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Whoosh out the odor 0

Dear Bradshaw,

Riding the metro this morning was a lady with a pocket mirror and tweezers. She was shamelessly plucking hairs from her chin, undaunted by the staring faces. She was doing no harm, just grooming herself. Why should I have cared? I had a book in my hands and could have read as I always do, right?

What’s weird about plucking your hairs on the metro? It’s not strange to fix your ponytail, straighten your tie, or touch up your makeup, is it? Of course, there could be hygienic issues. After all, I saw at least one of her plucked hairs land on her neighbor’s knee. But why’s that weird? There are people who take their dogs on the metro, teenagers who make out on the metro, people who fart on the metro (me included), and also people who sleep, drop trash, sew, play video games, beg, argue, scream, cry, pick their noses, laugh, and any number of other things.

Naturally, there are limits to what I’ve seen. I’ve never seen anyone scramble eggs, play paddleball, or squeeze an elephant onto the metro. But would one of those activities be weirder than plucking hairs out of your chin, and if so, why?

On another note, I had another stinker today. This lady entered my cubicle with a force field of stink so strong I had to scoot my chair back a respectable distance and breathe through my mouth for an hour. I survived but barely and after she left I worried my next student would think the cubicle stunk because of me. Usually in such situations I leave the window open and air the cubicle out but this particular cubicle had no window. Luckily, my next student arrived ten minutes late so I was able to whoosh out the odor by waving a book.

You know, I used to think the hardest thing about my job was staying awake. Now I’m not so sure. Perhaps the most difficult thing is enduring the students who stink. But I can’t complain. After all, my job doesn’t involve being shot at, stabbed, or pummeled in the face. I don’t risk fat lips, black eyes, a broken nose, or missing teeth. I’m lucky, Shaw. My life is a cupcake in comparison to the jobs some people do.

Anyway, when it comes to my own hygiene, I’m going to keep that stuff private, limit it to the bathroom, and make sure my scent appeals to the public. Regarding people on the metro, however, well, as long as they keep their distance, I’ll be leaning against the door, reading my book.

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