Re: Smells Like...History

1

It is kind of incredible how much cleaner one feels after a serious sweat and an ice-cold dunking than after that old shower business. I'm so over showering. I still do it every day, mind you, but it's not the same.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:13 PM
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Come on, who hasn't thought it would be refreshing to swelter in a hot bath then rub oneself with olive oil, which someone else would then scrape off with a piece of iron? (I can't remember where the cold bath fits in here.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:15 PM
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There's a German expression, Warmduscher, "warm showerer," which is one of the ways you describe a man who is short on masculinity.

Awesome. Not quite as good as Sitzpinkler, but close!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:16 PM
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Oh, I see the bathing sequence is described in the post itself. Reading comprehension remains my strong suit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:18 PM
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I think it's ridiculous to shower every day if you have an office job and don't exercise every day. I exercise once a week and shower twice a week.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:29 PM
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Fucking Christians.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:31 PM
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Gold Bond™ is the new olive oil 'n' dust.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:31 PM
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1491 talks about this a little. Turns out the Indians also thought Europeans were filthy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:31 PM
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One internet battle I would love to see fought is the bidet vs. TP. I thought the pile on on Sheryl Crow for cutting back on TP (and trying to blame the Lance Armstrong breakup on Ms. Crow's conservation impulse) would have been a natural place/time. But alas, it was not to be.


Posted by: Venkat | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:34 PM
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One of the things I learned from working in the Spa is that you can force your skin to regenerate itself more often, which slows the appearance of aging. The methods of doing so are scrubbing (scrapes you and can do damage to emerging skin), chemical inducements (alpha-hydroxy peels, which are expensive and sort of questionable anyway), and sweating (pushes out dead cells trapped inside, gently loosens outer layers). But people don't really like sweating, I gather, as its unaesthetic.

However! People who drink a lot of water and sweat often and well smell less than those who don't, and tend to sweat in more concentrated ways, as opposed to a little all day.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:37 PM
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*squirt*

Whup! There's my sweat for the day. Later, dudes.

*slosh slosh slosh*


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:39 PM
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I drink a ton of water and, consequently, sweat only from a quarter-sized region beneath my left shoulderblade, but with such profusion, and through such a short duration, that the stream wears out my shirts in that particular spot after only a few wearings.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:39 PM
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Sweating wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the sweaty clothes that cling to one. Sweat naked!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:40 PM
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Whence the practice of Christians calling the Jews filthy/dirty?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:40 PM
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sweat only from a quarter-sized region beneath my left shoulderblade

Uh-oh, ben. Sounds like you caught a case of the ol' "backdick".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:45 PM
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A Google search for "backdick" yields an odd result:

This is a group where you can discreetly AIR OUT your desires for BACKDICK with other married white females in the same boat as you!


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:49 PM
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Luckily, the classical public bath tradition was preserved and elaborated upon by Islamic societies, eventually to re-enter the European stream upon Russian contact with the Ottomans. Unfortunately, Protestantism and liberal concerns for privacy kept it from reaching the rest of us in a broadly socially acceptable sort of way. I really wish it was a normal part of daily life.


Posted by: XY | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:52 PM
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the classical public bath tradition was preserved and elaborated upon by Islamic societies

Yeah, I was thinking of mentioning this as a quibble, but I think this author's focus is mainly on Europe.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:53 PM
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One internet battle I would love to see fought is the bidet vs. TP

Totally. I don't understand why bidets haven't caught on. So far superior. My late grandmother, in her more colorful moments (well, they were mostly colorful) referred to westerners as "dirty assed" because of their use of toilet paper, which she thought was an absurd way to clean yourself.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:53 PM
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I really wish it was a normal part of daily life.

I yearn more wistfully for the return of the subjunctive mood to English. But, you know, I smell. So.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 10:59 PM
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I yearn more wistfully for the return of the subjunctive mood to English.

If only it were that easy.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:02 PM
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Would that we could make it so.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:15 PM
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And if it return, then what?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:15 PM
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One of the small advantages of childrenn is learning about the existence of flushable moist wipes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:19 PM
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Would you, could you, on a train?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:19 PM
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Timing!


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:19 PM
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Can someone explain the bidet thing to me? It seems like a good idea, but then, isn't your ass going to be wet? Do you have special ass-towels to dry it off after cleaning?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:22 PM
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You do! There is a special ass towel, much like a hand towel, that hangs next to the bidet. I am told.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:23 PM
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One of the small advantages of childrenn is learning about the existence of flushable moist wipes.

Word.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:24 PM
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30

Some of the fancy modern bidets also have an air blower. And I imagine you can dab yourself dry with toilet paper.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:25 PM
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30: Right, but then you have little t.p. crumbs in your butt. What's wrong with using a towel, especially if the entire point is that you just *washed*?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:25 PM
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Don't be gross, B. If you have quality toilet paper, you won't have "crumbs."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:26 PM
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Dude, it's *paper*. It's gonna pill, or ball up, or whatever you want to call it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:27 PM
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I just got some of Charmin's new "Ultra Strong" toilet paper, and it's actually soft and I swear you could wash your car with the stuff.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:28 PM
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You're ruining the earth for your butt. Plus I bet you still have ass crumbs. Seriously, drag out the magnifying hand mirror and have a look.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:29 PM
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36

Banned.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:29 PM
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Adam Corolla compares wiping a hairy butt to trying to wipe peanut butter out of a shag carpet. Also, "trying to find Santa's mouth."


