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It’s the Pitts: Law and Odor

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

There should be a law against people who smell bad. And this is coming from a guy who, on many occasions, was smellier than Taco Bell on a bad bean day. 

If I asked what one thought most American’s preferred – a bath or a shower – what would you say? 

In a recent poll of Americans, 57 percent of the people chose the smart answer – which is shower – while 32 percent preferred to soak in their own filth and take a bath. By my count, this leaves 11 percent who take neither. 

Yakov Smirnoff, a Russian comedian, once said, “I like American women. They do things sexually Russian girls would never think of doing – like showering.”

I admit my preference for showers is a direct result of being third in line through the bathwater. First was my dad, second was the “exalted one” – my older brother – and then there was me. 

You may have heard the phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water?” Well, I was that baby, and you might not have seen me through all of the murky water.

Another phrase you’ve probably heard is “rural cleansing.” This is what happened every Saturday night in farm and ranch houses across the country. 

My grandpa told me every farm had a big, old tub which was filled with hot water on Saturday night. The first one through was the father, followed by the sons in descending order of age. No wonder the eleventh son got the nickname “Stinky” at school.

These were the lucky folks.

Before this, most people got married in June because they were still smelling pretty good following their ANNUAL bath in May. But, even in June the betrothed were both pretty ripe so the bride carried flowers to mask the smell. This is where the custom got its start, much to the pleasure of flower shop owners.

Did you know the White House didn’t have a permanently installed bathtub until 1850? This meant all of the presidents before Millard Fillmore smelled like they just cleaned out the hog barn. 

One wonders, how did they ever get re-elected?

It wasn’t that long ago American farm boys were sewed into their long johns in November and didn’t take them off until March. Later generations, of course, took a bath every Saturday whether they needed it or not.

I often wonder what our soldiers did in World War II when they were fighting for the freedom to be filthy. How did they get clean in the trenches and in the tanks? 

All I know is famous Author Ernie Pyle said if you go long enough without a bath even the fleas will leave you alone. 

And what did the cowboys who drove the great herds up from Texas in the 1880s do for a bath? Some of them couldn’t even find enough water to drink, let alone take a bubble bath. 

Personally, the longest I’ve ever gone without a bath or a shower was seven days, and this is because I was in a coma. I didn’t do that much hard, sweaty work while comatose, so I’m sure I didn’t stink much. 

But, while taking me home from the hospital, my wife wore my 3M mask with replaceable cartridges that firemen wear to breathe cleaner air.

I’ve never resided in areas with high humidity, and I don’t know how people do it who live in places like Florida or Washington, D.C. 

In the South, I always felt dirtier by the time I got out of the shower than I did before I got in. It was so disgusting seeing all of the men and women sweating through their armpits. 

I remember being in an Eastern big city restroom with the first deodorant dispenser I ever saw. I’ve always been an Old Spice guy, and I could use a swipe or two. The dispenser supposedly had some, so I put in my money, only to discover the machine was “out of odor.”

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