Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Experiments in Personal Hygiene

Hooly dooly, did I stink! My armpits smelt so bad even I was repulsed. And I couldn't even move away! This was a new thing for me. I'd never had body odour. But for some reason I had bypassed 'strong' and arrived at 'toxic'. I was showering every day (as I'd always done) and regardless of a mad lathering of my armpits it only got worse. I figured it was my diet. I cut out everything I could think of. I didn't quite arrive at plain rice gruel but I was getting there. Unbelievably the problem just got worse and worse. I really couldn't stand myself. Never mind me, friends were dropping hints - subtle things like, 'Jesus Christ You Stink!' It was capitalised and everything.

But then it was all put on hold when I ran over to Shanghai for a couple of weeks for a job. As if by magic I ceased to stink. More confusion! My Shanghai diet included copious quantities of the various things I'd cut out - vinegar, soy, beer, all that fermented stuff. Do my head in! This made no sense. Job over, it's back to Sydney, back to my diet, and back to... my usual soap. A lightbulb goes off! It was the fucking soap! Even then I was non-corporate and the soap I used was Thursday Plantation tea-tree oil soap. Tea tree is a native Australian shrub, the oil of which is famed for its medicinal properties. Anyway, it all stood to reason. The stinkier I got, the more soap I used. The more soap I used, the stinkier I got. Out, damned soap! And it was as simple as that, and the problem was solved. Go figure.

Mind you, I was already hell-bent by this stage so I thought bugger it, why don't I skip the whole damn thing. It's not like I can smell as bad as I did with that bloody soap. And besides, what did humans do before they had soap? Soap has been around for a long time but I'll bet that if all of human existence was a clock face we'd only have been using soap for a minute maybe. And that was the beginning of the experiment. What is the least amount of soap, shampoo, deodorant, and yes even water, that I can use and still be socially acceptable?

NB. I do not work in a coal mine. For me, like the majority of people reading here, hygiene consists of nothing more than dealing with oils, sweat, dead skin, and um, 'bacteria'.


Don't need it! I haven't used it for years and I don't smell. Spooked by my previous experience, for a while I actually asked people, like the osteopath who fixed my neck, if I was on the nose. "I live on my own and have no idea if I smell bad. If you were to quietly say, 'Well you do smell a little strong', I'd appreciate it." No? Nothing? Okay. I now no longer bother asking.

Given my experience I'd wonder if people who do have body odour aren't that way because of soap. Regardless of what may or may not be the cause of the problem, deodorant as the answer is a poor one. It's nothing more than a concoction of industrial chemicals. Anti-perspirant is even nastier. Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, anyone? If you want to argue that they're not bad for us, you're grasping the wrong end of the stick. We actually have no idea if they're bad for us or not. The only thing we know for sure is that they aren't good for us and that the corporations would lie about it anyway. This is the truth of industrial chemicals.

Colognes and Perfumes

Absolute madness! I spent ten years of my life in workshops foolishly breathing horrific amounts of industrial toxins. My tolerance for these is now trashed. One good lungful of nail polish remover (acetone, one of the worst poisons on the planet) and I've got a splitting headache. Ha ha ha ha, that poor woman at the outdoor cafe in Bondi who thought she'd do it there! She barely knew what hit her - Cyclone Nobby! BTW. these toxins are absorbed through the nail. Women who use them might want to check this out and decide if it's a good idea or not.

Nail polish aside, if you can smell a perfume, you're smelling solvents. The scents per se might not be bad but the vehicle for bringing about their necessary evaporation is by definition a solvent. It's as simple as that. I will admit that there are one or two perfumes I find quite attractive, but anyone wearing a perfume whose scent travels more than a metre is, in my opinion, overstepping the mark. The tiniest amount is plenty. Perfume beyond one's personal space is a variety of rudeness. Cyclone Nobby has spoken. Ha!

Shampoo and Conditioner

Ditched! Utterly! I always had a problem with the concept of stripping out the hair's natural oils with one lot of chemicals and then replacing them with another. Admittedly it's not easy giving shampoo and conditioner the flick. Your hair wigs out and goes greasy (yes, yes, pun). The obvious response is to panic and go back to the chemical routine. I can offer no clear answer for how long hair takes to settle down to a state of equilibrium. It's either a month or a year, I forget. Since my experiment in hygiene involved chopping and changing everything simultaneously, it took my hair ages to settle down. I suspect that if I hadn't spent months and months variously not washing, or washing solely with salt water, it would have been a great deal quicker.

In its current natural equilibrium, what my hair is not, is that variety of splintery-dry that results from shampoo. But you'd only notice by running your fingers through it. To look at, you'd never spot the difference, and people are surprised when I tell them that I don't use shampoo. My routine merely involves doing the same scalp massage that I do with shampoo, running a comb through it, and all under running hot water. I do that every time I shower. And that's it.

It doesn't feel greasy, it combs out fine, and is healthy as hell. The oils that shampoo strip out are meant to be there. They're good for your hair and anyone who tells me that conditioner is better for your hair than the natural oils is nuts. My hair by the way, is long. I cut it to shoulder length once a year at the beginning of Summer on account of it being too hot otherwise when I sleep. That's the sum total of my hair care. I am the hairdresser's despair, ha ha.

Saltwater and No Soap

I live at the beach and have a Pacific Ocean's worth of saltwater just five hundred metres away. The beauty of saltwater is that it more or less renders soap unnecessary. Salt kills bacteria. That's why we put pickles in it. If you wash in saltwater, your body will be as clean bacteriologically as it will ever get in a shower by way of soap. If you're squeamish about what may be left on your hands, no problems, plunge them into the sand under the water a couple of times and they'll be scrubbed, salted, and good to go. Don't fool yourself imagining that soap magically kills all bacteria. It doesn't. And nor would you want to do that anyway. Fact is, there are minute trace amounts of faecal matter on every inch of your skin right now. Yes, YOU, recent shower or no. This is normal. Reducing your skin to a bacteriologically sterile wasteland is actually unnatural, and counter-productive to health. Go figure.

