Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gamer Stink

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Let's be honest. Not one of us smells like a bed of roses all the time. We sweat. There are certain times when body odor is understandable and acceptable: when  you've just come back from the gym, for example. These situations don't upset me in the least... but people who choose not to take the basic steps necessary to make themselves bearable to my nostrils? Those people really piss me off.

As a huge nerd who has attended events such as Magic: The Gathering tournaments and Warhammer 40K tournaments, you might think that I fit the "smelly antisocial gamer" stereotype, or that I would at least be accustomed to it by now. Contrary to popular belief, most gamers don't stink. Unfortunately, the ones who do have "the funk" are often the most memorable people you ever meet simply because evidence of their presence lingers far longer than it should.

Also unfortunate is the fact that nerd-friendly events like the ones I occasionally attend are not the only place you'll encounter people with "the funk." They're everywhere... even water parks where you would think the stink would eventually wash off of them.*

Luckily, there are lots of ways to deal with smelly people. More benign methods include:
  • Avoidance
  • Breathing only through your mouth
  • Gifts (deodorant, soap, etc.) **
  • Having a compassionate conversation about the issue
  • Holding your breath (not to be used for long periods of time)
Unfortunately, these don't always work and you may have to resort to more drastic measures. Or perhaps there's a stinker in your life who is also a jerk and these solutions just seem more fitting:
  • The gift of nose plugs: Yeah, you can keep a set for yourself as well... but I can't imagine a better social shocker than starting a conversation with something like, "I wanted you to have these because I love you... and I know that I struggle with the few hours I have to spend with you at work. I can't imagine what it must be like to live with that smell all day long."
  • The ultimatum: "If you don't figure out how to smell better, I won't do X." It's quite simple, actually. Just make sure that you follow through with the threat, and make sure that whatever you threaten them with is really important to them. "Nope, not another word. You can tell me about how RA Salvatore is a murdering beast for killing Chewbacca after you take a bath and put on clean clothes."
  • The garden hose treatment: Imagine that stinker getting a blast of freezing cold water. If nothing else, they'll at least want to change out of that shirt they've been wearing for the last seventeen days straight.
That'll teach 'em.

*Technically, it does... and I'm pretty sure this is why the water at such establishments is so rank. Whether it's "the funk" on the people or "the funk" in the water, it still stinks.

**Please note that perfume or cologne are not good gifts in this case. If you've ever been around someone who has terrible body odor and tries to overwhelm it with another strong smell, you know that the results of this combination can be deadly. People with asthma are at the most risk, but everyone else should watch out too. It doesn't get much more pungent than trying to cover one stink with another.


Note: I lifted this article from another of my blogs that I don't update anymore and placing it here because it is so relevant to gamers. It's a repost of sorts, I guess, but I'm sure most of you will find it funny. If you're one of the few who finds it offensive, I refuse to apologize. You're the one with the problem, pal... not me.
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