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A SWAT for raising a stink about body odor

Submitted by on Thursday, 3 September 2009 No Comment

It must be tough these days in paradise, what with the economy being what it is and the hit that’s caused in Hawaii’s tourism industry.

And the natural human reaction when things are spinning out of control is to try to control something unrelated, just because it feels good to be in charge again.

That’s the only logical explanation for a proposed ordinance banning body odor on Honolulu city buses.

Two Honolulu City Council members introduced it recently, but fortunately a council committee wisely decided to back off of after police and legal experts said the regulation might have constitutional issues.

Not to mention common sense issues.

Let’s start with determining what level of odor would rise to the level of a citation – with a fine proposed at $500.

We already have metal detectors at airports and courthouses. Are odor detectors the next big thing? Funny how pollution officials near where I once lived struggled for years to be able to quantify how bad a tallow plant smelled but Honolulu councilmen think they have it all figured out.

And how do we define body odor? I worked with a woman about 20 years ago who inspired me to do everything short of pushing my desk against the door to keep her out of my office, because her perfume lingered for two hours after she left. Is that body odor in Honolulu?

What about people who enjoy the health benefits of a high-fiber diet but suffer the unfortunate consequences? Either beans are not a major agricultural product in Hawaii or officials are angling for a Gas Ex plant.

The root of the problem could be the issue that’s blamed for everything from high taxes to the health-care crisis in California: Immigration.

“As we become more inundated with people from all over the world, their way of taking care of their health is different,” Councilman Rod Tam, one of the sponsors, told USA Today.  “Some people, quite frankly, do not take a bath every day and therefore they may be offensive in terms of their odor.”

Wait. You’re supposed to bathe every day? I had no idea. Good thing I never got around to booking that vacation to Hawaii. Tam and co-sponsor Nestor Garcia wouldn’t want the likes of me smelling up their city.

In reality, the only thing that smells is their proposal. Body odor happens. Yes, it’s annoying, but $500 worth. Really?

Councilmen Tam and Garcia, Stop Wasting America’s Time with a silly regulation that cannot be objectively forced. It certainly can be subjectively forced to the point of harassment, and maybe that’s their goal.

Know of someone who deserves a SWAT? Click here to make a nomination.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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