An Ode to Personal Hygiene

It was a hot day; a blistering, warm, humid afternoon.

Written by Nick Catania

I’m standing in front of the grade seven classroom on the first day of practicum, prim and proper, clean-cut and fresh. Presentation is everything after all. As I made my introduction to the class, I could feel the moisture gathering within my clothes - nothing heavy, just light perspiration on a dense afternoon. The humidity was so high you could literally cut through it with a knife.

I felt a small breeze come through the small gap in the tightly opened window. It was anything  but refreshing and yet I wasn`t ready to complain. I looked to the brighter side of the room and kept talking.

Do you know that morbid, perpetually faint, sweet onion-like smell?

I was in the middle of discussing my claim to fame: being born in the same hospital room as Justin Bieber, when I smelled what appeared to be the downfall of my day.

The smell of body odor accompanied the musky breeze as it filtered through the room of thirty-one preteens. At that point, I felt like the room was closing in on me and I was cringing.

I split the kids into discussion groups, allowed them to chat and talk with each other while I discreetly walked over to the corner and took a whiff of my armpits. As I assumed, it wasn’t me. How could it be me? I’m twenty two years old for goodness sakes!

After some careful thought, I pieced the puzzle together. The kids just returned from their lunch break of running around and screaming like banshees. I didn’t know what’s worse at that point: the lingering smell of fate or the fact that we were going to have a talk about personal hygiene… on the first day.

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