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:30 PM
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Whatever. It's no worse than your suggestion about my getting on my hands and knees and sucking toilet-seat cock.

Plus, answer my email, please?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:30 PM
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I wash the car with Charmin Ultra Strong, and collect enough quarters until I have enough to pressure-wash my ass at one of those drive-in places.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:30 PM
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Plus, answer my email, please?

I answered it, like, ten minutes ago.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:32 PM
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Oops, sorry. Slow POP server or whatever it's called.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:33 PM
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42

Get a room, you two.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:33 PM
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Shockingly, a google image search for "ass car wash" doesn't turn up an appropriate response to Gonerill.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:34 PM
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44

That's because it's hard to hold the pressure washer and the camera at the same time, without falling over.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:37 PM
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45

OTOH, there are a *lot* of hits for "dirty asshole." Try it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:40 PM
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46

Try it.

No, thank you.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12- 2-07 11:46 PM
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27: This MetaFilter thread goes some way towards answering your question. (It's about squat toilets, not bidets, but some of the issues are the same.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:01 AM
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They say that hemorrhoids are almost completely unknown in countries where people squat to shit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:09 AM
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AWB speaks the truth about the sweating and the cold-plunging. I've been trying to figure out how to afford East Village rents so as to be closer to my beloved Russian Baths. You get so clean and smelling like cedar for two or three days afterwards, never mind the dark amber color of your urine if you don't hydrate.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:13 AM
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Doesn't our skin glow with health and youth, Bave?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:15 AM
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Wait, why does your urine become amber?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:21 AM
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Sweating that much pulls a lot out of your lymph nodes, and the dehydration makes the color really intense. Seriously, it's almost brown. But it's good for leeching toxins!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:22 AM
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And when you're a miniature longshoreman like Bave, that process happens really fast.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:24 AM
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I don't think the lymph nodes have anything to do with it.

It's just that the sweating reduces the volume of water available for urine, so if any urine is produced, it's highly concentrated.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:25 AM
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But it's good for leeching toxins!

That's a function of your liver and kidneys, not your skin.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:28 AM
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Yeah, I don't think any actual toxins leave through your pores. Disagreeable-smelling substances, maybe.

But opening the pores does make one feel clean!!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:30 AM
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My mother once took a shit in a bidet, in what I've always assumed is a pretty common honeymoon experience.

They say that hemorrhoids are almost completely unknown in countries where people squat to shit.

It's not the squatting so much as the chronic diarrhea.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:45 AM
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Of course, contrast between Roman and Christian habits of cleanliness might have something to do with the latter's disapproval of slavery; it's easier to be clean if it's somebody else scraping your shit of, so to speak.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 1:11 AM
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This must be one of the threads that God had in mind when He created Internet-making monkeys. Truly a triumph of the divine plan for order in the universe.


Posted by: Nbarnes | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 1:54 AM
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The book 1491 talks about North American indians having the same reaction as Buddhists and Muslims to Europeans: filthy and smelly.


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 3:52 AM
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pwned by teo. usually I read the threads, really...


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 3:53 AM
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On the topic of bidets, we have one. We bought our house from a polish couple who must have asked the builder for it. I've only washed my feet it in it, and it largely holds my dirty laundry. Of course, we lack the appropriate ass towel. Does Bed, Bath & Beyond sell those?


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:05 AM
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62: yes they do


Posted by: jp 吉平 | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:07 AM
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A public ass towel would be ideal for spreading disease. You can't see germs, and your butt is never quite clean. Worse than a public water glass.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:27 AM
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Christians are uniquely drunken, too, and look how well it's worked for us! Cleanliness and sobriety are for losers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:28 AM
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And Christian women are uniquely lewd. Everyone else (including traditional Jews) locks the women up. Not us! We let them out to play.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:29 AM
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You can easily overstate the personal foulness of the middle ages, apart from aspiring saints. Mediaeval Europeans, who were presumably Christian, were enthusiastic bathers and public baths were available in many cities.

However, mediaeval bathing was both mixed and nude, with predictable results. In England, baths were officially classed as brothels by the 13th century. It was official disapproval of sex, not hygene, which eventually led to the baths being closed down in most places.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:34 AM
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A public ass towel would be ideal for spreading disease.

Precisely how many diseases, John, are spread from butt to butt? It makes no sense. In order for a germ to get into your system, it has to get into your system; hanging around on the skin of your ass is not going to do it any good at all.

Why am I up? Because I am an idiot.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:41 AM
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Why am I up? Because I am an idiot.

Hey, at least you're not here commenting when you got up at 4am to work, like some people...


Posted by: spaz | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:46 AM
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66. Some traditional Christians did too. The Byzantines were convinced that the English systematically prostituted their wives, because it was customary in England for the lady of the house to bestow a kiss of peace on departing guests.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:47 AM
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Do you touch the butt towel with your hand, B, or do you have the attendant wipe you?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 4:47 AM
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There is a history of English lads' magazines titled, after the late-Victorian editor's typical advice to readers, "Take a Cold Tub, Sir!"