'Bloody nobody! Who the hell lives at the beach?' you say. But that's beside the point. I do live at the beach, and who's experiment is this anyway? And this experiment's sub-question was - what happens when you wash with nothing but saltwater for a couple of months with no freshwater or soap at all? Ha! All sorts of things. Straight up - I did not smell. Which is good. What's bad is that salt as an anti-bacteriological agent has a flip side - it's also a vital ingredient for life. Salt left on your skin for months feeds things - fungally things. I shan't go into it, but it wasn't pretty. I'll admit that my daily consumption of beer, bread, and other yeasty, fermented things that directly feed fungi, probably muddied the results. One day I shall give these things up, but here, in this place, it's impossible. That will be an experiment for a later date.

Regardless of that, there's also the simple fact that saltwater is always cold. Cold water will remove less excess oil and dead skin than hot water. And between 'soft' water and 'hard' water, with soft being preferable for removing this detritus, saltwater is as hard as nails. If you wash with saltwater alone, the skin's muck is not removed and has an unpleasant tendency to build up. In my case, no amount of vigourous rubbing with my hands seemed to deal with this. If I'd taken a cloth into the surf with me that might have helped, but this is a public beach and using a wash cloth in this fashion would be one step too far in terms of yours truly making a public spectacle of himself.

And besides, there's the sheer historical logic of it all. Humans cannot live without fresh water. Sure enough, there has never been a case of human settlement that had access to saltwater but not to freshwater. Obviously humans have always washed in freshwater. Saltwater is not bad, in fact it's particularly brilliant for the sinuses, but it fails when used in exclusion to freshwater. The other obvious aspect of saltwater is the inconvenience of it all - between: crummy weather; frequent three metre dumping surf; and the frothy green foam that results from this beach being situated next to the river mouth (nasty after the frequent heavy rain we get here), whole weeks would go by with me not being able to go for a swim. Not forgetting Winter of course. One way or another you have to use freshwater.

Freshwater and Soap

Is Australia still in drought? Maybe not, what with global warming being renamed on account of global cooling. But regardless, it was only a couple of years ago that the dams were all empty and water consumption was a big deal. And whether the newly dubbed 'climate change' is a con or not, I have no desire to needlessly use a resource anyway. I am sparing in all things. (Except for verbiage, ha!)

But first, soap. If I'm showering with freshwater, I'm using soap. But the point of the exercise is to use as little as possible. Thus I restrict it to the, ahem, underpant region. Everywhere else just gets hot water and a scrub with a wash cloth (yep, armpits included). The logic here is the same as the logic with my hair. The oils in the skin are good for it. They're meant to be there. Hot water and a cloth is all you need to take off the excess (along with sweat, dead skin etc.). Subsequently one bar of soap would probably last me a year.

The next question is, how infrequently can I wash and still keep my hair and skin clean, and not smell? After much experimentation, I decided that twice weekly is plenty. If I skip one every now and then and wash weekly, I can barely tell the difference. And I live in a warm climate don't forget. By the way, I wash my face in cold water morning and night, and I am in inveterate hand washer. My experiments do not involve ditching common sense.

In terms of brands of soap, I have no preference. I use whatever is there. Since the old man likes Cusson's, I use that. Given my druthers, I'd pick the blandest, most addditive-free, non-corporate thing I could find. One day, I'll make my own soap. Apparently it's not rocket science.


I have a heavy beard. In amongst all of the above, I went the whole hog and grew it out. It was really something. My beard juts forward, not down, and I looked like some mad Cossack. Which was fine with me but the beard's inevitable tendency to behave as a soup strainer drove me nuts. And so I shave. When my moustache starts getting in my mouth, it's time. This seems to take a fortnight or so. And surprise, surprise, shaving works brilliantly without any clever products. I merely use the same soap that I wash with, which I lather up with a shaving brush. A fig for shaving cremes and gels.

Oh yeah, I have to use a trimmer first. No problems, it cost $25 and does the job just dandy. On the resulting stubble I use a Gillette G3. The absurd price of the blades drives me nuts. A pox on the Gillette Corporation! God, how I'd love to ditch that fucking razor. It's my intention to lay my hands on a cut-throat razor that one merely re-sharpens. So far I've yet to find one. I figure an antique store is the go, but here in Bullshit Tourist Town there aren't any. And yeah, yeah, I've heard all the horror stories. Hell, I've got my own. But experiments of this nature exact a price and you either pay it, or you succumb to the corporations.


Is there a single product more obviously under the control of a cartel than toothpaste? Here in Oz, we have 28,000 varieties of toothpaste and they all come from two corporations. My attitude is that if they can't figure out how to make a single toothpaste that adequately does the job, then they're obvious bullshit artists and we're being scammed. And we are being scammed.

Besides that, they don't even clean my teeth very well. I figured this out when I found a brand in China called Bamboo Salt. It's made by LG, a Korean corporation, but I'm prepared to overlook that on account of the astounding difference between it and every other toothpaste I ever used. The tiniest smidge is plenty (about a tenth of the absurd amounts they use in the commercials) and my teeth are squeaky clean. Also I used to be prone to mouth ulcers, but haven't had any for ages. Whether it's due to the toothpaste or some other thing, I really can't say. Regardless, I do like that toothpaste. I'm still running on the supply I brought back from Beijing so I haven't checked to see if it's available in one of the big smoke Chinatowns, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't. Bamboo Salt - as used and recommended by nobody!

As for brushes, I have no opinion. One's as good as another as long as the bristles are soft. I've never used a machine and I never will. Amongst other things, I couldn't be fagged carrying it around when I travel.

