A little whiff'll do ya

A Bronx politician wants to make it illegal to sell menthol and other mint-flavored cigarettes.  Since public smoking is already banned or frowned on in the Big Apple, this goes beyond health and reaches into the realms of discomfort and dislike of those physically near the offender.

In that spirit, I have a few suggestions that would greatly enhance the quality of life in public spaces.

Let's make it illegal to leave home with bad breath.  This would make the world a much less retchéd place.  Anyone who has been treated by a doctor with bad breath can relate.  You almost ralph in that examination room as he asks this question and that, blissfully unaware that your stomach is churning as you struggle to avoid hurling projectiles at him.

It should also be illegal to go out in public stinking.  Some hulking fellow gets on the elevator with B.O. from hell, reflected in his effect on fellow passengers.  Eyes water.  Ears curl.  Nose hairs burn.  Just as bad is the guy who wears the whole bottle of aftershave.  People a block away look around warily, knowing he's on the loose again.

It's usually guys who offend in these ways, but women are sometimes guilty, too.  Those who have experienced it know that female B.O. puts male body stink to shame.  On the other hand, overly strong women's smell-good stuff just drives you away rather than knocking you down, as excessive men's cologne can do.  That's probably fair, since men are reputedly the strongest of the hundred or so sexes.

Most of all, there should be a law against people on the bus or subway or in the office or cab taking off their shoes to air out their smelly feet.  This offense compares with bad breath for punishing effects on those nearby.  Babies scream.  Old people pass out.  Dogs whine and howl.  Cats lose control of the bladder.

After all this is taken care of, we can go after women who smell of hairspray and men of sixties hair cream.  Then deodorant and soap that smells too strong.  Even if it doesn't smell bad, it's offensive when somebody smells like fresh laundry or some girly body wash.  It's like an announcement that everybody who doesn't use that stuff...stinks.

And that takes a lotta nerve.

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