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:27 AM
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There's a Muslim record of our pagan ancestors ca. 800 A.D. here (Ibn Fadlan's visit to the Volga Bulgars). It features filth, drunkenness, public sex, and human sacrifice after an orgy. Basically Christianity cut out the human sacrifice part and moved the orgies indoors.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:40 AM
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Many years ago I met someone from the research division of Internationl Paper. She claimed that one of the challenges in the TP "design" process was trying to come up with paper that worked well for both crumplers and folders (As I recall, market research indicated that crumplers were in the majority.) I suggested making two kinds of paper and marketing to the niches, but that wouldn't solve for "mixed" families.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:42 AM
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I have encountered public toilets in the Middle East that have a small gauge hose with a spray nozzle on the end. It's like having a bidet right there in the stall with you. There were no ass towels, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:55 AM
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We have some adorable video footage of our daughters, then aged 3 years and 18 months, playing with the bidet in a hotel in France. I'm thinking this sequence might make it into the video collage for the wedding reception.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:58 AM
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Children are not welcome at wedding. You don't want to let the poor bastards getting married what they're in for.

There should be a persistently crying child at every wedding, and that for a couple of minutes before the formal "I do" the b&g should be required to meditate silently while listening to the crying. Then the minister should ask "Are you still sure that you want to do this" before popping the fatal question.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:02 AM
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"an instrument that looks like a little tiny rake, called a strigil"

not a very good description. in looks, it is more like a small sickle or scythe (curved to approximate e.g. outer circumference of a thigh).

in function, it is nothing like a rake. it's more like a squeegee.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 7:15 AM
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78: It doesn't look much like a scythe to me. More like one of those jai alai things.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 7:21 AM
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I would have called it a "curved scraper," not knowing the name. And my authority comes entirely from an early scene in I Claudius between Tiberius (George Baker) and his brother Drusus.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 7:24 AM
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http://holylandarchive.com/photos_src/TWNAPM12_800.jpg


yeah, jai alai isn't bad either.

rake, though?

and this one, showing what happens when an enemy secretly puts a sharp edge on your strigil:
http://bama.ua.edu/~ksummers/cl222/olympia/athlete_using_strigil2.jpg


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 7:29 AM
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I like to sweat profusely every day. Either from a workout or just being in a sauna. Steam rooms are really relaxing as well.

Despite most medical evidence to the contrary, I am convinced that I stay healthier due to regular sauna/steam room use.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 7:30 AM
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This talk of stirgils reminds me of a kid I knew in college. He would lie on the floor of the paper's office, proofreading, whilst absent-mindedly licking the palm of his hand. Bad enough, you might think. But the second step was, once he had licked enough, he would take the cap of a typical Bic ballpoint, and, using like a stirgil the part of it that would clip over one's shirt pocket, squeegee the spit from his hand. He would lick the cap clean between scrapes. I still have not recovered.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 7:54 AM
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crumplers and folders (As I recall, market research indicated that crumplers were in the majority.)

The Mineshaft Institute for Advanced Scatological Studies should collect some research data on this.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:15 AM
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78-81: Similar implements are used to scrape sweat or water off of horses. They are called, appropriately, sweat scrapers.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:20 AM
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84. I can't even imagine what crumplers would be doing


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:23 AM
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84: I subsequently found this online poll on the subject. Small sample size (188) - currently running 50/50.

My view is that the zaftig stuff in the American market is better suited for crumplers.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:28 AM
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There is a record of a viking clan chief who collected baptism shirts. At the borderlands between Christian and pagan in the 800s, christian bishops attempted to impose a ban on the faithful sharing a table with pagans. That way, to join a trade network with rich men, you had to convert. Islam spread down the east African coast through a similar incentive set.

No idea who sold perfume to whom, and I'd expect that Christianity's stance on hygiene evolved as Christianity changed from a religion of Eastern slaves and vassals to a state religion to a social anchor in uncertain and materially primitive times.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:28 AM
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89
If you were just a normal person, you'd probably spend a couple of hours every day in the bathhouse, where you could get wine, food, sex, a medical treatment, a haircut. You could have a depilator pluck the hair in your armpits.

That's very surprising, unless by "normal person" the speaker really means "anyone who's the head of a household, women and slaves not included(1)." Was society really so well organized and egalitarian in pre-imperial Rome that a "normal person" had more leisure time than the majority of humanity manages to get today(2)? I'm not a historian so I genuinely don't know and could be swayed either way, but if so, wow.

(1) What percentage of people in ancient Rome were considered slaves or otherwise not counted as "real" Romans, anyway?

(2) A "couple of hours every day" might not actually be "more leisure time than the majority of humanity gets today," but then, I'm also assuming they don't spend every minute of it in the bath. If the average merchant/slave/mason/farmer really only gets about two hours of leisure time a day and they spend it all in the bath, that still seems surprising, but in a different way.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:36 AM
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In Rome, there were no blogs to suck away time. The internet has made us so much more efficient.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:50 AM
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Precisely how many diseases, John, are spread from butt to butt?

Boogie fever?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:53 AM
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Rockineumonia?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:55 AM
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93

Napoleon reportedly spent some two-three hours in the bath every day. I vaguely remember that History has recorded quite a bit about his exfoliation rituals. I note this not because Napoleon was in any sense a representative Frenchman of his time, but because you'd imagine him to be rather too busy for this sort of thing: I think he gave dictation in the tub.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:06 AM
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Wasn't Napoleon the one who sent a letter home from a trip saying "Josephine -- I'll be home in three days. Don't bathe."? Perhaps he was just trying to ensure that he wasn't attacked by lust-crazed Frenchwomen.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:09 AM
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89: My impression is that preindustrial society was much more leisurely for just about everybody.

