Sunday, December 18, 2005

Personal hygiene 101

I'm really not one to get involved in office or association politics, but some things just come to a head and you've got to say something.
The volunteer fire department I belong to has a wide spectrum of people involved and active, men and women. There is absolutely no discrimination pertaining to sex at all and one of the women firefighters, who happens to be the wife of a good friend is probably better than most of the men at the station. (Who, by the way, was the only one of my friends here in WV to remember me on Thanksgiving... Knowing my family was hundreds of miles away, she and her husband made up a huge plate of food for me Thanksgiving night and left it at the station for me.)
But there's one... Well, to put it mildly, she's as about as useless as a ice machine in Antartica. How she got voted into the department is open for debate and I'm reminded of the 1972 presidential election where Richard Nixon won in a landslide but no one would admit to voting for him.
Not only is she completely useless... I know more about fighting fires than her and I've only been doing it three months... She's followed around constantly by her boyfriend, who has applied to join the FD but will never get voted in. They're two peas in a pod, and to say he's as dumb as a stump would be doing stumps all over the world a huge disservice. All I'll say at this point is they're saving two other people from being miserable.
But besides being useless and brain-dead, neither have any idea what good personal hygiene is. I've know both for about six months now and I don't think either has bathed in that time. I know for a fact they haven't changed clothes. (I shit you not) I can tell when they've been in a room at the firehouse as soon as I walk in the door, even after they've been gone for a while. This being said, I've got to tell you my olfactory senses aren't what they used to be after twenty plus years of smoking two packs a day. (I know, before any of you say it... I know I should quit so save your speeches...)
I had the misfortune of sitting next to her on the apparatus one day going to a call... Even though it was cold and snowing I had to roll down the window, because if I didn't I'd have been doing a Technicolor Yawn out the door because her funk was that bad. I've smelled dead guys that had a more pleasant aroma.
Last night things came to a head at the station. Last month they were evicted from their apartment in the same complex I live in and are now domiciled at his mother's house. Well, apparently they can't be "intimate" there, so they've been scrogging in the TV room at the station.
Just knowing they've been doing that on the very same couch I slept on all afternoon last Wednesday makes me feel decidedly unclean and after I post this I'll be taking a very long hot shower.
So last night I'm informed that they plan on staying the night and watching DVD's... A few of us got together after I got on patrol and discussed the matter. One of the more brave and daring members decided he was going to hide behind the entertainment center and try to get a picture of them 'in the act'...
"You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din"
Anyway... Just the mental picture of them making the Beast With Two Backs will give me nightmares for weeks and probably cause me to be impotent for a year or more. I declined being involved but did hang out for a while in the office downstairs for a while with a few of the other guys before heading back to work. I can tell you it didn't work. The guy who hid behind the TV center was there for over two hours when he discovered they fell asleep.
So much for that idea.
Anyway, it might have worked anyway, because apparently she's on probation and anyone on probation can't stay overnight at the station without direct permission from a department officer.
But getting back to what my main theme is today... How can two people in this day and age not have the the slightest idea of proper personal hygiene? It's not like we're in some Third World shithole with no modern facilities. (there is a McDowell County joke in there, but those of you who live outside of West Virginia wouldn't understand...) One of the basic lessons I learned as a child was to bathe daily. The only time I didn't follow this rule was sometimes when I was in the field in the army. And even then I brushed my teeth daily even though I couldn't bathe properly. Even under those extreme conditions I couldn't stand my own stench after a few days and found a way to scour myself.
And wearing the same damn clothes for months...
It's just fucking gross.
It probably wouldn't be half as bad if they were nice... But besides reeking like they've just crawled out of a septic tank, they're annoying to the point of giving people around them homicidal thoughts.
The only thing more sad is the fact that these two will probably procreate at some point, raising up a whole littler of skanks.
Time will tell, but the next meeting I'm going to chime in with my two bob's worth about this. This coming Thursday we're having our Christmas gift exchange also... Maybe I'll wrap up some soap, shampoo and laundry detergent for them. But again, I'd probably be wasting my money.
(Gunga Din excerpt written by Rudyard Kipling)
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden


cmk said...

I once worked at a dentist's office and we had a woman who could reek up the entire place. (I had to wipe down the chair in my room with rubbing alcohol to try and get rid of the smell.) What killed me: she was a highly educated woman--head of the local intermediate school district--and she was married to a judge! Now, I know I am a little obsessed with smelling good, but STINKING I can't understand!

Bev said...

I've heard of these things were you can send an anonymous message and package to your friends and/or coworkers, bringing stuff like personal and dental hygiene to their attention. It includes the note and some starter stuff like soap, toothpaste, shampoo, deoderant, etc. That way no one has to actually be the bad guy and say, "Dude, you stink."

But seriously, people should know they smell or have bad breath.

Courtney said...

Gross - you're sharing a couch with the skankies!!! nice.

Airforce Guy said...

eeew! What a skank! thats jus 2 gross. ther was a guy in basic like that un till we gave him a GI bath lol!

Kat_womanx2 said...

EGAD!!!! sounds like my sunday partner at grandview

BlueyM said...

Hi Tom, long time no see.

Nice to see you still have some of the Aussie terminology down pat, i.e. "technicolour yawn" and the "two bob's worth".
I am sure you recall the military's cure for non-tubbers, involving sandsoap and yard brooms. Might not be too appropriate in the fire station however.

All the best for Christmas, old mate. Will hoist a coldie for you. About 95F forecast in Perth, and will need some hydration.