Other not-so-fresh feelings

Would it be unmanly of me to use feminine wipes to maintain bare minimum personal hygiene when I don’t have access to a shower? This is a serious question, albeit one that I’m more interested in asking myself than in asking anyone else in particular. I found 45-packs of feminine wipes at the Safeway in Crescent City for $2.99 plus tax tonight, not too bad a price on the face of it and certainly cheaper than a campsite, let alone a motel room. On the other hand, these wipes are marketed apparently for the purpose of cleaning up stray blood that finds its way onto women’s legs and what not, which I’d want to clean the hell up out of my own crotch if it happened to me, too, so I’d be a bit worried about strangers thinking that I smell like a tampon commercial. There are generally worse things than smelling a bit womanly, though. I guess. I wouldn’t normally choose to splash, say, rosewater on my body, but I love the smell of roses, so much so, in fact, that I make a point of going to the east mall of the California State Capitol to sniff me some every time I visit Sacramento. True story, by the way. I’m also sure to check out my orange and olive trees. As a Californian, I pay for them, and they’re bitchin’.

Anyway, I first really got turned on to the idea of using some sort of adult wipe in lieu of daily showering in the aftermath of the Dannemora prison break. Dickhead and Davey Boy’s excellent adventure on the lam from the law lasted a number of days longer for David Sweat, the younger, fitter, less alcoholic, less whiny, and (probably) less psychopathic of the two, than it did for Richard Matt. That was Big R’s last adventure, unless rest is not what awaited him on the other side of the veil. I don’t recall whether I prayed for the Lord’s mercy after I heard of his death, but he didn’t seem like the type to be interested, for what it’s worth.

When I heard about the wipes, though, I perked up. I had wondered about how the hell Sweat in particular maintained the barest personal hygiene over the course of a three-week fugitive saga with sporadic access, at best, to bathing facilities in cabins that he burgled for shelter. I kept thinking, damn, by the time they caught him that jailbird must have been one stinky motherfucker. Then I learned of the wipes, and it all started to make sense, as much as anything about that episode made sense. It sounded like he was using generic adult wipes, not baby wipes, feminine wipes, or honored citizen wipes, but regardless, it seems that these wipes allowed David Sweat to wipe the–taste be damned, I’m going to say this, #nofilter–these wipes allowed David Sweat to wipe the David sweat off David Sweat.

Don’t hate. If you’ve been hanging around here long, you must have seen that coming. The moment I learned that that was in fact the pronunciation of his surname, or at least was the pronunciation used by police spokesmen on the case, including Major Guess (yes, that’s a real New York State Police commander), I realized that some version of the stupid joke I just inflicted on all of you would inevitably be vomited into these pages in due course of time. Glory in the highest, that time is now.

On the matter of wiping my own unmentionable parts with hygiene products that I probably shouldn’t mention, either, yes, I have been keeping this in mind as a serious option ever since I heard about David Sweat being recaptured with wipes on his person, and no, I’m not kidding about this in the slightest. In point of fact, these are things that should be discussed frankly precisely because they are the subject of bogus taboos enforced by some of the prissiest, most irresponsible, most morally derelict members of our society. If you don’t want me writing about backup methods of taint-maintenance for people who do not have reliable access to showers or baths, the solution is to create a society in which no one is ever unable to access bathing facilities due to indigence. Such a society is a pipe dream in the United States today. Lever claims to have identified 1,001 body parts, but surprisingly, these never include “crotch,” “cunt,” “deez nutz,” or “bunghole.” You’d better wash yours, boss, or you’ll smell worse than David Sweat at his (brace for it) Sweatiest. The lawyers have probably met with FCC regulators to lay out the ground rules, followed years later by meetings between regulators and other corporate lawyers about how exactly to appropriately advertise erectile dysfunction prescriptions on dinnertime television programming. They advertise laxatives over dinner, too, and unctuously so, so don’t blame me for coarsening the public discourse; blame them.

Adult wipes, or any sort of wipes–womanly, manful, childish, whatever–sound like a godsend for the homeless. I’m already regularly going alternate mornings without bathing for no other reason than to keep my lodging costs in check out of necessity or the next thing to it, and God help me, I may have to undertake even harsher austerities out of financial necessity at some point. Right now, that point is looking perilously close. This is the main reason why I’ve decided to bring the civil authorities in to force Joe Dirtbag to clean up all the squalor on his farm; I’ve bust ass and gotten one hell of a lot done for him over the years, totally unpaid, so I fucking deserve a clean, serviceable place to shit and bathe. His paying residential tenants have an explicit, enforceable legal right to such facilities, a right that he has been willfully violating for years. The lawlessness has persisted for far too long already. There he is, well over a century after the invention of modern indoor plumbing, doing business in a state with unusually clean, lean, and efficient regulatory agencies, and he has been getting away with telling unpaid employees and paying tenants to shit in a hole in the ground. Lady Pisspan and Pot-o-Shit Friend had different ideas about their bowel habits, which had barfworthy, health-endangering ramifications of their own.