Here's a link: http://www.reference.com/search?q=working%20time


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:09 AM
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because you'd imagine him to be rather too busy for this sort of thing: I think he gave dictation in the tub.

He really took a bath in Russia.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:14 AM
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Wasn't Napoleon the one who sent a letter home from a trip saying "Josephine -- I'll be home in three days. Don't bathe."?

I'm beginning to understand why oral sex was considered so transgressive until the late 20th century.

OTOH, the aura seminalis was thought to be a source of sexual attraction, so who knows?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:18 AM
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93: Julius Caesar supposedly dictated to multiple secretaries (letters, dispatches, histories) on campaign: in chariots, on horseback, etc., etc. I like the story, but have a little trouble with the mechanics. Did he dictate something different to each amanuensis, round-robin style?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:20 AM
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Part of what some societies disliked about European hygiene circa 1550 or so was also dietary: early contacts between the Portuguese and the Japanese mentioned the relative lack of bathing but also that Europeans smelled very meaty, in part because of their consumption of dairy products.

Southern African societies practiced something very similar to the Romans as described in the interview up until the late 19th Century. Personal hygiene involved washing (sometimes twice a day, if water was readily available) and then coating the body with a mixture of fat (animal fat, castor bean oil) and dirt (usually reddish soils). That protected your body during the day and gave it an aesthetically pleasing sheen. Then you'd scrape it off and wash. The paradigm is really "protect the body from the environment" rather than "let the environment get all over the body and then use soap, which has fat in it, combined with water to get the environment off the body. Two different looks, but actually some similar underlying principles.

This is one reason that a lot of southern Africans bought Vaseline or other lotions in high quantities, to continue these practices.

More information on these subjects can be found on the Internet.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:26 AM
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Hey, the author of that book has the same name as you, Tim.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:30 AM
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101

In fact, both authors do!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:31 AM
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re: 98

Possibly the mechanics of wax-tablets as a method of taking dictation meant that the only way to dictate at full speed would be to use multiple scribes?

re: 95

Yeah, that's my impression too. In fact, generally, we generally get a shitty deal on 'leisure' time. Still, not so much cholera and plague about.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:32 AM
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102: Still, not so much cholera and plague about.

... so far.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:34 AM
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97: Yes! I'm sure I've posted this link before, but all you boys should definitely be wearing Sécrétions Magnifiques to DCUnfogged. (It doesn't let you link directly: click "les parfums," then "la collection," and then Sécrétions Magnifiques at the top of the list on the left.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:37 AM
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Nothing that comes out of your pores smells. It's the bacteria that grow in the resulting culture medium that make the odor.
Hockey is very good for sweating- cold arena, lots of sweat. I lose a couple pounds of water every skate.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:38 AM
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I heartily recommend fighting people for working up a sweat. The downsides -- you need to keep your gloves scrupulously clean or they pick up the nastiest fungal stench you can possibly image.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:41 AM
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105, I didn't mean that kind of odor. I meant like the way people say that if they've been eating garlic it comes out their pores.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:43 AM
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Branded perfumes/colognes are really expensive. Buy perfume base and two essential oils, three if you're ambitious, for something cheap that smells great and is exactly what you like.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:45 AM
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Sécrétions Magnifiques

I should have used that image for the unfoggedbot icon.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:45 AM
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crumplers and folders

My grandmother taught the first couple of grandchildren to come along how to properly fold toilet paper with a live demonstration. (She dropped the tradition by the time I came along.)


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:50 AM
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come along, came along


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:50 AM
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how to properly fold toilet paper

After you're done, you read your fortune!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:53 AM
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Is 5 serious?

I'm not sure I'd worry about smell so much as that I'd feel excessively oily. Greasy, even.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 9:54 AM
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re: 108

Body Shop in the UK used to do simple scents like that. It was just a single essential oil in a base.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 10:06 AM
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99: That protected your body during the day and gave it an aesthetically pleasing sheen. Then you'd scrape it off and wash. The paradigm is really "protect the body from the environment"

When I worked in a garage we used to deliberately scrape soap bars to get some under our fingernails before each shift. That made the clean-up much easier. There were also some barrier creams for skin. I can't say anything about the "aesthetically pleasing sheen" though.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 10:59 AM
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When I worked in a garage we used to deliberately scrape soap bars to get some under our fingernails before each shift. That made the clean-up much easier

Yes, made much easier when it's soft, so after lathering up with it and then letting it dry w/o rinsing it off. Then dig your fingernails. Soap layer on hands make them clean much faster and less painfully. Old garage trick. also that if you forgot, used oil will get a lot of it off before you start washing.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 11:06 AM
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I've done that gardening, preventing dirt under the nails. (I hate doing any kind of physical work with gloves on -- they make me feel clumsy and stupid.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 11:09 AM
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Do you touch the butt towel with your hand, B, or do you have the attendant wipe you?

We've already established that PK's one job is to lick my ass clean.

113: Brock, you decadent American, showering a couple/three times a week is perfectly fine.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 11:12 AM
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SO I'm reading 83, and thinking, "wait, I knew someone like that, too...", then I saw that oudemia wrote it, thus sparing me from the alarming thought that there is someone else in the world besides our mutual acquaintance who does that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:05 PM
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I don't understand how the deodorant process works without daily showers. Do you only aply deodorant every few days after your shower (which would not work for me), or do you reapply deodorant to your unwashed underarms? It seems like that would cause problems with build-up.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:09 PM
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Brock, you decadent American, showering a couple/three times a week is perfectly fine.

