Today I have to write about a topic far more important, as it relates directly to my personal health and well-being. This is an open letter to any members of the general public who frequent the Chicago public transit system.
If you recognize the image below, you may skip this post.
If not, I need to speak to you.
On the basis of far too many harrowing train rides in the past two weeks, it seems to me that a large segment of the metropolitan population is losing its grip on the concept of personal cleanliness.
Time was when my greatest olfactory ordeal while commuting was the occasional man or woman who felt naked in public without a cloud of Brut or Windsong surrounding them like a mediaeval saint's nimbus.
Now, however, instead of being stuck in a wheeled box for two hours each day with a flower garden, I am making the same trek with a pig farm. The final straw came this morning, when I was forced to endure the proximity of a woman whose personal aroma was sharp enough to cauterize wounds.
I don't know what's going on. A poor soul who has to live on the street, without access to santiary facilities, may be forgiven for being somewhat whiffy. But the folks who have been curling my nose hairs are very obviously not only not homeless, they're employed. And yet their body odor hits one like a poke in the eye.
People, wash yourselves. Every single day. It's not impossible, I swear, or even time-consuming. You can easily do it and still get over to the Jerry Springer studio in time for taping.
You still need persuading? Okay, how's this. Britney Spears does it. You wouldn't always know it to look at her, but she does. That get you going? Yeah, I thought it would.
Now. That picture above? Let's see it again.
This is called "soap." It is readily available at many fine retail establishments, including drug stores,* convenience stores,** and grocery stores.*** It can be had for mere pennies, and a single bar can often last a week or more.
Go buy yourself some "soap," right now, and then come back. I'll wait.
Do you have your "soap"? Good. Now, read the following instructions carefully before you go any further. I will walk you through this, while trying my best not visualize you doing it.
- Remove all your clothing. (Clothing should also be washed with its own form of "soap," but that's another post. We must crawl before we can walk.) I would recommend you lower your shades, if any, before doing this.
- Go into the bathroom (you're about to learn why we call it that, isn't that exciting?). Locate the bathtub. You may have to push the stacks of old TV Guides aside in order to find it, but it's there. Look for something like this:
- Empty the tub of debris. The spare tires for the pickup truck and your comprehensive archives of the National Enquirer will have to go elsewhere for the time being.
- Find the little hole at one end of the tub and plug it by any means necessary, then turn on the water. You want hot water. That's the knob with the "H" on it. The "H." That's the letter that looks like the Olsen twins shaking hands. Yep, you got it.
- Get into the water. No, it won't melt you. The Wizard of Oz was all made up. They did that with special effects. No, seriously. We can talk about the flying monkeys later. This is not the time. Focus.
- Notice how the water just turned black. That's bad. Water should be clear. This is where the real fun begins.
- Pick up your "soap." Dip it in the water. Now, rub it all over yourself. Visualization may help. Pretend this is a music video and you're Christina Aguilera. Right. Sure, you can also be Lil Kim. Or Billy Idol. You pick.
- The "soap" will begin to bubble. Do not be alarmed. This is perfectly normal.
- Once you have run the "soap" over every part of your body (even, and especially, including your goodies) let the water out of the tub and rinse yourself all over with new water.
- Repeat steps five to nine until you can touch the water without making it change color.
- You are now clean. You need to dry off, but as that requires a clean towel, this may be an issue for you. I'm sorry, I guess I didn't think ahead. I can't be the one to always think of everything. No, I don't want to discuss this on Jerry Springer.
**Where you get your monthly copy of Juggs.
***Where you get your Funyuns and diet soda.