Friday, December 10, 2004

Guvmint I could get behind

Guvmint I could get behind

They've got a problem down in Australia:

With relations between black and white Australia at new lows, Australia's conservative government defended Thursday a plan to offer aid to a remote aboriginal community in return for a promise its children would wash daily.


Under the draft agreement, the government will pay A$176,000 ($133,000) to install petrol pumps at a local store in a bid to improve community income and boost outback tourism.

The government will also guarantee more regular health checks to combat health problems, including the preventable eye disease trachoma and child skin infections, but it wants a promise children will shower once daily and wash their faces twice a day.

Now, I can see the point the Aborigines are making here. I don't like being pigeonholed myself. It's not the solution, but somewhere along the way, I think you could say "Everybody's gotta bathe. No exceptions." Now, I've never been to Australia, but I'm willing to bet you've got a fair share of white folk who could stand to take an extra shower or two a week, as well.

How about making it worth everybody's while?

I'm kinda joking, but I'd be willing to consider paying an extra twenty bucks a year or so in tax if we could get some of the dirty and particularly smelly people in my neck of the woods to take a damn bath and wear some deodorant at least three times a week. And I'm not talking about kids with eye diseases. I'm talking about grownups who should know that at some point in the day, you get in the shower and you wash the stink out of your armpits and throw some soap on that sheen of dirt you're calling your skin.

Not long ago, I went to a local Subway establishment (which one? There are four Subway shops in my town of 13,000 people...), and I ordering a turkey sub when a feller got in line directly behind me. I'm not exaggerating when I say this guy's body odor literally made me gag.

His stench was so rough I felt like even breathing through my mouth wasn't an option, because I was afraid his stink would somehow get into my mouth and onto my tongue. That's the kind of smell that gives you cancer. His was the kind of stench that wafts around him in one of those Pigpen clouds.

It was one of those "lose my appetite" type moments. Any time he moved, a wave of stink would wash at me. I decided to cut my losses, and skedaddle. When I go to Subway, I'll usually get a whole heaping bunch of veggies and condiments. I'd gotten tomato out of my mouth, and decided to leave it at that. "I'll put mustard and mayo on at the house," I said to myself.

I know I sound like a wuss here, but this guy's B.O. was in the top three (or bottom three, depending on how you look at it) worst b.o. odors I've ever smelled off a person in my life. And to be honest, I've never had somebody's B.O. make me gag and lose my appetite like that. It was nasty, guys.

Look, to the smelly dude: I'm all for your right not to do what you don't want to do. I'm not one who says there's a dry and cut right way and wrong way to act, and that my way's the right way and yours is the wrong. There's nobody who can make you shower, if you don't want to.

But what if we made it worth your while? What if we made it worth everybody's while?

Free Subway sandwich if you come in with your bath card stamped?

Eh. I'm just throwing poop on a wall to see if it sticks.

Still, at the very least, we don't have conservatives or liberals in this country demanding that the other group (or any group, affiliated or unaffiliated) bathe. Even a small subset of one of the groups. "Those Indiana Democrats are so dirty, we wish they would shower!"

We sure do.


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