FLASHBACK – BODY ODOUR BYLAW

In these dog days of summer, people tend to perspire profusely and if perspiration is nature’s way of secreting fluids to perform thermoregulation meaning keeping the body’s temperature relatively constant if the surrounding temperature rises or because of strenuous physical activity, then it is a good thing. The bad thing is when sweat dries up and makes the body stink. Let me rephrase – when sweat dries up and makes an unclean , unhygienic body stink. Sweat itself isn’t stinky, otherwise making steamy, sweaty, passionate love the whole night long would be a nauseating, disastrous experience – but it isn’t. Anyone dare say nay? πŸ™‚

The recent case of a man being asked to leave a casino in Atlantic City because he stunk once again highlights the controversy of man judging another man’s hygienic condition and doing something about it. Did the casino have the right to eject the stinky smelling patron out of its premises ? Yes of course and for the sole reason that his foul smelling aura affected the business. Talk about bad luck playing roulette alongside a rotting garbage bin πŸ‘Ώ Would the casino care if this slob had fetish for pigs and javelinas and operated a pigpen in his bedroom ? Of course not.

This case reminded me of my previous post a couple of years ago ( June 3, 2006) about a woman who proposed a body odour by-law because of her horrible experience riding on a 6 hour bus ride beside a woman who smelled like a rotting corpse.

Here it is : ( note the link to the daily paper is no longer available )

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Here’s an issue we have been struggling with since time immemorial – what should we do with someone who smells like a stinking garbage can? A woman writes to a daily newspaper and urges politicians to enact a bylaw against body odours, to protect citizens from those among us who consider personal hygiene not a rule but an option and taking a bath nothing more than a weekly trip to a nearby lake or river for the body cleansing ritual. Yes, in this day and age there are those who think that the big city is a sprawling desert strewn with a handful of oasis and water is so damn hard to find.

The woman recounts her 6 hour bus ride experience of sitting beside a woman who smelled of β€œstinky socks, musty body odour and rotting flesh, all mixed together β€œ. That must be one heck of an endurance flight, breathing with half of your lungs for the duration of the trip. Was the woman carrying a dead cat in her tote bag? Did she sleep on top of garbage bags in a dump truck the night before taking the bus ride? Was she just a skunk that mutated into a human being? Or was she suffering from a rare disease called fish odour syndrome , an incurable disease short of a death sentence, that makes a person’s pores secrete a foul smelling odor resembling rotten fish?

It is known that eating lots of spices can cause our skin pores to secrete the odor of spice. I had a colleague a few years ago who smelled of curry that everywhere he went – his office, the small meeting rooms and even the water cooler area, he left a trail of that curry smell. I could consider this one an exception but the most common problem really boils down plain and simple lack of personal hygiene. You can also throw in the odd Pinoy cultural superstitious beliefs – like taking a bath at night will cause the muscles to atrophy or sleeping with wet hair could lead to blindness. If that were true, Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway would have been a blind jellyfish when he was rescued from the high seas.

Must we just cover our noses or have the person fined or arrested for the aggravation his stench causes to his fellowmen? If we choose the latter we are faced with an even tougher challenge – what exactly is offensive body odor? Must we invent a stench meter to separate pigs from sheep? Is the lady taking things a bit too far?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Back to the Atlantic City incident. Mr. Piggy filed a complaint for unfair treatment. The casino management offered him a free buffet instead of hosing him down with disinfectant πŸ™‚ but Mr. Piggy is making a big deal about it. “ How can they say you can’t gamble, but you’re fit enough to eat?” . Yeah, how can you possibly let loose a stinking swine running and oinking around your buffet tables, sniffing and slurping gourmet food on your patron’s plates ? Perhaps Mr. Piggy ought to clarify. Casinos aren’t exactly philantropic – in fact they’re the shrewdest , stingiest SOB’s this world has to offer. Maybe they meant a buffet at the kitchen backdoor, with the loads of leftovers ready to be packed, recycled and shipped to Mr. Piggy’s kingdom.

