Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Stink of Summer

We’re experiencing our first heat-wave of the summer here – and as the temperatures rise, so do many other things.

Often during hot summers in the city, we hear about smog alerts – but what about personal stink?

I was out and about today, and saw not one, but several people with big, ugly, stinky, wet sweat stains under their arms.

Personal care is – well – personal – but part of good grooming is making sure you don’t alienate or offend those around you.

I know not everyone likes to put chemicals on their bodies – some are even allergic. But there are natural alternatives these days, so there is no excuse for not wearing something to control excessive body stink.

There are medical conditions which cause people to sweat excessively – but then there are medications and special topical creams and ointments which solve the problem.

Maybe it is cultural, as these people, men and women, all seemed to be from an Indian/Pakistani background, and they weren’t all together – so they weren’t all part of the same family.

Even still, this is Canada, and cultural differences aside, we have specific standards and values here. Part of respecting another individual’s freedom is to not offend and alienate that person, at the very least by taking measures to not stink.

There is nothing worse than having to work in close quarters with someone whose body stench is so strong, you literally feel like each breath will be your last. And with all the products out there to prevent these things, there really is no reason why anyone should have this problem.

We have public decency laws in this country, which specify some basic ground rules to not impinge on another’s freedom. All naughty bits must be properly clothed – hence the often quoted “no shirt, no shoes, no service.”

These public decency laws even can be used to shush someone who is swearing out loud in public. So why don’t we have laws to control the body odour of another?

Some people put on way too much perfume or cologne. You can smell them miles away, and for hours after they have gone. That’s not always pleasant, but at least it smells better than stanky, sticky sweat.

It is one thing if were are working out together and get a little dirty in the field. It is quite another to go out without any protection and expect me, or anyone else, to accept your stink.

I think the public decency laws should be amended, to include bad odours and excessive sweat marks.

No one should ever have to tolerate another’s stink.

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