I’ve actually had to bear lodging expenses about 20% above my baseline at South Lake Tahoe by staying in Oregon to work for Joe Dirtbag, and my dad has been claiming that he and my mom can’t provide me as much financial help right now as they had been providing me due to short-term cash flow problems of theirs. These are funhouse disincentives: I start working again, and very productively so, and as a consequence I come out behind. The same thing happened over the summer, although not to quite such an extreme, when I was working at the blueberry farm. At least I made progress towards a Social Security retirement pension at that job. The current situation is intrinsically worse. I’ve been putting ten, even twenty, extra miles a day on my car so that I can shit in a toilet, not a goddamn pit under a big plywood box. This is because Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew are still butthurt with me for protecting myself from Joe Dirtbag’s totally unhinged and erratic behavior three and a half years ago. These are people who are willing to punish their own kin by consigning them to unsanitary, illegal latrine and bathroom facilities. Again, this is a situation in which I have to specify that the bathroom provided at the farm does not include a toilet. That’s how degraded it all is.

*****

There’s something else that occurred to me when I was looking at the feminine wipes, having to do with our old friend Tampon Boy. This may sound like a digression, but I think it’s relevant and illuminating. The premise of Tampon Boy’s stunt is that his female classmates are somehow too disorganized or witless or helpless to get their own tampons and pads, so he should help them. This is obviously one weird-ass way for a thirsty young fellow to white-knight the ladies, it can obviously be construed as super-pervy, and it argues as powerfully as anything else for more prostitution, not less, so that boy-dorks can be sexually socialized by women who know how to deal with screwy men and dissuaded from making asses of themselves with their classmates.

At the same time, this walking feminine hygiene dispenser stunt dovetails perfectly with other, much more mainstream, campaigns to falsely portray modern women as helpless victims of systemic negative prejudice. The moral panic over campus rape is one of these campaigns. Women are exceptionally safe from rape, especially forcible rape, on college campuses, and they’re exceptionally safe from rape at the hands of affluent men with decent prospects in life. The popularizers of this moral panic, however, are not interested in the actual statistics. The same thing is true of sex-based pay disparities, which are wildly exaggerated by activists who fail (deliberately?) to control for other variables affecting the disparate market wages commanded by men and women in the broadest terms possible, as nominally dueling sexes. There endures a widespread assumption, a conventional wisdom, really, that systemic sexual discrimination in the workplace continues to victimize women much more than men, even though anecdotal evidence and employment data both show the discrimination to be mostly, and increasingly, against men.

Selectively bringing up the specters of menstruation, rape, sexual harassment, and the like are convenient ways for the worst, most divisive sorts of feminist activists to build sympathy for an allegedly besieged sex that in point of fact benefits from numerous forms of assistance and privilege that are either explicitly or tacitly denied men in much of the West today. Notice, too, that in these scenarios it’s always some weirdly timid or nervous white bougie chick in a business suit who’s getting groped, leered at, or somehow embarrassed or humiliated over her period in work settings, and that it’s always some equally white coed of limited self-confidence and sobriety who’s getting raped at school. It’s never Tonya Harding or some housewife on the Pine Ridge Reservation or some heavyset strawberry picker who doesn’t speak a word of English.

When it comes to a serious problem like homelessness, menstruating without reliable access to a bathroom must be pretty awful. But so are a lot of other things about being homeless, especially sleeping rough (which I thankfully have never had to do), and the statistics show men to bear the brunt of homelessness in the West. The real threat that homeless women face is extra vulnerability to violence, sexual and otherwise. Homeless children are even more exposed, although they’re more likely not to know any different and hence to be more serene about it all. It’s pretty clear, though, that the Lean In set and the campus rape activists can’t be bothered to care about the safety of homeless women. These are women who need Guatemalan nannies to be there for them to raise their children while they kick ass in the workplace.

As a functionally indigent man who regularly sleeps in his Civic and has had trouble finding any paid work at all, I have absolutely no sympathy for the exaggerated grievances of either of these constituencies, and I don’t see why working-class women should, either. They’re a combination of affluent gimmedats and projectile lunatics who would probably shut up if they got a proper fucking. Their idea of proper seems to be a bit close to rape for my taste, so I guess I’ll stick to hiring hookers when I can spare the amount of their fees.

That’s another thing: these rape activists, like their fellow travelers in the anti-“human trafficking” movement (read: sex trafficking; they don’t give a shit about cabbage pickers living in old school buses, either), seem to hold prostitutes utterly incapable of consenting to ply their trade, even though prostitutes have some of the strongest, healthiest sexual boundaries imaginable and can be expected to turn state’s evidence any rapists who attack them in decriminalized regimes. Apparently, it isn’t sexy unless it has an ugly streak of sadism and humiliation. Sometimes I wish I were fucking amateur girls, too, but when I think about this horseshit, I’m relieved.

Bunghole: that’s my favorite one of the 1,001 parts. What’s yours?

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