I'm with you on this one, Landers. The rest of you people are filthy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:10 PM
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83 does suggest starting a new post on 'loathsome hygiene habits you've known.'

i think the rules should exclude overtly sexual loathesomeness. sure, people do weird stuff around sex.

the striking thing about the hand-scraping lick-spittle is that there doesn't seem to be any erotic content to it. all the gross, none of the sex!

and there are doubtless other cases like that. e.g., i seem to remember reading about a european nobleman who was known for eating his own dandruff.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:11 PM
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Yes, for god's sake, you put on deodorant every morning.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:13 PM
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Wait, Apo, you are a new dad and you are telling me that you manage to get in a shower every day?

I think that alone is evidence of child neglect.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:13 PM
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122: Honestly, I was sort of fond of this fellow, even though he was, and this is said with zero exaggeration, as Mr. Helpy-Chalk can attest, quite shocking. I'm talking unapologetic and open booger eating. Actually, no. It was a two-step process. First he would pick them, then examine them, then wipe them on the carpet, and only then eat them. But he knew, or had been carefully taught by therapists, that he was incredibly annoying and gross and would tell you at first meeting that you should yell at him or correct him when he was doing something gross or annoying. I used to tell him all the time that he had to leave the office because I just couldn't handle him at the moment. He'd leave, checking in periodically for when it was ok to come back. The best proofreader I ever had.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:17 PM
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125 is sort of sad. It's also fucking disgusting.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:19 PM
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122, 125

Pica?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pica_(disorder)


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:20 PM
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125--
far, far too high a cost for proof-reading.
ms word has a grammar-checker built in. sure, it's imperfect and i yell at it.
but it has never yet smeared boogers on my carpet.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 12:20 PM
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95, 102: Oh, I was aware in a general sense that the average European in 1890 had a lot less leisure than either the average European (or American) in 2000 or the average European in 100 BC did.

I was surprised that (a) that was also true of the average non-rich European in a pre-industrial city, who I imagined would have had harder lives than farmers, and (b) that the different was as stark as it apparently is. Here, maybe I'm relying too much on my assumption that two hours of bathing implies a lot more leisure time than that. I figured that bathing time was in addition to family time and meals and a bacchanalia and a trip to the Coliseum and stuff... but you know, maybe I shouldn't have. For all I know, the meals and bacchanalia took place in the baths. So never mind.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 1:33 PM
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124: If I don't take a shower in the morning, I will feel disoriented all day long. The times I've come to work without taking a shower, I've gone home at lunch to take one.

As much ass as I've wiped already, the little fuckers can sit in front of the TV until I'm clean. I have the 10-year-old to make sure they don't drink Windex or walk out the door.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 1:37 PM
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Back to the bidet discussion: this. (Warning: website has sounds.)


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 1:58 PM
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I had a student once who would come into my office right after exercising, in his workout clothes, and smell his own armpits while talking to me. Then he would put his hands in his pants and smell his fingers afterwards. I was very happy there was a big desk between me and him and that I couldn't see exactly what he was up to, but the guy seriously made me want to hurl.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 3:11 PM
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132: Probably just trying to make sure that he wasn't offensively smelly. Pretty thoughtful of him, really.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 3:14 PM
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Then he would put his hands in his pants and smell his fingers afterwards.

Wow, it's Mary Katherine Gallagher.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 3:21 PM
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Geez, B, 113 wasn't meant to imply that people who don't bathe daily are bad or smelly or dirty. Just that I don't know how they escape feeling that way. I could grease a baking sheet just rubbing it on my chest if I didn't shower every day. I guess it's possible some people are just less masculine than I am.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:06 PM
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I guess it's possible some people are just less masculine than I am.

So we are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:09 PM
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In the department of Signs That I Am Not Entirely Sane, I am currently super into German Nivea deodorants, which I order specially from smallflower.com. I have four different ones now, so my armpits will be sure to smell European for several months.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:19 PM
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So you're not planning to use them then?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:39 PM
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my armpits will be sure to smell European

Apparently, this phrase has more than one meaning.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:42 PM
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Exactly. The plan is to use them to further weigh down my already heavy handbag, causing me to work up a sweat, and then carry them on the subway.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:43 PM
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For some reason, in 2004 a whole bunch of people kept giving me extremely fancy European soap as gifts. I don't know if I smelled bad or what, but I got three huge bars of Valobra (one of which I gave to Max) from a girlfriend, and then I got four great bars of French soap when he went on a trip there. The stuff is so dense that, despite my very liberal use of it, I've not had to buy soap since the middle of 2004. But like all good things, my expensive European soap is about to end. I'm halfway through the last of the small French bars. What will my spoiled-but-poor self do?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:47 PM
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In a drawer somewhere I have a big wheel of soap that advertises itself as containing something called "Shea Butter". Come over and I'll give it to you.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:48 PM
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(But for real, I love this stuff and it makes my armpits smell fantastic.)

AWB! I have SURPLUS FRENCH SOAP in my house right now. I mean, yes, eventually I will work my way around to using it, but that is going to be forever from now and I am going to feel compelled to buy some other soap before then, I am sure. I think you have my email address. If you send me your mailing address, I will extend your soap supply by one (1) fancy soap.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:51 PM
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ZOMG! Thanks!!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:52 PM
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Is the consensus on the blog that a person needs deodorant? Because it's not so.

