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Cans of Whoopass on the shelf

On the shelf in Calico CA

Over the years I have heard many people – most of them could probably be identified as e.m.PD members – reference the proverbial “can of Whoopass”. You know – the terse response that is not uncommon in situations where one feels grumpy, annoyed, and/or irritable for one reason or another.

I used to be the worse, but, over time, wisdom prevailed and I changed my ways. Now, when I find myself feeling a bit irritable, or otherwise in need of a personality adjustment, I find it much more appropriate to reach for my Personality Spray. “And what, exactly, is Personality Spray?” you might ask. If you will indulge me for just a moment, I’ll share the secret of Personality Spray.

Several years ago, I attended a conference for creative types, hosted by the former Society of Craft Designers. There, I met a young lady who shared a similar concept with a group of us shortly after her presentation. Her demeanor was very pleasant and social, even after what had been a very long day for all of us. As we spent time getting to know her, and asking follow-up questions about the product she was promoting, one participant commented on her fresh personality. She laughed and said, “Oh, I’m not normally this way, especially after a long day.”
“So, what’s your secret?”
“Conference Spray.”
“Conference Spray?”
“Yes, Conference Spray. I keep a can in my bag, and just before I came out to start my presentation I gave myself a luxurious spray.”

In response to the collective question marks that appeared over our heads, she said, “Here, I’ll show you.” Turning, she rummaged through the contents of her bag, emerging with a triumphant “See? Here it is!”

For a split second, my logical left brain told me she was standing there holding her hand in the air as if her fingers had frozen in the middle of making a slow motion fist. But, my creative right brain quickly corrected the image, and I realized she was indeed holding a can of something. She proceeded to explain.

“Just before every conference presentation I take this can of spray, and starting at my feet, I spray.” Bending forward, she demonstrated, “I slowly move from my feet, up my legs, up my body, up my face.”

As she lifted her head and “sprayed” her face, she inhaled deeply. You could see her demeanor change from a nearly flat affect to a huge, luminous smile that made her eyes sparkle. She beamed at us and said, “That is how I use my Conference Spray to put on my happy face.” We all laughed of course when she encouraged us to check our purses and bags for our own cans. Unfortunately, faulty circuits in my memory files prevent me from recalling her name in order to give her proper credit, but you know who you are, and I thank you for sharing your secret, and for inspiring my version of this idea.

In the years since that conference, I found it necessary to develop a product with a slightly broader range of uses to meet my particular needs, so I created Personality Spray. I keep it with me at all times (even though I have, on occasion, failed to take it out and use it). My can of Personality Spray has the slightest hint of chocolate that only I can smell. If I feel a need for a personality adjustment coming on, I will try to find a private space so that I can initiate the application process. And yes, there have been times when I have had to spray for a prolonged period of time to achieve the desired effect. But, I am a believer. I believe in the power of my chocolate scented Personality Spray, and when I remember to use it, it really does seem to help. I also keep a pocket-sized version on hand for emergencies.

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