Dear Mr. Stanky Black Trench Coat,
You may not remember me, but I certainly remember you in a “smell you later kind of way”. Your nickname was inspired by another descriptive, yet adorable, cartoon character – the one and only SpongeBob Square Pants. The sea dweller is a sponge, whose name is Bob and he wears trousers that are decidedly square in nature so his name suits him perfectly. Like Sponge Bob, your moniker is reflective of who you are. You are malodorous AKA stinky, you wear a black trench coat, and judging by your facial hair, I believe that you are a man (although no judgments if you aren’t but I can recommend a good aesthetician). Your moniker is a bit of a mouthful, so I hope you don’t mind if I shorten it to Stinky. Just let me know, but from a distance please.
When I first smelled, err saw you on the subway, I knew that I would have to stay far, far away, I just didn’t realize how much distance I would need. If you sit in the last car, I find that walking all the way to the first car gives me some breathing room, and vice versa. If you happen to be in the middle of the train, no one is safe, you waft in either direction. What is a girl supposed to do to get away from the tang of your “cologne”?
I do not want you to feel singled out. I’ve encountered some pretty ripe people in my time, but no one with as pungent of a bouquet as you seem to have. I am polite, so I do not want you to feel badly about being fetid, but perhaps a shower or a sponge bath (not to be confused with SpongeBob) would make you feel, if not like a million bucks, at least a thousand. Here are a few signs to look for in your fellow travellers if you are not sure of how stinky you are: 1) Are their eyes watering? 2) Are they waving their hands in front of their faces in order to get the stench away? 3) Are they gagging? 4) Are they, in a lady-like way like me, breathing heavily into a handkerchief? 5) Do you ever have a seat mate or do people stand or sit at least a ten-foot radius from you? If you spot any of this behaviour, you know it’s time to get Zest-fully clean.
I remain fragrantly yours,
The Lady with the Hanky Over Her Face
PS – I’m clearly making fun of the smell of this man, but we should all be kind to the homeless. That means laughing about shared experiences as travellers, not degrading someone for not having a home. This man is a merger of many people that I’ve encountered on the subway. Although my observations may be humorous, their situations are not. We should all do what we can to help those less fortunate including donating gently used clothing to various charities in our city, providing non-perishable food items to food banks or even cash donations if you can afford it to places like Out of the Cold. Oh, and don’t dog the TTC for these experiences, I mean where else would you get your end of week laughter from otherwise?