If you watch the commercials, as soon as you spray Axe body spray on yourself, beautiful women will knock down your door to throw themselves at you. In reality, unfortunately, you’ll probably just smell kinda funny. Even more unfortunately, teenagers experimenting with the product aren’t doing so to smell better. Instead, they are — literally — playing with fire.
Because of the product’s high alcohol content, Axe is extremely flammable. Kids have figured this out and are using it to light themselves on fire. Yes, you read that right, kids are setting themselves on fire. Sure, you might say, kids were doing that fifty years ago with Lysol or hairspray, but the big difference today is that kids are able to film themselves and put the videos on YouTube.
In a letter to parents, Superintendent Thomas R. Murphy of the Federal Way School District near Seattle, Washington wrote “YouTube videos and news reports show the dangerous activity is being practiced across the world. In Federal Way, a number of students this year have been expelled for lighting themselves or their clothing on fire with Axe at school.” While many kids may escape with nothing more than an embarrassing tribute to the stupidity of teenagers, some will — and have — wind up with second- or even third-degree burns.
Of course, telling kids not to do something is like, well, spraying Axe on a fire. Is it better to ban this sort of behaviour or just keep quiet and hope it all goes away? I can’t help but wonder how many kids who would have otherwise been oblivious to this problem saw the letter that Murphy sent home, looked up some videos on YouTube, and decided to give it a try. Would you have sent the letter home or just kept quiet?