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49 Responses

  1. This is a touchy/sensitive subject I wont try to touch with a ten-foot pole. Because whatever I say may have been colored by my personal biases and this is one subject I can’t objectively comment on. But I love that you raised this one and I am eager to find out what your other readers have to say. πŸ˜€

  2. Ewok – hehe.. as my blog says, step out of your comfort zone πŸ™‚

    I think people must face some sense of accountability by not being slobs or pigs. After all, we rub each other elbow to elbow on the train, buses and all sorts of public transport and boy that stink can make you puke or break your day..

    Perhaps in future we should have a robot with a stink meter that sniffs people and hand them fines or have them carted away to a detox center LOL πŸ™‚

  3. hahaha this is interesting! talk about bromhidrosis! haha the guy must really be a pig pretending to be a man!

    anyway, i won’t blame the woman who filed against body odor, because damn! it really is hard to bear! and for a 6 hour bus ride with a rotting corpse? sheesh… but in my profession, try to go inside a hospital here in the Philippines and care to smell your patients! haha sometimes, it’s just so hard to bear…

  4. A disease called Fish odor syndrome? Oh my god, that will be the end of my life 😦 That is so gross !

    well, the fat pig deserved to be kicked out and he can have his buffet after he takes a bath haha πŸ™‚

  5. What a controversy! Some people will do anything to get their 15 minutes of fame. And a shameful one at that. I hate smelly people. I try to escape as fast as I can when foul odor is beside me, especially with strangers. With relatives/families, I just simply say it out right. Tell them they stink so they can do something about it.

  6. If I were that woman I would change seats or complain to the bus driver of the unbearable smell. Why kill yourself?

  7. I fully agree, there ought to be a law against people who stinks a lot due to their negligence and inefficiency. It could become on a level that stinkiness could become patently a public nuisance.

  8. This reminded me of an incident I had when i was in Singapore with a friend. We rode the elevator of our hotel with a family of Indian who really smelled bad that we had to hold our breath so as not to appear discorteous. To our surprised when we get-off the elevated the indian kid(i think about 3 years old) said that we (me and my friend) smell bad.

    my friend and i concluded that maybe smell is a regional thing and that we are just not accustomed to the odor of other nationalities.

    di lang sila sanay sa amoy ng mababagong pinoy.

  9. Oh well, if you’ve been in this part of the earth that I am with now, stinky smell is but common.

    No wonder my nose always complaint but the good thing is they always say God Bless you every time I sneeze. Perhaps their way of saying Salamat for bearing our stinky odor. LOL

  10. Piapot – it’s mind boggling how people can miss out badly on something so basic as personal hygiene 😦

    Yep, Mr. Piggy doesn’t seem to understand the reason why he was kicked out but I can appreciate your situation dealing with the hygiene issues with all sorts of patients in the hospital !

  11. Irrealis – that would be almost a life sentence, wouldn’t it ? It is a reare disease but hope they find a cure for it soon.

    Yeah, why not? Maye the casino should have told this slob staright in the face – you get to have a buffet dinner on the condition that you take a bath lol πŸ™‚

  12. Leah – same with my wife. She hates smelly people and guess what, she always tellls me about her smelly encounters of the day at the dinner table haha πŸ™‚

    My wife had a friend back in Pinas who complained about her elder brother not taking a bath at night for fear that he might get”pasma”. In the meantime the whole household is holding their breath because of his stink. I don’t think anyone had the guts to tell their first born that he stunk duh. 😦

  13. Nate1 – I would do the same – believe me. I would take another bus and won’t mind being late. 6 hours of suffering is unacceptable 😦

  14. Major Tom – totally agree with you. It’s time to defne stinkiness as a public nuisance. I guess now the homeless and the vagrants would be the first to get hit with this bylaw.

  15. Lawstude – bwahahaha.. that’s so funny πŸ™‚ Here if they want to flush out a racoon or squirrel hiding in your attic, they fumigate the attic with industrial type deodorant, because these critters hate fragrant smell and they vacate the premises:) I guess those bombays are like racoons haha πŸ˜†

  16. Myepinoy – well, I guess the cop out for these folks why they don’t wash is water is very rare to find in the desert hehe πŸ™‚

  17. “making steamy, sweaty, passionate love the whole night long”……Ooooooh I like that!

    What about folks bathng themselves with a nose constricting perfume formula that causes havoc to your senses when stuck with these vain people on a cramped slow elevator ride to the 123rd floor of a skyscraper?

