Having lived and worked in London, I have frequently been exposed to the ‘joys’ of the business commute. This is especially momentous during summer months when rush-hour masses are packed into claustrophobic, non air-conditioned tube train and whisked to their respective destinations. There is always one soap dodger who inevitably ends up in your train car and then decides that he would like everyone to know that HE (and it was usually always a male) was the one who neglected to take a shower that particular morning. I’m sure that these people purposefully stand with their arms raised to grip a handhold next to an open window, at just the right angle so that the draft dissipates the horrors within their armpit(s) throughout the entire shared air bubble.
In the Middle East, back in the days when I was a ‘lightie’, it was the Souk shop owners or taxi drivers who would share with you in moments of BO delight. There is just something about the smell of unwashed human which makes my nose crinkle and several of my head hairs wither and die from the sensory overload. Here in Africa, Sweaty Bettys are everywhere. In your local supermarket packing out the shelves with stuff which ultimately ends up in someone’s stomach (mmmm…hungry?); at a business conference dressed in a suit which hasn’t seen the inside of a washing machine for a decade; sat in the seat next to you at the cinema violating the air suspended above your popcorn bucket; walking in the opposite direction to you at the mall (holding hands with their girlfriend/boyfriend no less!)…so that your air trains collide in one big fat mess; or reaching over you at the video store to grab a dvd so that their pit makes contact with your face…the list goes on.!
Whilst there is little reason for the majority of South Africans to skip out on their daily shower and forget to apply a fragranced armpit dressing (especially those who can afford hot running water), the deodorant manufacturers of the world should team up to make a charitable donation to some of the less fortunate in order to help minimise my hair loss and nose wrinkles. Just think, it could make for a fantastic advertising campaign….“Shield: Keeping Africa Dry”, or “The Lynx Effect – Even Townships Will Fall”. My talents for dreaming up catchy marketing slogans are clearly wasted within my current job environment!
It’s definitely time to expedite the buy-outs of toiletry shelves at Pick ‘n Pays, Checkers Hypers and Clicks all over the country to help get South Africa clean and smelling great. Please donate generously!