Soap Box Oratorio

Soap Box Oratorio

cleanliness is next to entitlement

body wash is essence of elitism

you are all trapped in a commercial web

that tells us 

only pleasant smelling people

have value that deserves respect


don’t believe me

see how fast you get served

at any coffee shop

if you aren’t deemed clean enough

by some snooty barista

who barely makes enough to pay

for their hair colour 

they take one sniff

and are ready to call the cops


someone said 

there’s no deodorant like money

but let me tell you

that ain’t true

no matter how rich you are

if you aren’t clean enough

you’re not respected


just a whiff of unwashed armpit

a strand of greasy hair

can be enough to make people

turn away from you

move to another seat on the subway

they cling to their need

for fresh smells

antiseptic is purity


perfumed is worshipped

the unwashed makes them uncomfortable

in their sanctimonious shelters

where they don’t have to smell anything

that hasn’t be sold to them

that hasn’t been given 

the cultural seal of clean


it’s all marketing

you are all sheep

taken to the slaughter 

sprayed with rose water

so you don’t have to smell

your own shit 

as your throat is cut

to make them a healthy profit

When I was in high-school two men’s aftershave were very popular: Jade East, Hai Karate – so inescapable just looking at photos of vintage bottles brings back the scent. I was more a fan of Jade East. Both are still being made! They were my introduction to the notion that one had to be more than freshly showered to be clean smelling.

Just go into any cosmetics sections of a store & you can see elitism in action. Does it cost more to make Chanel Blue than it does to make Old Spice? Is the product packaging for one more expensive to manufacture? Part of Old Spice’s former popularity was due to how easy & affordable it was to buy. Indie drugs stores would have a cologne/perfume section & kids could afford Old Spice for Father’s Day etc. The stores didn’t have to invest as much into stocking it. I know I bought it for my Dad quite often, but I’m not even sure, now, if he liked it 🙂

This piece sprung from a news item about someone being denied service in a coffee shop because they ‘stank.’ They had the money, knew what they wanted but staff shooed them away. The person refused to leave & the police were called to remove them. The coffee shop was later taken to court for human rights violations, or something like that. The corporate head office issued an official apology.

About that time I also came across a statement that coffeeshops were just another demonstration of entitlement – which at first I thought was funny but I realized there is some truth to that. There is a hierarchy with semi-indies like Balzac’s, then chains Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Country Style, Dunkin Donuts. Logically those two thoughts – the smell of culture, the coffee of choice – interwove to produce that first line, which easily led to the second.

Excuse me – time for my shower.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? 

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