Friday, May 22, 2009

Cleanliness is next to....

As I was on my way to meet with a naval officer yesterday to do some pastoral counseling, the thermometer in the car indicated the temperature outside the vehicle was 42 degrees Celsius.

Now, a fun fact to know and tell is that 40 degrees Celsius is 104 degrees Fahrenheit (transpose the four and the zero, see?), so I guessed it was probably 107 degrees Fahrenheit while I was driving.

It was actually 107.6 [a favorite radio station of mine years ago, in another place, or was it 106.7?] degrees Fahrenheit, but who's counting?

It was hot.

Today is supposed to be even hotter, and we're off! Summer is a comin' in. When SFC McG and I arrived here in August, we were treated to temperatures that reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit, so all other things being equal, 107.6 is a breeze.

From a convection oven.

This of course has me thinking about staying clean, which becomes more challenging when dust is being blown everywhere, and it seems to bond chemically with sweaty human skin.

So what is it with all these Soldiers (and Airmen! -- we don't have that many Sailors living in CHUs (containerized housing units) near me) who bring a whole cosmetics department with them to the shower trailer?

I've been amazed at the number of guys who are accompanied by a backpack or bucket filled (presumably or obviously) with astringents and emollients and soaps and shampoos. Especially popular seem to be the kind of rather large oval plastic buckets that I'd only ever seen used for cleaning supplies -- as in a laundry room.

Instead of ammonia and Pine-Sol and lemon-fresh Pledge, however, these buckets bulge with conditioners and moistruizers and lanolins.

And loofahs.

What's with all the loofahs? Blue loofahs. White loofahs. Camouflage loofahs. (Camouflage???) Pink loofahs.

I use a brown face cloth. It works well. I actually have a couple of them, so one can be in the laundry while the other is attempting to detach the gunk from the atmosphere that's Bondo-ed itself to my skin.

I subscribe to the adage, if it works, don't fix it. As I said, my ordinary brown wash cloth works really well.

I've never owned a loofah, and have never had a desire to do so.

I still don't.

I'm clearly in the minority here, from what I can tell. Hardly a day seems to go by that someone hasn't left without his loofah, which then just sits there on the bench in the shower room, waiting. Accusingly.


Maybe they're the 'O'Reilly factor' I keep hearing the guys talking about....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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1 comment:

seg said...

Oh you are so showing your age--try having all women in the house and going into the bathroom after their shower----now there is where you learn the importance of the emollience and loofahs!! Not to mention eyelash curlers (which look like torture devices!!)

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