A Seinfeldian Moment

Friday, July 18, 2008

I just had an encounter with B.B.O (Beyond Body Odour--remember that episode?). It was the guy sitting beside me on the train. His was not the type of funk that reached out and bitch slapped you in warning, so you knew good and well enough to keep your distance. This was the sneaky, wrap-its-hands-softly-around-your-throat-and-strangle-you-in-your-sleep funk.

I counted myself thankful that I grabbed one of the last empty seats during rush hour. The train is packed belly to back, and I'm lugging a couple of bags of groceries. I pull out my book and start reading....

But at some point I realize there's this peculiar, very unpleasant smell that's pulling me out of my very pleasant read. Then I realize that the guy to my left is clammy. I'm wearing a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans by the way. The unpleasant odor is coming from him. I try and make myself 'smaller'--even crowding the chick on my right--so there's the least amount of body contact with this guy. But now that I've picked up his scent I can't shake it. It grows in stomach churning strength.

And, yet... I can't give up my seat!

So I casually place my hand at my mouth/nose, blocking that one nostril in particular as I (try to) keep reading.

Ugh. Not really working.

I can't take it anymore!!! The stop before mine, I get up and walk to the end of the subway car.

When I get home, I start unpacking the groceries, but realize I can still 'smell' him.


With the groceries only half unpacked, I go upstairs, strip and leave my clothes on the floor *beside* the laundry hamper. I put on some hang-around-the-house clothes that I'd left flung over the foot of the bed, and go back downstairs. (After giving that one arm a little spritz of perfume.)

Arrrrgh! The lingering STENCH is STILL there!! I go back upstairs, strip again, and again leave the clothes on the floor of the laundry.

I soap up in the sink with: 1)my facial scrub 2)the liquid hand soap. Then I go into the shower and using loofah mitts, bathe with: 1)The boy's Irish Spring Sport soap 2)shampoo 3)my verbona scented soap.

I use regular body lotion, as well as two different brands of perfume body lotion, as well as another spritz of perfume, and I slick the boy's Old Spice anti-perspirant down my one affected arm. I change into freshly laundered clothes.

And DAMN if I still wouldn't swear that I'm catching ghost whiffs of THAT STENCH!

This is beyond, BBO.


It’s Nuclear BO with the half-life of plutonium grade BO! BO-nium!


(I will spear myself in the chest with one of these exclamations points momentarily!)
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raine said...

Oh my God.

You may have to go for complete irrigation of both nasal passages...

vanessa jaye said...

Raine, I had to more or less resort to that.

Gennita said...

::Sniff:: I can smell you from here.


vanessa jaye said...

Gennita- Not Funny!! :-/


Gennita said...

Awww. I apologize. Are you still sniffing yourself? ;-)

It's just that I'd worked with EXTREMELY hazardousious odoriferous guys on the roof before for EIGHT HOURS a day everyday...so, I like it when other people get tortured. Okay, that doesn't sound like I was sorry. LOL. I'm sorry, sweetie. Maybe bathe in lemon juice?

Lynn Viehl said...

Some people swear that by chewing Altoids (or a similar strong mint) you can block most of the smell from the offensively odorous. I never tried that, but I found one gum (some variety of Dentyne Ice, the one in the black package, I think) that was so strong it killed my sense of smell for half an hour.

When we haul stuff to the county landfill, the stinkiest place around here, I first put a little mentholatum on my lips. It looks like lip gloss so no one knows you're wearing it, and the strong eucalyptus scent pretty much blocks out everything (a side benefit is that it also helps prevent chapped lips in winter.) You do smell like a cough drop, though.

The only way I've found to get rid of any smell your hair or skin picks up is the classic skunk cure -- douse yourself with tomato juice. When I had to work outside last year, I'd come in stinking of smoke from all the wildfires, and it was the only thing that got the odor out of my hair (let it sit for a few minutes, then shower normally.) To deodorize clothing, start the wash cycle on your machine, add a cup of vinegar along with your detergent, let the machine agitate long enough to mix the vineagr around, then turn it off and let them sit for thirty minutes.

vanessa jaye said...

Lyn, I actually walk around with a jar of tiger balm for situations like this, but silly me was concerned about embarrassing the guy. (as if!) I like to apply the stuff unobtrusively.

Plus tiger balm burns like a mofo on that strip of skin between the upper lip and nostrils. lol.

Besides, thank god I could smell his stink on me, or who know to what extent I would have sprend the contamination around the house.

I didn't even think about the tomato juice (but will next time). And I will be soaking the affected clothing in the water/vinegar mix. ugh. Thanks for the tip.

vanessa jaye said...

Gennita, I was sniffing myself (or at lest my right arm) off and on yesterday. There was only one scary moment were I swore I caught an hint of 'him' but i figured it was just my imagination. I'm fine now.

Regular guy sweat I can deal with. B-ball playing, weight-lifting, serious runner, construction worker, sweat is unpleasant, but they all fall within a normal range of stink. Your guy hugs you after doing any one of those activities and while he's drenched in sweat, and you can still pretty much towel it off for the most part.

But this guy wasn't drenched; he was only clammy. His stench was beyond tenacious, and the odour was both peculiar and noxious. I seriously think there might be something medically wrong with him, or maybe his diet includes something odd/stinky. ugh.

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