Kucing Gatal Speaks

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Stink of Humanity

Have you guys ever been on a crowded bus/train, pressed up against strangers, minding your own business when suddenly, an odour starts making its way up your nostrils and before you can stop yourself, you've sniffed it, and realise that you can smell someone's extremely smelly ketiak?

You look around suspiciously. Is it that geeky guy with a laptop who's next to you? Or the creepy looking fellow wearing a checked shirt and too-tight pants? Or is it that demure looking woman in the baju kurung who's avoiding everybody's gaze? Or is it ... sniff, sniff... horror of horrors .... you???

On occasion, when I'm in an extreme hurry, I forget to use my deodorant and halfway through my busy day I realise I'm stinking like a sweaty sportsman (I want to say pig but I've never smelt a pig so I can't really make a fair comparison). If I have an important appointment, I cringe and try to creep as far away from other people as possible. If I have time, I'll dash down to the nearest 7-11/kedai runcit and grab the first deodorant I see, then dash to the nearest loo. If there's no loo, I surreptitiously roll it on, hoping no one can see.

I really should learn from experience, but sometimes my brain goes on vacation early in the morning and I have bouts of forgetfulness. Lucky it hasn't happened too often. Now I keep a spare deodorant in the glove compartment, just in case!

The next time you see someone crouching behind a car with a small plastic bag, don't jump to conclusions. It could just be someone who's forgotten their roll-on for the day. Or it could be someone planting a bomb. Either way, best to mind your business and get far away.

Back to the bus/train scenario. More often than not, you'll catch this odious whiff of undeodorised armpits, and try to turn your face away for some fresh air. But there's no fresh air because it's too crowded and so you're forced to breathe it in, or breathe through your mouth for the duration that the owner of the smelly armpits is around.

Some people, like me, may have genuinely forgotten this part of their daily hygiene routine, but there are those who have never heard of deodorants and go about their day merrily, completely oblivious to the discomfort they're causing to the people around them. And no one dares to tell them about it! We all put up with the smell, rather than shame the person by pointing out the problem. Same goes for bad breath too. Why is it we can bitch about this to all and sundry, but can never find it within ourselves to talk to the person directly?

I guess we're all just too polite. If I had this problem, and someone informed me about it, I would be so embarrassed that I wouldn't be able to face my friends/colleagues with confidence again. If I'm not mistaken, there's a site that allows you to send anonymous emails/ecards to people, telling them something like "Someone cares enough to tell you that you have halitosis". On the surface this sounds wonderful, a solution for us sufferers. But put yourself in the recipient's shoes, having received a message like this, how can you meet people's gazes again? You'd always wonder who sent you the message, how long people have put up with it, and even if you apply ten layers of deodorant from now on, you'll be paranoid that you're polluting the air around you.

There's really no simple solution, is there? Have any of you out there actually told someone (besides family members) that they are hygienically-challenged? How did the person take the news? And have any of you been long-time silent sufferers? And how many of you are like me, have forgotten to use your deodorant and only realised it in the middle of the day?

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a scented Meow.


  • women with BO is a no-no.

    By Blogger Pantani's 2nd Cousin, at July 07, 2005 9:42 AM  

  • Erm.. I forgot to brush my teeth once! LOL.

    Nowadays I keep a full range of grooming products at the office just in case..

    By Anonymous Solbi-wan Kenobi, at July 07, 2005 9:46 AM  

  • All the time. It's especially worse, when you're trying to sleep on your way back from work, and this person with really BO comes and sits beseide you. Potong Stim tul.

    By Anonymous BawangMerah, at July 07, 2005 11:33 AM  

  • used to share cubicle with this guy who was damn hell smelly.

    i bought a glade press-on freshener, stuck it in our cubicle & pressed it very often when he was around.

    & he never got the hint... instead people complained that the fragrance from the freshener was too strong.

    he's still smelling bad today. no one dare tell him cos he's got quite a bad temper.

    By Blogger lynnee, at July 08, 2005 5:31 PM  

  • i love ur blog.

    i am so sad. then i read ur blog. i laughed. i actually laughed. i have been crying for 4 days non stop now, but u made me laughed.

    i think i smell bad now, coz i tak lalu minum so my breathe stink, mandi tak basah so my badan busuk...

    my blog mate, bimbo metria will link ur site to ours, if u don't mind.

    happy gatal-ing

    By Anonymous poulotte, at July 10, 2005 11:41 AM  

  • well...i think the smell is more than just a normal KETIBUS ( read: ketiak busuk)...they smell shit...take a ride in the lrt early in the morning....those people who are hiding behind their nice pants and jacket actually smell like taik melekat ...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 14, 2005 5:09 PM  

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