Common Talk: Why Do Some People Have Bad Hygiene?

Updated on October 19, 2017

We’re not talking physics here

Ooh, this is going to be a good one and I don’t mean that in an arrogant and cocky sense. I mean that I am enthused to discuss this topic which will be cathartic for me once I’m finished. Wow, I just said “I” four times in the first sentence and once more now, what an arrogant and cocky p-anyway, let’s move on. Most of us have decent hygiene which requires minimum up keep. You brush your teeth, shower on a regular basis and wear deodorant. Those three actions typically do the trick in staving off scents of skunk or worse, an unknown smell coming from the nether regions. This begs the question then, why do one too many people struggle with this simple standard of a human behavior? The maintenance doesn’t require more than a few bucks a month and maybe 15-20 minutes a day. So, we can rule out difficulty as being a limiting factor.

Can you not smell it?!

I say that to myself every time I get a whiff of some hot garbage or canned burrito smell (either one sounds just plain awful) from a person of close contact. My wife will be the first one to tell you that my sense of smell is lacking, but when someone enters my non-personal space and I can detect a prominent stink, there’s a problem. I believe a smelly story will explain this experience more in depth.

I was at the store shopping for some new sneakers. I walked around the running shoe section for a few minutes when I gradually noticed a smell that was bringing a slight burn to my nostrils. This was accompanied by an onset of moisture filling my eyes. It had to have been 10-15 seconds before I saw where the odor’s source was emanating from. It was of course an employee of the store coming to ask if I needed any help. I looked around briefly trying not to act too conspicuous to see if there were any other employees that I could flock to once I rid of lord stink. No such luck, they were all occupied with other customers. You can infer that the rest of the shopping experience didn’t improve until I was about to exit the store. The person helping me was a nice and helpful store associate, so I really didn’t want to be rude even on a discreet level. But, if he got any closer, I might have asphyxiated on his cloud of death stink.

Certain demographics are just going to reek

The gentleman from the story couldn’t have been older than 18 so I can empathize with teenagers having a tendency for the stinks, but c’mon, at least get it together for your job. I suppose that as a teenager I was an anomaly as I never really smelled (or at least if I did, I was nice enough like this gent, that no one wanted to give me the cold hard truth). Most teenagers play sports, workout and just don’t prioritize hygiene like adults do, generally speaking. But then it transfers the onus, at least partially, to the parents and friends to speak up and announce the stink.

Other ethnicities are naturally going to have more prominent odors than the rest of us, especially if they consume a diet with richer spices and more of them. While they aren’t easy on the schnoz either, I’ll pardon them for this article as to avoid getting crucified for not being p.c enough. I bet you thought I was going to go there, but no and it’s not just the p.c reason. I have a strong affinity for food and all different varieties of ethnic dishes; if someone waters my eyes a bit because of their diet, somehow I can deal with it. I know it’s weird, but the weirdest comes next. I’ll admit that sometimes when I smell their body odor, I imagine the delicious food they’ve been consuming to attain such a potent “stank”. Okay, I’m just kidding about the last part-too far? Good.

Dragon Breath

So who and what else stinks when it comes to people’s lack of hygiene? Well, we’ve discussed a lot about the body odor coming from god knows where and likely it’s a combination stemming from below the neck. But what about above the chin? Yes, the mouth is the culprit for these funky smelling folks. Let’s divide them into two groups: dumpster 1 and dumpster 2. Dumpster 1 will be assigned to the people that just plain suck at either brushing their teeth or flossing. There is routinely morsels of food stuck in the divots of their chompers and usually a sold yellow glaze covering their pearly whites-well, guess their not really white. Dumpster 1’s solution is to simply act like an adult, brush their teeth and floss regularly.

Dumpster 2 is a bit more unfortunate as it may be harder to control simply by brushing, flossing or even mouth wash. However, this does not excuse them from DBA group. (Dragon Breathers Anonymous). Halitosis, as it’s more politely and medically called is just bad breath, but usually worse than just morning breath. Some times it may just be poor dental habits that aren’t strong enough to combat some of that garlic and onion pizza you scarfed down for lunch. Other times, it’s a result of some unidentified health problems of which I won’t get into because I’m a writer, not a doctor. I fix spelling and grammar, not chronically bad breath.


So, on a strictly opinionated basis, I’ll recommend the former advice to Dumpster 1 for Dumpster 2, plus routinely carrying (and chewing it if I must spell it out for the dense) a pack of gum to at least make it tolerable to converse with for more than 30 seconds.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this fireside chat about why smelly people around you make even dogs gag on their scent. I know I feel much better, as I know I would addressing this topic. Remember, look both ways before crossing the road if you really want to dominate the street walking community.

Till next ride


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