    I’m sure some of you folks remember the cologne JOVAN and DRAKKAR for men? Whoa! you don’t want to be stucked in a jampacked bus with all the lawanit windows up and closed during a sudden rainfall on a hot and humid day in busy Quiapo, Maynila traffic with folks on DRAKKAR and JOVAN!!

    FOOTANGNA!!!!

    We have one certain electronic tech here at work who splashes himself with OLD SPICE after shave lotion daily and I can always tell if he worked on our studio lights coz there’s that aroma permeating in the studio area, corridors included that reminds me of the old barbershop days when i come in the morning.

  18. Noypetes –

    “you don’t want to be stucked in a jampacked bus with all the lawanit windows up and closed during a sudden rainfall on a hot and humid day in busy Quiapo, Maynila traffic with folks on DRAKKAR and JOVAN!!”

    bwahahaha.. :mrgreen: .. that’s so funny..those lawanit windows made you feel like you’re in the oven and with the musky, deer urine smelling Jovan you feel like you’re being drugged πŸ˜†

    If your officemate had an overdose of OLD SPICE we have a girl officemate who dons some spicy Middle Eastern perfume and her neighbor has brought an electric fan to ward off the nauseating odor LOL πŸ™‚ The manager had no guts to accost the girl and tell her to tone town the dose of her hypnotic perfume πŸ˜†

  19. maybe the lady is not aware that she stinks that much! you know, she may have gotten used to her odd smell already. being seatmates with people who lack personal hygiene especially in enclosed areas like planes, buses, trains, etc is total hell!

  20. Mari – I’m glad I haven’t been neighbors with stinky people in my plane rides. Can you imagine the ordeal you will go through on a 17 hour non- stop flight ? ugh 😑

    I remember my wife telling me she serviced an old man in his 80’s at her office (bank) and this poor guy was smelling urine so strong that she nearly puked 😦

  21. if it happens in the philippines, it will most likely be a foreigner. hahahaha….

  22. kaya ako pinagmamalaki ko ang mga pilipino… dahil mahilig tayong maligo! hindi lang isa kundi dalawang beses pa sa isang araw!

  23. pero seryoso, sa mga duty ko dati sa ospital nosebleed talaga ako sa mga smell don… hay… hindi ko talaga alam kung para ba ako sa mga ospital talaga…

  24. in my first job, there was a time when our department need to give an orientation for a new program in our india & sri lanka counterpart..

    walang gustong pumunta sa bansa nila kaya sila ang nagpadala ng representative dito. since alam na namin na magiging parusa yun sa aming mga pang-amoy. instead of one person lang ang magtuturo, salitan kaming apat para may chance naman kaming huminga. at yung aircon pinatay na lang para may reason na buksan ang mga pinto at maglagay na lang ng electric fan.. kase mas parusa kung magsi-circulate lang sa loob ng office yung amoy. kunwari na lang nasira yung aircon.

    no offense meant naman sa kanila pero naman.. dumidikit talaga yung amoy. ilang araw yata akong hindi nakakain ng maayos. 😦

    btw, added you in my links ha.

  25. There ought to be a law penalizing people who refuse to take a bath, and most especially on those who deny having BO… period. No buts, no ifs…

  26. Dong – I agree with you ! No one wants to make it to the news headlines with such an embarrassing ejection ! 😦

  27. Prinsesa – totoo, ugali na natin ang maligo araw-araw, even here in winter – daily because there is a water heater in every household naman. People here prefer to take a bath at night before going to bed which is good so you cleanse yourself. However, tayong mga Pinoy conscious masyado on our hygiene so we take a bath 2 times – in the morning and evening πŸ™‚

  28. Lei – hahaha.. grabe siguro at merong ” if it is you they are talking about” aka kili-kili power yung bombay πŸ™‚ Hindi uso yata ang deodorant sa bansa nila πŸ™‚

    My wife who works as a customer service associate at a bank here has countless of experiences on this, mostly on older, retired folks. THere was even an old lady in her eighties whose passbook nabasa at natuyo sa ihi at nagangamoy pa at nadiri ang wife ko – imagine, holding and posting transactions sa passbook ! I was laughing my ass off when she told me the story. After the old lady left, she cleansed her hands with a small bottle of antibacterial lotion she always carries in her bag πŸ™‚

    Thanks – will link u too .

