Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Hygiene and the Surprising Survival of the Human Race

One thing that’s nice about people is that they smell good. I didn’t realize how wonderful a thing this was until I came across someone who didn’t smell good. He was a disheveled creature who smelled worse than fresh droppings.

Modern innovations in soap and deodorant are largely responsible for people’s pleasant aromas. Without them, places like armpits begin to stink within hours. Particularly on men. But any person who doesn’t bathe for an extended period of time smells worse than leftovers from a carcass after a cougar makes a kill.

This got me thinking, before luxuries like the aforementioned deodorant, how dreadful did people smell? I drew a timeline of humankind’s existence and noticed that these good-smelling things are fairly new to civilization. So for the majority of time, people stunk.

Today, when bad odor surrounds a male or female, it’s hard to attract the opposite sex. Men prefer women who smell good, and vice versa. Was this true a few hundred years ago? If a wretched stench were emanating from a man’s armpits and groin, what women would go near him? And if this were the case for the majority of people, how did they overcome the stink’s force to get close enough for mating?

Perhaps this is a testament to the power of human libido. For if the libido were unable to overcome the stink, I very much doubt the human race would’ve survived more than a generation or two.


Blogger catherine!! said...

My god you are bloody hilarious. It could just be that im over exhausted and really awkward but i almost peeed i was laughing so hard. Not that your points are a laughing matter of course, you ponder very valid points.

2:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home