It’s been pretty hot of late and while this means barbecues, flip-flops and ice-cold lagers at the weekend, it means suffering for those of us making the daily commute.
Running near enough air-tight carriages deep underground, with hundreds of people on board, with extremely limited ventilation to the street means that tube carriages heat up hotter than a Breville Pie Maker. I can deal with that fact. It’s not pleasant, but I can handle it. Keep chilled beverage in left hand, soothing music in ears and think of it like a decent sauna, cleaning up the pores and pushing out the toxins. Yeah, it’s rank, but you can get through.
What I can’t deal with is people that on these same hot days, pollute up the already borderline intolerable situation by stinking it out with their own unique brand of body odour. I’m not talking about a bit of sweat, the kind that can be honestly acquired by a clean and decent person in the pursuit of a living-wage on a hot day. I’m talking about the foul stench of armpits that haven’t seen tap water in weeks, and potentially have never known soap. I’m talking about characters that seem to be on a bid to produce new life from the crevices on their body. A new fungus to get your name in the record books. I could rant about this for ages, but I have decided instead that my best recourse at the current time is to publish a series of guidelines to help these people clean up their act. It occurs to me that maybe their mothers/fathers never told them how, so it’s up to me to spell it out. So here it is – Groover’s guide to the washing of an armpit:
1) Apply water to the afflicted area. Hot or cold water will suffice although the former is slightly more effective. Similiarly you can bath, shower, jump in a stream, pour buckets on yourself or get hosed down by riot police. The important thing is to get wet. Do not worry if at this point your armpits begin to steam – this is a natural side effect if you have not washed for more than a month.
2) Apply soap. Could be the old kind, the shower gel variety, the healthstore home made type or even a mixtue of lye, body fat and lemons. The important thing is to make sure you use lots.
3) Lather. This is not hard to do, but should not be neglected. You may need to scrub for victory, hell you may even need some sandpaper if we’re dealing with years of entrenched abuse here.
4) Use more water to wash off. Don’t leave any soap or it will dry your skin and potentially you may still reek.
5) Dry. This can be achieved with towel, by standing in the sun or by leaping quickly backwards and forwards through tall flames.
6) Apply deodorant. I know that there is considerable debate about this issue and that indeed some of our continental chums may dispute it, but I believe there is a place for deodorant in the modern world. That place is under your arms. Spray, roll or pritt-stick yourself to non-perspiration. You could use one of those body spray majobbies, but although the adverts tell you that they will make you irresistable to women, be warned actually on a hot day you may smell of BO tinged with perfume. Instead, use an anti-perspirant, this will work, you may not get women, but you will certainly not repulse them.
7) If you use the tube, you should repeat this process a minimum of once a day unless caught in an extreme predicament such as going back to someone’s house, then realising you need to escape early in the morning.
Go forth and prosper my new clean friends. I am off to lie down for a bit.