Also, I am determined to make our own soap.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:54 PM
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If you need shea butter, they're tearing down the stadium next year so you can probably get a lot for cheap.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:56 PM
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Are toiletries imported from Europe actually superior to what's available around here? I mean, I 'm sure they're nicer than zest or lever 2000, but I thought there were plenty of quality soaps around at various boutiques and the like.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:57 PM
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Right before the UnfoggeDCon Jesus and I (plus anyone who dares) will have the deodorant-free Unfogged meetup in Portland.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:57 PM
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Hey AWB -- I too have metric ton surpluses of French triple milled soaps. My email address is just my name here and gmail, and I would happily mail some (and I mean that -- it's taking up too much room, though I usually give my surpluses to Mr Oudemia -- he's really happier using Ivory for every single part of his personal toilet).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:57 PM
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Haw. You just have to churn and churn and churn to get it though.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:57 PM
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You just have to churn and churn and churn to get it though.

Not a problem. You coming to the Portland meetup, hon?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:59 PM
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s the consensus on the blog that a person needs deodorant? Because it's not so.

A person? Which person? I am willing to believe there are persons for whom it's not so, if that's your only claim. If you mean that no person needs deodorant, I beg to differ.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 5:59 PM
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Hm! My my! I should inform all you soap-offerers that I will happily exchange soap for candy, since soap-for-nothing is kind but uncalled-for in this holy season of gift-giving. December is for bartering.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:00 PM
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I didn't find out untill college that Dove beauty bars were supposed to be for women. That ivory stuff is super harsh.

I switched to Irish Spring for a while which is pretty close to dove except for the smell. But see :

Thesis Statement------Irish Spring soap and Dove soap differ not only by their sensory and physical characteristics, but also by the people who use them and how they are sold.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:01 PM
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148. You will pry my Old Spice from my cold, dead, masculine hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Af1OxkFOK18


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:02 PM
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I have this shower oil from Germany that you use the same way you'd use the soapy shower gel. But it's oil. I swear it makes me cleaner than the soapy stuff does. You can only buy it at the pharmacy and it sort of looks like something old people would use.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:03 PM
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I haven't seen an Irish Spring commercial in forever, but the ones I remember from childhood were disturbing -- with that macho outdoorsy creepy Irish dude -- with a pocket knife! Peeling soap!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:03 PM
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Hey, I've got a question. Say someone who shall be nameless was driving her kids to swimming class on Sunday, and put her car in the usual garage. And then say she realized that she'd left her wallet at home. And when she asked the (generally gruff and meanish) parking garage guy if he could take a credit card number over the phone from her husband to pay for parking, he said "For you? I'll cover it until next week." What kind of cookies would you bake to acompany the repayment of the loan? Chocolate chip, as neutrally popular, or does anyone have a better idea?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:04 PM
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158: I think you've moved into brownie realm.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:05 PM
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Are toiletries imported from Europe actually superior to what's available around here?

In many cases, yes.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:06 PM
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158. Snickerdoodles, if the proper ethnicity.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:06 PM
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Gold Bond, on the other hand, is unmatched anywhere on the continent.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:06 PM
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157: A friend's older brother used to do an extended version of that commercial, culminating in "Sure and you're a foine strong man, Angus, but ye smell like a deal moose testicle." As a teenager, this was the funniest thing I'd ever heard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:06 PM
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156: Badedas?

AWB, Pre de Provence soaps are quite nice, and not terribly expensive for really huge long-lasting bars.

158: Chocolate chip. Also you are a massive overachiever (though a very polite one and a model to us all). I'd totally just pay him and say "thanks," but then I suck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:08 PM
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161: The guy is from the islands, I'd guess -- what's the proper ethnicity for appreciating snickerdoodles? And what are they?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:08 PM
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I haven't seen an Irish Spring commercial in forever, but the ones I remember from childhood were disturbing -- with that macho outdoorsy creepy Irish dude -- with a pocket knife! Peeling soap!

Yes, what the hell. Just cut into this fruit/potato/bar of soap and enjoy the fragrance trapped within! Of course, there is no need to do anything whatsoever to release the scent of Irish Spring, which is mighty enough to escape from its packaging, your bathroom, probably your entire apartment.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:09 PM
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Also you are a massive overachiever (though a very polite one and a model to us all).

I'm a huge flake about losing stuff, or leaving it at home, so I get rescued in minor ways like this all the time. I figure I should be leaving as much goodwill as I can behind me, because I'm going to need it sometime, or someone else like me will.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:10 PM
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164: I don't think that's it, but I can't think of the name offhand. The bottle is seafoam green with navy writing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:10 PM
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165: They're meh. Plain white cookies with like cinnamon on 'em. Skip it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:10 PM
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Wasn't the point of the soap peeling to show us that the green stripes! went all the way through the bar!

I think it was like that Aquafresh toothpaste stuff: the idea was that the different colors represented different things that the product would do, rather than just being the same shit with different dyes added.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:12 PM
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http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_18391,00.html

B's right, though. I just like saying snickerdoodles. Something vaguely purient, in a sixth grade way.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:13 PM
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Something vaguely purient, in a sixth grade way.

