What's one of the only consumer products with steadily rising sales in the midst of this financiapocalypse? "Clinical" strength deodorant! Because Americans are growing nervouser and nervouser. Also we're all suckers!

All these "clinical" strength deodorants started coming out a couple years ago, as America grew more self-conscious. Last year sales were up almost every month! Which is great for "Big Deodorant," because these 'clinical' products have only 25% more of the active ingredient, but they cost more than twice as much.

The subtext of all this, of course, is that the end of the American economy is making everyone nervous and sweaty, and people will pay anything at all to avoid what Procter & Gamble calls "sweat events." (This is the same marketing plan that heroin uses, incidentally). But "learning" is the real theme here, isn't it?

Lisa J. Pieretti, executive director of the International Hyperhidrosis Society (hyperhidrosis is the medical term for extreme sweating, which afflicts an estimated 3 percent of the population), said that antiperspirant, paradoxically, relies on perspiration to work: perspiration draws the active ingredient into the sweat gland, and plugs form to stem more perspiration.

While sleeping, Ms. Pieretti said, people sweat only slightly, which encourages a "real nice plug" to form.

[NYT; Pic via]