  29. Sngl – yep, but someone has to develop a stench meter first πŸ™‚ Mahirap kasi kumuha ng ebidensya hehe πŸ™‚

  30. My boss at a previous job had to send somebody home one time because his BO was just too much. It must have been traumatic for the guy to be told to go home and take a shower because he was only on his first week on the job. Even though he had his own small office, one could smell him whenever one passed by the hallway by his office. Needless to say, a closed door meeting in his office would have made the torture cells in Guantanamo seem like Club Med.

  31. if you had people like that as classmates in high school (from a certain big country in Asia) you know what i mean; but going to the land of their origins was an “awesome” experience.

  32. oo nga naman.. pano ka makakakain kung may nangangamoy

  33. Talk about smelly! I was in an elevator earlier and this chubby lady had a really smelly breath while talking to her friend. being at the back and no position to move I was wishing the elevator moved faster to reach my floor. hehe

    If the case is like that, where I encounter smelly people in transit for a while, I think I can manage. But if it’s a long trip, I think I better move or change seats lest they have oxygen mask available.

  34. Panaderos – that’s a very gutsy boss. he certainly made your environment pollution free hehe.. I wish there could be more like him around πŸ™‚

  35. Tutubi – marami rin silang mga ka-klase mo sa high school dito sa opisina namin hehe πŸ™‚

  36. Tin- that’s exactly the contention of Mr. Piggy, why he was given a free buffet if he stunk. I really think this guy is deranged coz made an ass of himself by being in the headlines because of his poor hygiene. He should have shut his mouth, duh 😦

  37. Mon – that Carefree ad is one of a kind hehe πŸ™‚ As for the pasma syndrome, it is a bit downplayed here coz every household has a water heater kaya hindi masyadong problema if you take a shower after your sweat has dried out. The tap water here is so darn cold, even in the heat of summer, it feels like it comes from a fridge ! But the study is great because it nullifies the myth that Pinoys have been harboring for centuries.

  38. Ferdz – elevators can be very challenging I tell you. Even a slight grumble from your stomach could be heard by every body 😐

    That woman with halitosis sure caused grief on everyone in the elevator hehe πŸ™‚

  39. He deserves to be dragged and fed to the swines! Insensitive fart!

  40. Body odor — underarm odor, bad breath, vaginitis smell, etc. — is such a delicate topic. I onced heard the line: “Bad breath…even your best friend will not tell you.”

    It is not a ‘sin’ or a legal offense to stink. Some people are just naturally stinky — probably due to illnesses — and others are plain slobs.

    *****

    The guy in the casino should have at least been given a chance to redeem himself. He said he asked for a chance to freshen up, but the casino management refused his request.

    *****

    I had a hard time breathing inside public vans (where they don’t open the windows) in Ukraine three summers ago, what with all that “anghit” and clothes used many times over. But what could I do? That’s life.

  41. Abaniko –

    “He deserves to be dragged and fed to the swines!”

    That would have been a fitting reunion πŸ™‚

  42. Jayred –

    A casino only gives free rooms/suites to high stakes gamblers who have shown their ability and more importantly, their EXPERIENCE to lose thousands of dollars to the casino – never on stinky smelling slobs ! LOL πŸ™‚

    This an interesting case of confrontation and it just goes to show that people who stink are insensitive of others, as evidenced by Mr. Piggy’s actions. Unbelievable that he had the gall to protest his obvious ejection 😦

  43. correction :

    A casino only gives free rooms/suites to high stakes gamblers who have shown their ability and more importantly, their EXPERIENCE to lose thousands of dollars to the casino – never on small time gamblers and stinky smelling slobs at that !

  44. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

  45. Alex – thanks πŸ™‚

  46. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

  47. wala akong ma-say sa isyung eto. kasi takot ako sa body odor. i remember once sa chicago, while going down the sears tower. there was some guy that smelled like rotten onions. pagdating ko sa ground floor, di ko napigilang masuka sa rest room. i guess mahina lang talaga ako pagdating sa amoy. huhuhu 😦

  48. Nell – hahaha, looked like you rode with a skunk in the elevator πŸ˜†

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