My Bathroom Travel Pack

Ha! You should see it. There's nothing in it. Toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, shave-brush, comb, and that's it. All that other shit, that entire aisle at the supermarket? Completely unnecessary! Hey, Colgate-Palmolive and Reckitt Benckiser! Go fuck yourselves! You ain't got nothing I want or need!


nobody said...

If any of those heady folks out there who actually know what they're talking about (unlike me), spotted any errors or can otherwise set me straight on things, pile in! I'm all ears.

Miraculix (Doug) said...

Other than your unnecessary concern regarding all things fermented, you could just as easily be describing the last several years of my life Mr. N., as I too eliminated the small but persistent number of "industrial hygiene" products I "needed" to achieve non-stinky status. I was also fortunate to have had a headstart in this area, as a lifelong backpacker used to Dr. Bronner's and going many days at a time without the conveniences of modern plumbing.

For starters, I shower an average of about once a week -- or whenever I'm genuinely filthy. After a day of hard physical labor, for example, showering is a good idea. On the heels of a day shoveling and hauling several tons of horse shit, for example. Mild, non-industrial soap is brought to bear only when there are accumulated greases and fats (not my own) clinging to the skin. Mostly, it's about exfoliation, as Mr. N already so clearly stated.

Like the industrial foods I've railed on already, the classes of chemicals described here are a very recent detour from the paths of "organic" common sense. What's sad is that more individuals can't/won't/don't want to see through the thin gauze of anti-social marketing hoo-ha to the glaring reality that this corporatized version of "better living through chemistry" is making everyone sick. Everyone.

That is NOT a typo or an exaggeration. It is one of the "great secrets" of the western world operating in plain sight: everyone is sick, in one way or another, if not several. Even the "healthy" folks you know aren't well somehow, they just don't want to talk about it. Yet. Trust me, I was one of them for several years, as chronic pain slowly started twisting my joints and my mind. I went from being able to ski off cliffs (Alpental) and cycle nearly two-hundred miles in a day (RAMROD, STP) to a life as a depressed and fearful lump contemplating surgeries by thirty -- and I was still doing all the "right" things!

What really kills me is this: the entire medical edifice could do nothing but pump me full of increasingly toxic meds and mysterious maybes (all based on "hard" science), yet in just a few years of re-learning that which has been conveniently forgotten (read: re-programmed) over just the last couple generations and applying it I have accomplished everything they could not. It is NOT as complicated as they would have us believe. That too is a lie, and a whopper, meant to condition you to accept the decisions of "experts" whose interests and motivations are often less-than-transparent.

Until you take responsibility into your own hands, and question everything, you will remain little more than a walking, talking guinea pig. As I've said before, pain is the BEST teacher (and motivator for change) that I know.

Billions are spent every year on PR campaigns to keep the masses thinking they need all this unnecessary and poisonous sludge that's making them sicker every day, from the ersatz processed "foods" to the chemical toxins supposedly required for social acceptance -- if you believe the commercials. And though everyone says they don't believe them, the "health & beauty aids" industry still turns huge profits. Of course, the "science" behind it is just as thoroughly bought and paid for as the science behind the cholesterol myth and every other industrial lie rendered "normal" by the class of "magicians" to which I once belonged.

Edward Bernays, Ivy Lee and their ilk were perfecting and documenting the linguistic and symbolic techniques by which this is accomplished in the first decades of LAST century. Today, nearly a hundred years on, what was once counter-intuitive to personal experience is now the "norm". And I haven't even mentioned the pill-popping "pharma paradise" modern physicians equate with "healthy" living.

Meanwhile, saltwater "concentrate" can be made in land-locked areas like our Eifel hill country by mixing local water and sea solids in the appropriate ratio. This mixture serves as our highly-effective deodorant of choice. Does the trick something fierce too, also neatly disinfecting any knicks acquired while trimming the pit shrubbery. But saltwater can't be so easily packaged and sold at ridiculous margins -- complete with single-use plastic packaging sure to outlive our species at current rates of "progress".

On fermented products: a good place to start your studies would be a fine manual (as I like to call them, ala "Manon of the Spring") by Sandor Ellix Katz, titled "Wild Fermentation". Without fermentation we humans would lead a much less rich and flavorful life, in more ways than can be listed here. The problem with most fermented items in this day and age is -- you guessed it -- compromises made by way of scaling-up (industrializing) once-local small-batch production processes.

In other words, there is a great deal of truth in those words "better living through chemistry", it's just exactly 180° out-of-phase with what the advertisers and their paymasters would have us "believe". Meanwhile, cui bono? remains a question largely unasked -- and worse still unanswered -- in the "modern" world.

How truly, madly and deeply ironic it is that I spent so much time dodging homework back in the school daze, and yet it's corollary (self-study) turns out to be the most crucial aspect of living as freely as one can. As for the various parts of the ever-so-personal "story" you continue to relate in stages, you know Mr. N, for the first time in my life you've got me wondering if I might not have been a twin, separated from my Australian sibling at birth. The parallels just keep getting deeper and more iconoclastic with each and every scroll of the page. G'day Bruce!