I know several people who have independently arrived at 'playing pinochle' as a euphemism for having sex, for similar reasons. (None of them, to be clear, are me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:14 PM
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LB, don't you love that about New York? Everyone can be so mean and distant, but the people who recognize you really take care of you sometimes. Cookies is a nice gesture, and, IME, Caribbean people love just about all kinds of food.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:16 PM
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A person? Which person? I am willing to believe there are persons for whom it's not so, if that's your only claim. If you mean that no person needs deodorant, I beg to differ.

Indeed. Some person may not need deodorant. This person, however, is better off using it.

In addition to my odd addiction to Nivea underarm products, I have recently obtained a giant bottle of Badedas! All I need is a good source for Timotei shampoo and I will have completely recreated the bathing experience on offer at my grandparents' house.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:17 PM
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Chocolate chip seems right to me. Widely loved, genuinely tasty, not showoffy, dependable.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:17 PM
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I do indeed. I've been parking the car here and seeing this guy once a week since last spring sometime, but he's generally snarly and brusque. I hadn't realized that I'd made it to recognized regular status.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:18 PM
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LB is a bridge player, IYKWIMAITTYD.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:18 PM
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don't you love that about New York? Everyone can be so mean and distant, but the people who recognize you really take care of you sometimes

Yes, New York in that way is far superior to other cities, where people generally aren't so mean and distant, and those who recognize really take care of you most of the time.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:18 PM
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On the cookie etiquette front, is it rude to make cookies for a class when you know your Orthodox students can't eat them? I've had Orthodox students in every class I've ever taught here, and, generally, their attitude seems to be, "Oh, that looks really good, but I can't, and I hope not to offend." Two of my students this semester got really offended when I said I was bringing cookies next week and started chatting with each other about how shitty it is to be embarrassed by an insensitive teacher like that. I don't want to punish the rest of the class (and it's a secular school), but should I pick up treats at the kosher deli or something as a side option? Or is that making it worse?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:20 PM
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170--
no, the point of the soap peeling was:
look! he's a manly man, carrying a fold-up phallus in his trouser-pocket. it's dangerous, and you can penetrate things with it. he even destroys things, before our very eyes. plus, hot irish chicks dig him!

so...(and here's the point of the point) apparently i can actually go into a store and ask for a special bar of soap without looking like a total sissy!

(or something like that).


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:23 PM
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B's right, though. I just like saying snickerdoodles. Something vaguely purient, in a sixth grade way.

That's "snugglebunnies".

IME, Caribbean people love just about all kinds of food.

Racist.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:23 PM
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Sounds like an opportunity for a little cookie-based missionary work to me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:24 PM
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Two of my students this semester got really offended when I said I was bringing cookies next week and started chatting with each other about how shitty it is to be embarrassed by an insensitive teacher like that.

What the fuck. There is nothing shitty or embarrassing in declining to eat a non-kosher cookie! And the sanctimonious side talk really bites my goat.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:24 PM
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is that goat kosher?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:25 PM
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AWB people with dietary restrictions should not be allowed to dictate to the rest of us. Blessed are they who are persecuted for their beliefs.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:26 PM
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Clementines, maybe? Fruit you peel yourself is kosher, and someone who's kosher enough to worry about homemade cookies (that is, your cookies are going to be grossly kosher assuming they're vegetarian like most cookies, just de-kosherized by contact with your kitchen) may have specific certification requirements. It'd suck to bring something for the Orthodox kids that wasn't kosher enough.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:26 PM
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179: In NYC it's easy enough to grab something kosher too, just at a bodega or whatever. My experience with folks who keep kosher is more like your first case scenario -- like well behaved vegans or something, recognizing good-naturedly that these things won't always accommodate them. But grabbing a few black and whites at the deli seems easy enough.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:26 PM
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(And yes, they're rude for making an issue of it, but it's nice to have something for everyone.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:27 PM
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179: In my anti-semitic opinion, people with particular dietary requirements ought, unless they are invited guests, not expect their dietary requirements to be catered to. Presumably the issue isn't that you're serving cookies on a fast day; it's that you don't, yourself, bake in a kosher kitchen. Tough noogies.

That said, of course it would be lovely of you to pick up kosher snacks on the way, but jesus christ, lady, you have a hard time making your rent--you are *not* required to buy special treats for kosher-keeping students.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:27 PM
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186 is good idea. (I'm still irked by the passive-aggressive goat biting.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:28 PM
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I mean, if it were a matter of simply making cookies that didn't contain chocolate, that would be one thing; but since accommodating those students (without spending more money than it costs to make homemade treats) would actually require you to keep a kosher kitchen all the time, it's silly to expect you to do that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:29 PM
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Remember how we were talking about the tension between secular and Orthodox Jews the other day?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:30 PM
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186: Come to think of it, you're a vegetarian, right? I wonder if there's a 'good enough' standard for a gentile kitchen where no one cooks meat, that someone who keeps kosher but knew you well enough to trust your vegetarianism would eat from your kitchen. I don't actually know if there's an important initial cleaning step.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:30 PM
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Although LB does have a good compromise. Plus, healthier for everyone and less work for you. Assuming that a box o' clementines doesn't cost more than a bag of chocolate chips and half a pound of butter, that is.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:30 PM
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AWB, that sucks. You should announce to your students that you indended to bake cookies for the whole class, but the two Orthodox killjoys (be sure to point as you say this) ruined it for everyone.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:31 PM
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I wonder if there's a 'good enough' standard for a gentile kitchen where no one cooks meat, that someone who keeps kosher but knew you well enough to trust your vegetarianism would eat from your kitchen.

Nope.

