A question for the crusty punks that hang out in the Quarter

What, on earth, is the logic behind your horrific body odor? I know you live on the road, and that you basically beg your way from town to town, and I suppose that experience might be defensible as some sort of modern hobo counterculture. But, you know, the absolute refusal to bathe? Is it some sort of misconceived rejection of your parents’ middle class values? If so, please take note: Poor people bathe too. And with good reason. It is cleanliness that has eliminated many of the diseases of urban life (for example, in 1847 Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss insisted that doctors in his hospital wash their hands between patients, dramatically reducing the incidence of childbed fever). Cleanliness is not a middle class value, it is a human value, unless, for some reason, you have resorted to a Middle Age mindset and believe you might actually die if you bathe more than once a year.

Listen, I’m not asking you to be obsessive about it. I don’t demand that you scrub your hands every few minutes in scalding water like Howard Hughes. There’s certainly no need to shower every single day, or wash your hair more than once every few weeks. You don’t need to clean your clothes after every time you wear them. But the sort of odor you currently produce, which can be smelled from down the street, is something that previously I had only associated with being a classic symptom of schizophrenia.

Why the complaint? Because most of you don’t live here, and I do, and, just as it is infuriating for me to see drunk frat boys vomiting and urinating on my street before flying back to Boise or Des Moines, it is equally infuriating to see a tourist choose to make an entire block of the French Quarter uninhabitable due to their overpungance. It’s being a bad guest. Be a good guest

3 Comments so far

  1. jeremy (unregistered) on November 12th, 2004 @ 4:22 pm

    amen! well said…

  2. TomboyMS (unregistered) on November 13th, 2004 @ 8:54 pm

    Crusty punks, huh? I never knew.

  3. matt (unregistered) on September 5th, 2005 @ 8:03 pm

    maybe its the french people

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