Anonymous said...

nothing to do, and all day to do it?--lol
Here's what we do--I shower every other day--we are on a well so no chlorine, etc. For deodorant, we use baking soda, and for toothpaste, we use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda--shaving, no problem--I use a soap cake that Burt's Bee's made before they sold out to Mega-Somebody--I have used it for 2 years along with a good quality brush and a not so good one that I have glued back together 3 times--the gillette blades last about a month or two--never use shaving cream--it's very abrasive, and is made to wear out the blades, and dry out your skin--hence, more blades and skin lotions--we use a locally made soap that is 100% lye.
Shampoo consists of whatever Juli whips up in the cauldron--maybe 1-2 times/wk--I also have a straight razor--a really good kraut made one but stopped using it when the blades started lasting so long with the cake-soap--it takes a while to "train" your beard but maintains it's edge if you get the proper stuff to sharpen it--my scalp tends to dry out in the winter so I just heat up a bit of olive oil, or coconut oil and rub it in--works as a great conditioner too-
Out hot tub and swimming pool we use 50% food grade hydrogen peroxide that we get from our Amish witchdoctor (55 gallon drums)--no chlorine, etc, except for the first "dosing" when we open it up in the spring--then we just let it dissipate and start adding the hydro--
I told michael (astera) about the hydro and baking soda, and he had a very good point about "inner" health and that means, as you say, putting the right things in your body to begin with--
People definitely wash too much and their natural oils are gone--most products are designed so that you have to use the companies other products--dry/moist/dry moist--kinda like big pharma--take one pill and you need ten others to keep masking the symptoms of the pill before it--
Maybe I'll just shave my head and put Proctor and Gamble out of business--I never wear any cologne or whatever--can't stand the perfumes either unless it's something very light--where you're not sure if you whiffed it or not--we use tea tree oil, colloidal silver, and a host of other stuff when needed but try to let our bodies come up with their own defenses naturally--
Let me know if there is anything specific I can help with--
Time for a smoke and another cup of coffee--it's all in the balance--cuz, it's my balance---lol

Franz said...

So THAT explains it.

People around here have been buying sacks of Celtic Sea Salt (to be fair, cheap stuff) because it's healthy. Gargle it or cook with it. Iodized grocery store salt is not good for blood pressure but if you switch to Celtic, your numbers go back to normal. That's what they say.

I dunno. Get rich, pack up some bags of Australian sea salt and sell it. Won't put the Celts out of business but it might be fun. I can't do this. I live on the shore of polluted fresh water seas that are probably filled with the stuff they sell as shampoo in most of the world.

slozo said...

Nice write-up.

Toothpaste: I haven't used it for a year now. I did a bunch of research on fluoride, and ask that everyone out there find out why it was recommended last century to allow for fluoride in our drinking supply (hint: heavy industry waste product). The amount of fluoride in toothpaste usually puts one over the amount you'd ever want, depending on how much you use and where your water supply comes from. But know this: there is enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to poison and kill a small child if fully ingested.

I use baking soda to brush my teeth. Combine with a bit of water, and gets amazing results. I swear my teeth are brighter . . . at least they have lost the yellowish sheen from over fluoridation (yes, it actually discolours your teeth from overuse!).

So yeah - baking soda. Cleaner, healthier, cheaper, not poisonous to ingest.

I also don't use perfumes, and deodorant only in an emergency. Shampoo rarely, but I do use soap regularly. Good on you, nobody, although you probably need a haircut, ya hippy! ;)

nobody said...

Yay all. Those tips are brilliant. Baking soda eh? Or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Okay that's a done deal. I'll be into it tomorrow. See how it goes.

As for hippy, ha ha. I don't give a shit what length my hair is. If I had a girlfriend who wanted it shorter, she could cut it shorter. The only reason I don't do it is because cutting my hair in the mirror is the closest I get to insanity.

And Mir, it's entirely possible that my problems with fermented things is due to other factors. Has there ever been a people on this earth who haven't eaten fermented things. I doubt it. On the 'how long have we been doing this' meter, it would have to get a tick surely? It's possible that my problem with yeasty things is due them being unnatural or them clashing with other unnatural food that I eat.

And there's nothing to be done for that. Here in Bullshit Tourist Town, there is no natural food, no farmer's markets, no nothing. There are two corporate supermarkets to choose from and that's it. Sure enough, they stock nothing but corporate food.

Sigh. One day I'll be in a place of my own choosing.

Thanks all. Ciao.

the Silverfish said...

Now here where I live it’s a bit of a bitch getting to the ocean as the nearest coast is some 1200 klm from here. However you may well have something with the antiseptic and deodorant qualities of seawater. I mean like just take an old sea bass out of the water for a few days and what have Yuh got? Yep something that smells just like a woman that I used to know.

As for a culture surviving without fermented food, we have or at least had such a culture right here in (you guessed it) Canada. They were of course the Inuit or as you would know them the Eskimo. No fermented food for them or fruit and veg for that matter. Just raw fish and raw seal meat and blubber, Yummm. Hell I’ve known Eskimos to put away 25 kilo of raw meat at a sitting. No tooth brushes or tooth paste for them and before they became civilized you know addicted to processed junk food, had almost zero tooth decay, obesity and diabetes were virtually unknown as was cancer. Now with the convenience of processed and sweetened junk food they have no teeth and suffer the highest rates of diabetes in Canada. Weird Huh?
Although they live very close to saltwater, like right on top of it I have never known one to take a bath in it, Their not completely stupid Yuh know. As a matter of fact I’ve never known a n Eskimo to take a bath of any kind at any time ever. I suppose the body bouquet help keep the black flies at bay.

As for home made soap, go for it mate. Take it from some one who grew up having to use home made soap, there’s no feeling quite like having your hide eaten away by the sodium hydroxide used to make home made soap. But goddamit do you ever come out squeaky clean, just like a brand new penny and just about as shiny. I’ll stick with me Ivory. For me tender skin don’t ya know.

As for shaving? I’ve worn a beard for over thirty five years and as far as the head goes I’m as bald as a baby’s ass. However I do still have my trusty straight razor and I will tell you that if you know how to use one and take care of it there is nothing on the market that will give you a closer more comfortable shave. Notice I did say “if you know how to use one”. A good one such as the one that I have could run you upwards of a hundred and fifty dollars but it will last a lifetime and is worth every last cent. Also it’s kind of neat to know that the tool that your using should you make a mistake or heaven forbid sneeze while using it could take your head clean off. Humm I wonder why they never came out with an electric version.