I don't actually know if there's an important initial cleaning step.

There is.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:31 PM
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Yeah, I've never felt weird about it before. The guy who started the passive-aggressive ruckus (as he does whenever we read a poem that uses a Christian symbol, even if it's blasphemous and non-Christian) has admitted to me that he's basically only still orthodox because he lives with his parents, but he's a poli-sci student because it's made him realize how persecuted and ignored religious Jews are in secular environments. I dunno. I'm sure we all go through some political awakening time of life when we see persecution in everything and try to open everyone's eyes for them. I guess I just get pissed at movements that get more righteously indignant about symbolic slights (compulsory cookie treife!) than actual violence or political limitation.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:32 PM
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I have the solution, AWB: just lie and say your kitchen's kosher.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:32 PM
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You might follow up by asking them to bake some matzoh for the whole class, and directing them to a maternity ward for ingredients. Orthodox Jews dig blood libel jokes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:32 PM
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193: I was about to say the same thing. A vegetarian kitchen is very nearly a kosher kitchen. The thing is if these kids are being that bitchy about it, then I will bet that your dairy products, and those you have routinely used in your home, not being chalov yirael (sp?), will not make the cut.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:32 PM
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Making good soap turns out to be surprisingly difficult, but it's not that hard to make nasty soap that will make you feel slightly awful. Making any soap at all got difficult in a lot of 19th C. European households because people stopped using wood for fuel inside the house, which was a good source of lye.

I did not set out in life to know things about soap. It's just one of those things that happens by accident. Considering that my original dissertation proposal was also aiming to learn things about beer, I made have made the wrong choice.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:34 PM
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160: why? I would expect the ingredients to be more or less comparable.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:36 PM
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Buying some clementines seems like a really good option. Thanks for that!

I did have an orthodox student who once ate my cookies anyway because she claimed it was a mitzvah that I'd made them, I was vegetarian, and don't tell her mom, but... I was sort of horrified, like I'd tempted her to break the law, but she really did enjoy that cookie.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:36 PM
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Considering that my original dissertation proposal was also aiming to learn things about beer, I made have made the wrong choice.

So was your adviser, like, really into soap, or what?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:36 PM
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As an expert in beermaking in the early 90s you could have started a microbrewery ahead of the curve and made a lot of money.

On the other hand, if you didn't start a microsoapery around that time, I guess you wouldn't have been the type to start a brewery either.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:36 PM
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203: "All things are lawful unto me."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:37 PM
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201: Paper Street Soap Company: The Soap of Heroes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:38 PM
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I'd totally just pay him and say "thanks," but then I suck.

God, last year I had an experience like this: my car broke down in the vicinity of a store I've frequented. I fretfully asked to use their phone for a tow truck; it was getting late, such that I'd have to wait past when the store closed, and the friendly, not-unfamiliar guy behind the desk offered to drive me home (not far), leave my car there and deal with it tomorrow. He mentioned on the ride that he'd seen me recently at a pub -- I'd not noticed him there.

For months after, I wondered if I should offer to take him out for a beer in thanks for his generosity. I did not. Inappropriate, it seemed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:39 PM
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It turned out a lot of other people were writing about beerhalls in southern Africa. (For good reason besides wanting to sample the pinkish-sour sorghum product: colonial governments built beerhalls in townships and used them to fund social services. The more you drank, the more your budget...but the more you needed it. Kind of deviously brilliant actually.)

Plus I thought comparing beer and soap (devilish and angelic commodities) sounded all literary and cool but once I got into it the comparison seemed phony. And body-commodities turned out to be pretty compelling all by themselves.

Good article in this Atlantic Monthly about soap in Afghanistan, by the way.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:39 PM
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slightly disconcerting to see the thread careen from jews to blood-libel to soap-making.
what's next, lamp-shades?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:40 PM
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On kosher cookies: I vote you pick up some from a legit kosher bakery, but make sure they suck. Then make really really delicious non-kosher cookies with a bit of ham fat in them or something. Just to make the point.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:41 PM
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Samoans make great soap, but they're working with coconut oil, which is nice. But the cheapo big long sticks of locally made soap you'd buy at the market were the best soap I'd ever used.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:43 PM
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You turned Samoans into soap? Gruesome.


Posted by: Timothy Burke | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:45 PM
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Then make really really delicious non-kosher cookies with a bit of ham fat in them or something.

Actually, I've made ginger snaps from lard and they were really good. Crisper and more shattery than using butter, and not oddly porky tasting at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:45 PM
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I think I'm going to do the fruit thing instead, because it would feel weird to bring in a big batch of AWB's homemade pralines and ... two tuxedo cookies for the Jews. I doubt that would make anyone feel more comfortable or welcome, while clementines would smooth over that feeling of difference somewhat. Everyone can have a clementine!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:45 PM
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210, 213. Godwin strikes again


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:46 PM
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When you bring in soap made from Samoan babies for the whole class, make sure that some of them were Christian, in order to be kosher. But tell the students that there's no need to use soap except on their hands.


Posted by: Just summing up the thread | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 6:48 PM
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Snickerdoodles are good if done right, and anyone with excess soap is free to send it to me. I will make you something in return, honest.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 12- 3-07 8:39 PM
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Ugh, 183 gets it right. If you can't eat the non-Kosher cookie, don't eat it, but fuck a bunch of whining about it.


Posted by: M(yr)rh | Link to this comment | 12- 4-07 5:59 PM
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