flashes her smile along with her new status symbol...after decades of manufacturing cardboard applicators for their “feminine hygiene” products, in order to compete with the other companies. Tampax has finally switched to plastic. And the cool chick, knowing this will get her everything and everyone she ever wanted out of life, sparkles and exclaims, “I want my plastic!”

The message is, “If you are cool, hip and beautiful underneath it all, somehow it will show on the outside.” Everyone is magically attracted to you without knowing exactly why. This message is directed in an especially pointed manner towards women, who are from birth instilled with fears about personal cleanliness and “freshness.”

These insecurities are played upon by manufacturers, causing many to reject their natural odors and secretions in favor of a solution that’s “pre-moistened...hypo-allergenic...flushable!” Yes, cunts are dirty, smelly and oozy, and REAL women keep ‘em hosed down, sponge-absorbed and disinfected with douches, pantyliners, sprays and wipes. This is supposed to be the essence of sex appeal. You’ll be more beautiful, successful, you’ll be noticed, and no one but you will know why—simply because now you feel “good all under.”

Today, yet another product is about to be put on the market that for both men and women will assure confidence, give you that mysterious, radiant glow. Certain area households have been chosen to receive this gift by parcel post, apparently at random through the graces of the Michigan Bell Bible. (The addressee is invariably “Mrs.” even if there isn’t one. Surely any decent housewife would be responsible not only for her own hygiene but that of her whole family! !) Upon opening the package, a card falls out explaining how you were “specially selected to receive these free samples. We are sure you will enjoy these products, so please try them right away.”

OK, let’s check it out...four rolls of toilet paper—shit, why couldn’t this have come yesterday? I just ran out and bought a whole package. Oh well, you can always use more, one of the few things ‘bout as inevitable as death and taxes is excrement. Now what’s in this box—“Personal Cleansing Cloths. Be as clean and fresh as you like, anytime! gentle, fast, easy...” Like I don’t know how to wash. But who has the time to take care of their personal toilette in this fast-paced, modern world? This is sooo much more Convenient.

I am also instructed to “Give the attractive dispenser a permanent place in your bathroom.” Oh, goody, look at the “attractive dispenser”—a plain square plastic box, off-white, snap top. Christ, not even a fucking embossed flower on it. Still, the best is yet to come. Deep in the package, imprisoned in layers of cardboard and plastic wrap, are rolls of what looks like ordinary toilet paper; but the label says, “New...Ultra.”

What’s this, it’s got a built-in roller?’ Like some air freshener thing? What’s this button for that says “Lock/Unlock”? Sounds dangerous. Lemme see the directions (TP that has directions?!!)

There’s a diagram showing the cautious unrolling of a few sheets and what appears to be a wad of some kind of whipped cream...you just pull this lever and...WHOA! it squirted me! It’s...what the hell...it looks like...you’re supposed to wipe your ass with this...unsightly gloop...foaming mound of white slippery stuff...that can only be described as...BUTT MOUSSE!

Butt mousse...BUTT MOUSSE! What, we’ve gotten to the point where our very shitholes must be fashionable? Whattya gonna do, style your pubes with it? “Oh darling, you look marvelous! What brand of butt mousse do you use?”

Are our children to be brought up to masturbate a toilet roll to accomplish total personal cleanliness while being taught that touching themselves “down there” is dirty? Will we continue to allow manufacturers and advertisers to propagate the notion that our bodies must be sterilized and glamorized, even in our most private areas, in order for us to feel good about ourselves? or will we tell them to “BUTT OUT!!!”

You can’t go anywhere without cleanliness/godliness fanatics trying to impose their values on us, whether subtly or blatantly. Wander into the K-marts of Windsor and you will find, stocked next to G strings and crotchless panties, disposable underwear. A fresh pair for every day of the week.

Cotton blended with paper, decorated with tiny hearts in seven different colors. The (plastic again) package proclaims “soft...comfortable... sexy,” Their texture is identical to a Handi-Wipe. But they’re “Disposable” (is anything, really) and so you can throw your cares and disgusting bodily byproducts away.

Same with the plastic tampon applicators which, unlike biodegradable cardboard, live a long and varied existence as they swim through our sewage systems...traveling the waterways of the world till they wash up on some far-off shore, winding up as toys in the hands of little children who have innocently dubbed them “beach whistles.”

Refuse to live in a world that is pre-moistened, hypoallergenic, and flush-able! Refuse to be ejaculated upon by big businesses who are selling a new scam on sex appeal! Do not allow them to whitewash the natural attributes of your body so it can pass inspection under the bright lights of Madison Avenue.

Antiseptics be damned. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ! Give us blood, sweat, cum and shit. We’d rather lie in our own secretions than feel guilty for being human animals. Dispose of manufacturers of artificial masculinity and femininity...for they are the truly unclean.


Fifth Estate #332, Summer, 1989