Back to the deodorant with all of it’s inherent problems, very bad. Why not just shove a dead fish in your pocket all natural and no chemical additives. Just think in just a few days all of your social problems and worries will be taken care of in a purely natural and holistic way. No more wondering who will get stuck paying for the date, no more having to buy your friends outrageously priced drinks and no more fighting about who gets to sleep on the wet spot. Just think you could walk down any street in your beach front town with confidence knowing that the fact that you weren’t using deodorant would be the last thing on peoples minds.
These are but a few of the many benefits of using the body odor concealment method and I’m sure that after using this method for just a few short weeks that you will be able to come up with many many more.

There is more but I have to go to my room now, the meds are starting to take effect and when they do I just get all silly and I wouldn't want to do that now would I.

And the word is Ducky yeppers thats me all over just ducky. Off I go to my room to look at all of the petty sounds.

psychegram said...

This was a really interesting read for me ... recently I've been curbing my own involvement with the stink-and-appearance-anxiety industry. Letting go of self-consciousness about the bald-spot (it appeared at the age of 20! And it used to be thick and wavy, too. People wondered why I questioned the existence of God....) let me grow my hair back out, and though I still keep it short once a month with the clippers is plenty. As a result, it's been 9 months and I'm only now thinking I should buy more razors (and yes! I too would love to find a straight-razor.)

I've been forgetting to wear deodorant for days at a time for a while, and recently I've been using unscented 'natural' deodorant from the local health food store but, it appears, I can do without that. Likewise shampoo and conditioner, which I use only once every few days as it is.

As to toothpaste I've found the natural kinds every bit as effective as the industrial products but without that nasty fluoride sting buried in the minty freshness. I've heard of using baking soda but never tried it ... perhaps I shall, as I don't imagine I'll be able to secure a supply of bamboo salt.

Hot showers, however, are not negotiable. My mind has become entirely dependent on them, to the point where a (preferably long and) steaming shower is more necessary to my slow climb to consciousness than coffee.

A great deal of the stink people give off is because of what they put inside themselves. They eat junk, their natural smells become foul even to themselves and, thus, the need to mask it with perfume like one hides the taste of rotten meat with lots of pepper. This is not a natural state of affairs. Humans, being beasts of the herd, should logically enjoy one another's scents. That we so often don't is indicative of how out-of-whack we've become.

nobody said...

Psyche, I used to be that way about hot showers too. Stagger from the bed, climb in the shower. Anything else was inconceivable. But somehow it went by the wayside. Now I really don't care.

As for hair, or the absence thereof, I'd be up for that. Frankly I find the whole hair thing too much bother. And I gave it a burl one time (back when everyone was wearing doc martens and being vaguely 'oi', if you can dig it) and I got the full number zero. Turns out I have the world's most unfortunate skull. It's really long and weird looking. There was an almost complete agreement that me and the skinhead thing were a poor combination. So much for that.

Anyone notice how blokey the comments section is? Seems I frightened all the women off. Come back please! Before we all end up cursing and spitting on the floor!

Speaking of frightening the women off, Silv, ha ha, what are you on about mate? Dead fish, what? Good thing we didn't get you after the meds had kicked in. Anyway hopefully you'll read this fully refreshed and able to tell me what brand your straight razor is. Even at that price, given the insane cost of the Gillette blades it'd pay for itself in soon enough. Otherwise I have no fear in terms of getting good with it. Give me a handtool and I'll master it. (You know, I just spent five minutes thinking how to put that without sounding smutty?)

Anyway, do tell Silv.

Anonymous said...

OK Fellas,

I was just thinking how revolting you are when I got to Nobody's comment about scaring the women off, and I really had a laugh on that one. Does the word "yuk" mean anything to you?

Listen guys, if you aren't cleanin' up down there after EVERY bathroom visit, trust me, you have no clue what it's like for a lady when you down your pants and let it breathe. Ugh! Last thing she wants is any part of THAT! (Don't think "shaking it off" makes it go away either. And no amount of wiping is as good as washing for male OR female.)

Keep a container of 1 part Vodka (or Apple Cider Vinegar)to 10 parts water and some paper towels in your "rest room" and overnight kit, and CLEAN UP by soaking a couple towels in this sanitizing solution and washing ALL private parts front and back after EVERY toilet visit. Change your undies every day and please consider a shower more often than once or twice a week. Seriously, I don't know if other ladies are bothered by the "male essence" emitting from unwashed then unbound male parts, but more than one fellow I've known has lost out on a little ecstasy because of it!

Anonymous said...

If you're in the states, you can order a straight razor from Lehmans--they are just down the way from us and have all kinds of fun stuff--fun to just browse the pages--
They do, of course have tons of crap for the tourists as well--

nobody said...

Bloody Women! Who asked them in here?

And 'yuk'? Hmm... it's not an anagram... or an acronym... you turn it around and you get 'kuy'... Well that's me stumped! No idea!

As for men being stinky, can't you just put some of that cream under your nose like they use in those cop post-mortem shows? Is that too much to ask?

Sheesh, there's no end to it with women. "Wash" "Don't piss in the sink" "Use a handkerchief when you blow your nose"

All those yukky-poo women would be well served contemplating the following riddle -

Why are pirates, pirates?

Because they AARRRRRRHHH!

Notice how the answer is not 'Because they slather their private parts in apple cider.' Honestly, you can't argue with the wisdom of the ancients!

nobody said...

And thanks Jj, off to check it out. You and me, mate - AARRRRRHH!

annemarie said...


nobody said...

Thanks AM. Let me just say that in the presence of women I alter my conduct - I go vegetarian, I drink less, I drink more, I quit wearing those shoes, all sorts of things. I'd even be prepared to re-calibrate my concept of what's socially acceptable by way of stinkiness. But as things stand, there are no women, just an old man who smells of pee.

