Dear Mad-Dog,
Strangely enough, this question came to me when I was watching Beavis and Butthead. One of them, I think it was Beavis, started sniffing his armpit and said, “I smell like a man.” The Butthead said, “U huh uhu, cool. We’re old enough to smell bad.” So here’s my question, what happens to a human’s body chemistry around puberty that suddenly necessitates the use of deodorant? Damnit, Mad-Dog, why don’t little kids stink like us?
Love, Pablo “El perro de Juan tiene un muy large rabo.”

Beavis and Butthead. I wonder how many strokes of genius have been inspired by these animated heroes of urban culture. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d rather have these guys act as spokesmen for “Generation X” than that smelly scumbag, Kurt Cobain.

Well, Pablo, I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to change a child’s diaper, but I can assure you that kids can stink in ways which will bring a tear to even the most rugged-smelling man’s eye.

I know, though; you speak of smells which involve armpits, not diapers.

Puberty is a special time in a child’s life: a time for celebration of the body; a time when the opposite sex becomes something more than a general annoyance, a time when young boys suddenly begin washing their own sheets and smelling like untreated raw sewage. Why?

It all begins with the pesky pituitary gland which secretes mysterious fluids which causes the testes to grow and start spurting testosterone like a broken water main. Testosterone causes growth and development of secondary sexual characteristics (armpit hair, pubic hair, zits, and that squeaky voice which makes it impossible to impress the girlies with your manliness).

It should be noted here that girls also go through puberty and I’m sure it’s all very interesting, but we’re talking about how men get to smell manly. Indignant, hairy, stinky women can continue reading but perhaps the rest of you sweet-smelling babes ought to skip to the next question, unless you’re dying to find out why your boyfriend smells so bad.

So here is a young lad, armpit hair firmly in place, sheets all crunchy with wet dream residue, wondering where that funky odor is coming from. You see, Pablo, as well as developing all those swell new hairs, kids also develop Apocrine glands wherever they develop hair. These glands secrete proteins and fatty acids which promote bacterial growth.


Hey, back off. I’m getting there. Have you no faith in the Dog?

Sweat, you see, is odorless. It’s true, despite how mephitic your pits are right now. What causes that unpleasant effluvia which follows adolescents and adults alike is the decomposition of bacteria. Yup. It’s true. While sweat from the rest of the body is mostly saline water, and thus unfavorable to the growth of bacteria, sweat from the underarms and (yes) the pubic region, also contains these glandular secretions which make your pits a veritable trailer park for bacteria. If your entire body was festooned with these Apocrine glands, your whole body would smell like an armpit. Hair in these areas also helps to trap sweat and further augment bacterial growth, making you smell as manly as heck.

So scrub up and slap on some deodorant, you malodorous maladroit.

Dear Mad-Dog,
Is penis size hereditary? How does Alpha Hydroxy reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles?
a girl.

Got a peek at your old-man’s johnson and now you’re wondering where he got a unit that size?

Honey-chile ain’t no part of yer body what you didn’t get from somewhere else. Humans (and dogs, for that matter) are a veritable used parts department, everything having come from somewhere else. Everything, that is, except for Geraldo, who I strongly suspect of having spontaneously popped into existence during some sort of twisted satanic ritual involving three hundred pounds of luncheon meat and a warm bottle of Yoo-Hoo.

So let’s move on to something that really concerns the masses. Fine lines and wrinkles. How can we get rid of them?

You can’t. Cope.

Alpha Hydroxy is a catch phrase for a compound which promises to deliver younger looking skin so you can get yourself a man and discover that, because of his apocrinal glands, he smells like cheese which has aged in the sun.

There is no such thing as Alpha Hydroxy. There, I’ve said it. Alpha Hydroxy is nothing more than an advertising campaign designed to make women feel even less secure about them selves. “Hell,” said an ad man, “We made ‘em buy those Epilady things, let’s sell ‘em something which doesn’t even exist... HAR! HAR HAR!”

Alpha Hydroxy is the trade name for compounds which are filled to the brim with billions of invidious sounding chemicals, all of which serve to produce one of two results: exfoliating or hydrating.

Wrinkles are formed when parts of the inner layer of the skin (which supports the outer layer) disappear. The outer layer (composed of stratified squamous epithelial tissue, in case you were wondering) then sort of falls into a tiny crevice and your face winds up looking like... well... something really wrinkly.

Skin also begins to wrinkle and buckle when it is about to shed. The exfoliating agents (who work for the DEA) in the Alpha Hydroxy compound take care of the about to shed skin, but what about those places where the supporting tissue is gone?

Fine wrinkles are formed and the hydrating agents rush in, allowing the skin to absorb and retain water. Basically, you are retaining water in your face. The water puffs up the skin and makes the fine wrinkles appear to disappear. The key words here are “fine” and “appear”.

This process only works on very fine wrinkles (deep wrinkles are unaffected) and only works temporarily. Soon the water is resorbed into your system and the wrinkles come back as good as ever. If you’re really desperate to have smooth skin, a plastic surgeon can inject protein into the lower layer of your skin, but this will be resorbed into your body eventually as well.

My advice is merely to cope with whatever cruel blows mother nature has dealt you. Perhaps you should consider legally changing your name to Pruneface.

Mad-Dog: Master of the Universe
191 Union St.
Milford, NH 03055
Mad-Dog e-mail hotline:

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