The Great Unwashed
I don’t know if you’ve been on the Tube when the weather’s hot, but during the evening rush hour it’s really the last place you want to be. It’s packed tight with smelly, sweaty bodies and you have nowhere to turn when you find that your face, unfortunately, is slotted into the fetid armpit of the man holding the rail above your head.
Ever since I turned thirteen, (when for some inexplicable reason my nose started working and I could begin to smell my own body odour), personal hygiene has been a priority for me. I’m a considerate person you see, and I know how uncomfortable it is when those around you are unwashed, have poison breath or are infested with body lice.
Many people however, do not always see fit to indulge in such niceties.
Some can be excused somewhat, by virtue of extenuating circumstances. For example, there will be extended periods of the day when professional sportsmen and women reek. And if we expected them to shower every time they break out in a sweat, the only category that we’d have a chance at winning at our own Olympics would be in the Trainer Sniffing event. Which hasn’t been invented. Yet.
Others who might be excused from their duty of care to the general public and themselves would be the morbidly obese (you try carrying around 40 kilos without a trickle running down your back), those afflicted by a medical condition, and tramps. After all, you can only complain about a smelly tramp if you are willing to let him have the run of your bathroom.
For everyone else, however, if you smell, take a bath. Take a shower. Otherwise, keep your armpits well out of range. There has never been an excuse for smelling bad.
You see, with the introduction of the new hosepipe ban, smelly people can hide behind the banner of environmentalism and flaunt their foul odour guilt-free. They’ll say they’ve stopped showering for the sake of the water supply and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
“We are saving water,” they’ll argue. “We are helping to sustain England’s rivers, we are caring for our reservoirs.”
This is the danger of the hosepipe ban, my friends, not the prospect of dried-up lawns and out-of-work gardeners. The danger lies in you or I passing out in the Tube carriage, in our gagging to death in the workplace. And, as far as I know, the environment wouldn’t want that, either.
We must do all we can to protect our nostrils from the oncoming onslaught of acridity. We must fight to protect our olfactory senses from those who would use the environment to further the cause of smelliness and perpetually moist armpits.
Ban or no ban, if any one of your acquaintances starts using the ban to justify their newfound ponginess, there’s only one thing for it.
Douse them with a hosepipe. Believe me, the environment won’t mind.
6 April 2012
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