Anyway, mercifully there's a new post and we can all move on.

Anonymous said...

Well,perhaps I'm missing something,thought you were wondering, but no matter of aaarrrhhh is gonna get a bj for a stinky pirate either! Take it for what it's worth to ya, vodka or vinegar or not....Cheers and here's to ya gettin' some! And I triple annemarie's...eewwwwwww!

Penny said...

thanks for small favours.

read this yesterday, I am like

waaaaayyy to much information.

way to much.

nobody said...

Thanks anon, and the answer to you wondering if you're missing something is, 'yes'. When I head the conversation into absurdist territory, it doesn't pay to take offence. The correct response is to say, 'Nobody ya dickhead!'

Otherwise I do appreciate women popping and expressing their disgust. No, honestly! I am clueless on many many things, not least of which is 'What women think'.

As for sex, I do have recollections of this having occurred in the past. Are people still doing it? I have difficulty keeping up with what's in fashion and what's not. Is doing the crossword fashionable? It's a bit like sex but you don't have to clean up afterwards. Anyway I should try to keep up on these things.

nobody said...

Otherwise I did wonder if this piece was 'too much information'. In the end I went with the old 'whack it up and see what happens' approach.

It seems that the blokes grooved on it and the chicks didn't. That's enough for me to declare it a failure and not return to it.

To be honest I'm not sure where this blog is going. I'm wondering if I'm not starting to get desperate. I just did a quick count, and there are 27 pieces sitting on my desktop that I started and abandoned under the principle of 'Who the hell would want to read this?'.

One day this blog will come to an end and my wondering at the point of it all, will too. In the meantime, I think a brief period of devotion to Aergia is called for. Hopefully I'll make sense of the current senseless piece before the Goddess demands my attention. Yoroshiku.

Miraculix (Doug) said...

As is so common when a conversation with "westerners" (in particular Americans, of which I am one) revolves around hygiene habits, the discussion rapidly reaches a standard disconnect between what Mr. N (and myself) are attempting to describe and discuss and what peoples of the "civilized" west consider "normal" -- which is to say "what the commercials hammering away at us and our parents generation for the last forty years or so have conditioned us to believe".

To equate what we're trying to discuss here with not wiping our asses is just plain shallow.

I eschew these products not out of a badly-placed sense of machismo or "manliness". I do so because it is requisite to a non-toxic existence. And now that I have personally confirmed this information beyond a reasonable doubt in several different areas of observation, to my mind it verges on stupidity to slather myself with any such products. I may be many things, good or bad depending upon your perspective, but stupid is not one of them. Or stinky.

Though I was once, for certain. As was the wife. Today, I smell like a well-kept human, sans perfumes and all the other artificial flavors and scents hoovered up without thinking twice -- to our potential detriment. I smell like ME. My wife smells like SHE. We genuinely like the way each other smells. I expect this was a very important detail way back when. You don't partner up with someone who's smell you didn't like. Meant they weren't healthy, probably. And that's at least partly right. My wife doesn't stink either, by the way, on much the same daily regimen as my own.

When you eat a "strawberry-flavored" something purchased at your local mega-market, do you know what it is you're actually tasting?

A synthetic petroleum distillate that some unfortunate chemist in a white lab jacket here in the Ruhrgebeit (or an industrial cognate in the states) discovered while sniffing his way through thousands of samples looking for useful "cracks", or distillates of the hydrocarbon molecule. Your "lemon" dishwashing detergent? Synthetic. The "coconut" scent in your shampoo? Ad infinitum, on down the line. Has anyone EVER tested humans for the effects of long-term exposure to these chemicals? Of course not. We've only to trust the scientists. They're only in it for the good, right? Like weaponized anthrax, depleted uranium and every other flavor of purified evil being brewed up in all those government-funded black holes like Detrick and Edgewood.

Captain Obvious is flying particularly high today, isn't he?

You bet. But what's important isn't saying that all this s**t exists (documented facts). What's crucial is understanding how the actual essence and effects have never really been questioned by most individuals BECAUSE they've been told they don't need to worry about such things by people with certain kinds of "authority". Just get back to work and keep feeding the system and leave the quality control and decision-making to the experts.

If you ever truly decide to get 100% dead-f**king serious about applying legitimate and rigorous "quality control" in your life, you will eventually have to go toe-to-toe with this HUGE disconnect in the (supposedly) independent-thinking western world. Like everyone else, I have personally experienced the life & health being slowly sapped from me by these supposed experts. It took some time to deal with the sad truth of all this, and to deal with the nature of the solutions. I wasn't always so certain and forceful in my views, nor was the wife, but as our grand self-experiment here has progressed we've literally grown comfortable with where the results have led us both.

You don't have to believe either of us. Not our problem. All we have to offer is our individual realities: my joints no longer mysteriously swell with excess fluid. Synovial tissues are no longer thick and papery. My internal organs, especially my spleen, no longer scream in agony. All the other niggling items, that little bit of eczema (it literally means "itchy skin") between my shoulder blades, operate like sensors. Over time, it becomes possible to discover what makes each of them "flare-up". She too has found improvement in every former problem area, and the answers were not complicated, though effecting them most definitely can be, and not in the ways you might think. The most challenging of all is enduring the industrial propaganda parroting from friend and family alike, especially those poor Jabba's still in thrall to the "cake & coffee curse" as we refer to it nowadays.

Feel free to dismiss the actual seriousness of this subject. Laugh it all away, just like the commercials and talk-show hosts and news anchors have conditioned you to do. Meanwhile, the Silverfish has also given us perhaps the most extreme example we have of successful localized adaption: the Inuit. From both a dietary and personal hygiene standpoint, this group carved out a set of habits that overcame an extremely harsh climate -- which I will contemporize as their "lifestyle" -- that simply does not jive with the entirety of the "modern" western mindset.

