Friday, March 27, 2009

Febreze Sport

A few weeks ago, still gung-ho over having a workout buddy to go with me to the gym during my lunch hour every day, I signed up on to receive a free sample of the new Febreze Sport, Cool Energy Scent. It arrived a few days ago - a taunting reminder of fitness aspirations that have since crawled under the couch to die and have begun to stink like last month's stale, sweaty gym socks moldering in the trunk of my car.

Meanwhile, we've had a series of unfortunate events occur in our household, leading to the only bright side in the whole fiasco - a visit from my in-laws. (No, really, that IS a bright side - I love my in-laws. I often tell them I wonder why on earth I waited so long to have siblings. They've just about cured me of the smug, self-centered satisfaction of being an only child.) Since my sister-in-law would be sleeping on the hide-a-bed, it was particularly unfortunate that my kids chose last night to have a spat involving a cup of coffee and a throw-pillow (I try to explain to them that "throw pillow" is a decorative term, not the description of an upholstered weapon). When we got home last night, and started to prepare the bed, I smelled the pungent and unpleasant aroma of cold, stale coffee.

"Febreze Sport to the rescue!" I thought, patting myself on the back for having had the foresight NOT to stick it in my gym bag with the rank tank top and the slightly damp and funky sweatpants. I grabbed the little sample box, pulled the can from the plastic bag, examined it, wondered why it didn't have a cap, like normal spray cans, shrugged, and pressed the top.

febreze-can Nothing happened. I twisted the top. In hindsight, grabbing the orange ring while twisting wasn't the thing to do. I actually did do it correctly - which is to say I twisted just the silver spray button to the left ("righty tighty, lefty loosey") but if you twist it too far in the correct direction, you still can't press down and spray it. Admittedly, a bright light and reading glasses might've helped, but I wasn't seeing these instructions:


Can you read that? It says "Lock" (upside down, because that's how I saw it) and has an arrow pointing to the right. Well, left - but you get the idea. Can you read that? This is somewhat larger than actual size. I couldn't make it out last night, but it didn't matter. I turned it right, I turned it left, and the button wouldn't budge. I looked for more clues in the fine print:

instructions There it is, plain as the nose on my face, black-on-shiny-silver in 4-point type. I'm such an idiot. I didn't even see this until tonight, when I started taking photos using my camera's macro mode. (To my credit, the can has a shiny silver surface - you turn on a light to aid in reading the print, and you get a slight glare that makes it hard to read. Catch-22. But it's there. Well...except that I tried twisting the spray button, and it just turned in both directions but wouldn't budge. If I had seen this, I would at least have known I was on the right track, and not moved on to Idiot Move #1.)

Idiot Move #1

Let's just say that this is not the proper tool to open a can of Febreze Sport:


If I'd ever earned my Totin' Chip from the Boy Scouts, it'd be clipped and maybe burned after last night. Thinking that the orange band might be some sort of safety seal, such as that on many plastic milk bottles and other containers, I tried to break it or tear it off. It's a tough little sucker. I couldn't find the scissors, so I did the next best thing: I grabbed a steak knife.


If you must do Idiot Move #1, at least point the damned thing AWAY from your hand while you do it, so you don't end up in the ER for two hours, with three stitches to show for your trouble:


This morning, my sister-in-law figured out how to open the can. I finally got to SMELL Febreze Sport. My husband has long been an avid fan of Febreze, but I was never fond of the original scent. In fact, I really disliked the original scent, although I had to admit it works to eliminate worse odors. But I like the smell of Febreze Sport. It is light and crisp. And it works beautifully, not only on stinky gym shoes and bags that have sat, long forgotten, in the back of a humid car trunk for weeks after a lunchtime workout, but also on stale, cold coffee stains, funky old pillows, and whatever's down there in the carpet that smells like feet. It's a light sort of herbal, citrusy scent that makes everything seem clean and fresh again. Febreze Sport, in short, is the master of illusion.

Just one more caveat: Don't spray near open wounds.