April 23rd, 2009

teen boy: fragrance, 1990s

Searched: body spray, deodorant, antiperspirant + teen (teenaged) boy; various company websites (except those using Flash which I can't read): Unilvever, Colgate-Palmolive, etc. (companies aren't really forthcoming about how obnoxious their scents are, though)
Time & Location: U.S., approx. 1992 to 1998

I'm looking for something similar to Axe/Lynx that a teen boy would have used (to unfortunate excess) in the 1990s. Looking at company websites, it seems like body sprays were not out until the 2000s? Would he have just used whatever Dad did? (FYI I live in Japan, and have *no idea*)

Lighting and Smoking Cigarettes in 1940s England

My story is set in Portsmouth, England, 1942, at a military hospital (Royal Hospital Halsar, to be exact). Two characters are sitting in the waiting room, and strike up conversation. One then offers the other a cigarette. Both are soldiers; one of them is British, and the other is a Canadian who's been stationed in the UK since the outbreak of war in '39.

First question: How widespread was the use of automatic cigarette lighters in this period? Is it plausible one or both of my characters would own one? I've googled "Cigarette lighters history" and "cigarettes world war two" and I've learned from wikipedia that lighters were freely distributed to American troops in this era, but it's my understanding British pockets were pinched by the war and rationing to a much greater degree at this point. I'd rather have a lighter than matches if it's plausible, though it doesn't really matter - I just want to get it right. It may seem like a really really little detail, but it's kind of a moment and I can't fudge over it.

The second question concerns whether or not they would actually be allowed to smoke in a hospital waiting room in the 40s. I have a hunch they actually might, or that there might be designated smoking room they could choose to sit in, but can't for the life of me find anything to confirm or deny this. Any ideas?

Shallow Knife Wounds: Treatment amd Healing Time

So I've got a character who ends up on the bad side of a psycho with a thing for knives. He's kidnapped and held captive by this guy for five days, and ends up being tortured rather badly.

1. The bad guy makes several small incisions on the character's body, mainly his chest, stomach and thighs. The cuts are maybe 3-4 inches in length, shallow, and don't hit any major arteries. I know that the human body can survive a loss of upto 25% of blood volume, but would the amount lost be enough for him to bleed to death? No efforts are made to stop the bleeding. If it matters, he's a Delta Force guy, late 20s, and in excellent physical condition.

2. What would be the effects of leaving the wounds untreated for 3-4 days? Infection, sepsis? The character is being held in a reasonably clean cell that is washed about once a day with plain water. The first treatment he recieves will be from the team that comes to rescue him.

3. What would the medic who first finds my character do? Clean the wounds, stitch them up? Or would it be too late for sutures? FWIW he's Special Forces and so has extensive training but no medical supplies other than what's available to him in his field bag.

ETA: The location is a safe house in Afghanistan, sometime in 2004/2005. 

I tried googling 'shallow knife wound treatment' and 'shallow knife wound healing', but didn't get much. Any info would be much appreciated! 
Cats - Caslon

Walking with wood

Hey all, I'm working on a fic where one of the lead characters has to walk back to his quarters with a full-on erection. He's wearing khakis and boxers. How uncomfortable *is* that, and what might be steps he'd take to minimize his discomfort while he walks, presumably slowly, back home.

Hmm, oh, he and his partner are indulging in a little mutual orgasm denial and it's 3:30 in the morning, so he's unlikely to run into anyone who'll shock him into shrinkage.

Thank you!

ETA:You know, on a related point; my hero is heading home alone and hard and this is the second time today he's gotten all dressed up, so to speak, and nowhere to go. And he's promised not to jerk off when he gets home. I think I should add blue ball questions to my post; how uncomfortable, as in...how is it uncomfortable? Is it like a muscle cramp or...? And is there anything besides ejaculating to relive the pressure?

Also, is he going to be able to get to sleep like that?

Seriously, y'all, thanks so much.

Jurisdiction in forensic autopsy

If a wanted criminal, someone high on the FBI's Most Wanted list, was murdered by an unknown assailant, who would have the jurisdiction over the autopsy? I presume that a forensic would be ordered because 1) he's been murdered and 2) he's a wanted criminal. The man in question is not a US citizen, but he's murdered in Washington, DC.

In my (yet embryonic) story, there's some subterfuge over the body: people who shouldn't have possession of the body finagle a way to get jurisdiction for the autopsy, then remove the body to a location of their choosing and do whatever with it. These folks have a high level of resources available to them that allows them to fake legal paperwork or otherwise manipulate the legal systems to get what they want.

I envision a scene in which the 'proper' medical examiner getting ready to do the autopsy when the interlopers burst in waving their paperwork and demanding to take possession of the body immediately. I expect a superior would need to examine the fake paperwork, as the ME wouldn't be able to authorise such a transfer.

How does this sound to those of you in the know? What sort of details do I need to chase down to make a (brief) scene seem plausible to your average reader?

Thanks much in advance for any help you can give me on this.