The written record of those who documented their pre- and post-industrial condition makes starkly clear how much damage such exposure wreaks within a single generation. Taken alongside similar anthropological evidence from around the world and the evidential work of mammalian researchers like Francis Pottenger, the bigger picture begins to emerge: the emerging "modern" world has clearly been making us sick from the get-go, and the evidence is being glossed over and ignored just the same way the Pedophocracy and certain other subject matter is glossed over. Without even taking into consideration intent, what might this imply?

For starters, one scary realization is that we really have become a "degenerate" species like the Social Darwinists have (ironically enough) been shrieking all along. Not exactly like they have it, sick elitist bast**ds that they are, but a f**ked-up thought to have to wrap your head around nonetheless. That they're also quite often facilitating the process is a parallel discussion for another time. That we survive at all demonstrates how humankind has steadily overtaken so much of the planet: we are a fairly resilient species. Not as resilient as the micro-universe of bacteria, whom rather like Douglas Adams' planet-building mice I suspect might actually be running the whole show, but we do persist and even thrive under all but truly degenerate living conditions.

We love to dream of vast edifices of every shape and size, even as we are hopelessly bound to the life cycles of the planet. Our adaptability, taken to local extremes from the vast frozen north to the great archipelagoes and outcroppings of the south, knows no bounds. A tool maker altering the local environment to suit our needs and comfort. A properly constructed igloo is actually quite comfortable inside. A traditional "Eskimo" diet is actually far healthier than the bulk of what passes for "healthy eating" today, for some very simple reasons that are persona non grata in the grand halls of modern "science". Perhaps we should be inquiring as to who offered the grants to raise those structures? Cui bono, no?

I'll wager the Eskimos of earlier times didn't "stink" much at all. What really stinks is that so many that conflate modern civilization with what is actually just a decades-long pattern of pay-to-play brainwashing by corporate industrial interests. I'm all for chemistry and science. In the right hands. Democratization begins at home, in the kitchen, the workshop and the garden. All the fancy talk in Net fora is just a bunch of f**king hot air. Like this.

Snark away, but as you learn to ditch the ersatz industrialized garbage and get back to basics, you will find over time that your minor and major maladies not only find remission, with added shamanic research you can actually "reset" things and live out a much less painful life than the tragic story of decay and decrepitude the pill pushers sell as inevitable. Homemade soap can also be quite luxurious, if you get your chemistry right. Much like in the kitchen, where the chef is actually a master chemist, a potionmaker, an herbalist -- and perhaps much more -- all wrapped up in one talented package. A witch! Burn them!

Laughing at the subject is all fine and dandy, as I like a ridiculous joke and a good belly laugh as much as the next, but to invoke such diversions here is to dodge the point in a MAJOR way. If I come off a little "religious", I apologize. I guess it comes with the territory. You don't walk the paths I've walked and come away unchanged. But you'll also notice I'm not selling you any supplements or showing you the ONE way ("my" way). Instead, I'm just pointing out that there are a myriad of avenues by which one can escape, each uniquely suited to our locale, from a planet-eating system that is making us all sick and charging us for the privilege.

What you do with this is up to you. I offer only hope, in the form of confirmation that such healing IS possible. I rail against the snark because elimination of the "personal hygiene" class of chemicals is an important piece of the larger puzzle. I have also learned (all too well) over the last several years how few are actually interested in the information I offer. Such cynicism seems a tragic but inevitable by-product of living in the age of the "Big Lie". I'm guilty of succumbing to it myself, have no doubt. A useful strategy, divide and conquer. A mental model where everyone's fully "autonomous" (in word, if not practice) leaves us naked and alone, divided and conquered.

So, will it be the RED pill, the BLUE pill -- or NO pills at all?

See how easy and convenient it is to nest a pro-pharma "meme" right in the middle of a contemporary entertainment metaphor? This is just one miniscule example of how thoroughly your ongoing training program is being managed by media institutions, at every level right on down to this one. For that is the very definition of viral marketing, to elevate the Big Lie and it's technical strata to the level of one-to-one "word-of-mouth" communication. There's a reason the concept has inextricably bonded with "sales" technique and memetics and "magic" are such frequent bedfellows. The sellers want direct access to your limbic control panel, and they're not afraid to push a few buttons to get there.

# # #

debbn maid said...

hhmm sweaty armpits..moy fave...mind you, Iza bit whiffy meself.
Part of my natural allure, innit bey.
gwan..get ee a gud lung full!

nobody said...

Absolutely. Thanks Mir. Mind you, that thinking cap that I had clamped on my head with your piece came a cropper as soon as read debbn maid's tilt-your-head-back-and-laugh effort. Good thing I wasn't eating chunky vegetable soup! Snork! Cheerzen debbn maid!

Miraculix (Doug) said...

Just one last wee hearty demonstration from the fair Debbn Maid to drive the point home with a lusty snort, chuckle and wink. Nothing better than a brilliant closer... =)

Funnier still, the wife actually agrees with our fine Highland lass. Take that all you wacky American bio-phobes: pheromones ├╝ber alles -- natura vincit omnia!And as I may have achieved full-rant a couple times there, I must apologize and admit that "American Icky" is one aspect of the former Homeland I find even more repulsive after a few years away. I can no longer stand the scent of it.

The collective mental push away from anything resembling good biological sense and sensibility -- driven by mentally-retarded media content -- has spawned a generation of biocide and sunscreen-slathering paranoids and white-glove fecophobes completely out of touch with reality and their milieu. The phenom seems to peak in the palest commonwealth nations, in which I include the USSA. Of course, being out in farm country skews my local data. And you'll find 'em here too, but definitely in smaller numbers.

What stinks the most though is the source of this handicap, and the ease with which the blindness is both effected and maintained. Most of the time, I feel rather like a fish out of water, hopelessly trying to point out the fishbowl to everybody still swimming in circles on the other side of the glass.

I mean, how many of those reading the "RED pill/BLUE pill/NO pill" example understood it as a capsule demonstration of how the Hegelian dialectic can be both deconstructed and the spell recast, once noted?

Only those who already know the game and the drills, of course. I once equated it with trying to teach the use of power tools before the hammer and nail, when discussing the subject with an old colleague and compatriot currently holed up in the mountains east of eL-Ay on a deep well.

As a consolation, I do feel much better now. I only hope I haven't driven away prospective clients of yours, as this isn't my house.

G'day Bruce!

nobody said...

No, feel free to pile in. Mind you, it's one post back and I'm not sure who's still here. It could just be me mate. At least I read it!

And you do know that no one is called Bruce in Australia, don't you? A radio sketch show that was huge here in the seventies called The Naked Vicar Show (which my family never missed) had a recurring sketch with a gay character called Bruce. Subsequently Bruce became shorthand for gay and pretty much disappeared from the list of popular boy's names.

Anyway, The Naked Vicar is ancient history and Monty Python is eternal. And God bless them! As Monty Python described the Goodies (or was that the Goodies describing Monty Python?), they were 'fart oo good'.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh! And here I thought you were intelligent enough to recognize rhetoric. Why all the defensiveness? I don't care WHERE you're from, piss and shit can smell bad. If your lady likes you just the way you are, more power to you! If not, consider a simple clean up after every toilet visit. You might get more. Most women wouldn't say anything; most men don't care enough...yous all just proving that. Jeeze, do something for her for a change. It doesn't have to be some chemical concoction from the pharmacy. Just wash up.This has nothing to do with commercials either. Me thinks thou protest way too much! Just wash up your private parts in a regular way. Sorry that you're all so offended by this.

nobody said...

Anon, you seem unhappy. As much as I'd like to attempt to soothe your feelings, I'll restrict myself to saying - don't take it personally. If you wish to write us off, you're free to do so. If you wish to think little of it and hang around, nothing would make us happier.


Miraculix (Doug) said...

I don't think she groks the message, Mr. N. Worse still, it seems our rhetorical intelligence is on the wane!

Ms.(?) Anonymous, we DO keep our willies and bums quite clean, thank you very much. That's the whole point of the discussion. Alternate modalities of clean, see what we mean? Without all the unnecessary and evil chemical hoo-ha, which as it turns out is not only not helpful, it does harm. We are simply calling "foul" on this sad situation.

Now, as to why you persist in connecting this personal quest with us not knowing how to wipe or operate a washrag -- or my favorite, the bidet -- well, that's beyond me. For how else would we be fouled with "piss and shit"?

Tricky monkeys that we are, we have learned that it IS possible to be squeaky clean entirely without "industrial care" products, a fact I demonstrate daily.

Basic bulk ingredients like raw coconut oil are a staple ingredient in our household (skin, hair, food), along with a substantial assortment of herbology on the property (ala St. Hildegard from Bingen) and a collection of ancient wisdom we learn and apply a little more of every day. You see, certain types of people have ALWAYS been conscious of cleanliness. It is these footsteps that we follow.

Clean body, ass inclusive, no industrial chem required. Can you grok this or not Anon?

I like to think of life as one vast Applied Chemistry & Biology course. Proper hydrophilic composting and cycles of material reuse. Producing top quality food & feed. Slowly building out our own niche in the local community of food producers. Which means learning the ways of responsible small holding: rearing healthy livestock, water retention, forest management, applied permaculture, etc. Always with an eye toward improving both the general biological health of our locality, because it will be directly reflected in our own physical health.

Call this "green" if you want; that term has long since lost any descriptive truth over the last decade, steadily reduced to just another shade of corporate slime oozing from the media's every pore.

Our take is simple: Leave it better than you found it. No more, no less.

Treat everything with respect, from the livestock that feeds you to the bugs you sometimes have to swat. And above all, YOUR BODY -- your temple, the vessel that carries your soul -- surely the most important item of all. For without it we would have no ass to wipe.

And yeah, this is all just a setup, 'cause I can't wait to see the look on your virtually anonymous face when you learn that urine has valuable antiseptic and healing properties... =)

(As for invoking "Bruce", I was merely lingering on a ludicrous image of the Pythons exercising their charming Aussie accents, by way of being chummy. Of course, lacking the requisite over-the-top delivery, I suppose it doesn't really work very well. Consider it dropped.)

nobody said...

Ayah! I'm thinking this subject is possessed of 'hornet nest nature'. And I'm not sure if this thing in particular in worth having a split over. If some people demand that their partner is as clean as a new penny, good luck to them. And if some are less pedantic on the subject, fine by me. I suspect I'm probably in the latter group.

BTW Mir - small point mate - anon isn't advocating industrial chemicals. She's all for natural goodies (vodka and vinegar) but just used more liberally.

Can I just say that it's my opinion that the future will be very different to now? And sooner rather than later? I have a feeling that in the future, the word 'ewwww' will be a thing we'll look back on with certain mixed feelings. We can argue the point but me, I reckon I'm just jumping the gun. But then again whether we get used to doing without when it happens, or we get used to it now, it doesn't really matter.

Elizabeth said...

I loved this blog post! I haven't read all the comments yet, but I feel, as a woman, I should need to speak up and let you know that not ALL women will have the "ewwww" reaction.

My husband showers only once or twice a week. He doesn't use deoderant either. Yes, it can get a bit smelly in certain parts, but if we want to have some loving- it takes only a few minutes to freshen up- without all the chemicals!

nobody said...

Onya Elizabeth.