Tag Archives: law

Bill to Ban B.O. on Buses in Honolulu Fails

HONOLULU — The proposal to bar smelly people from Honolulu buses turned out to be a stinker.

The Honolulu City Council had considered making it illegal to have “odors that unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system.” Anyone convicted of being too smelly could have been fined up to $500 and/or given a six-month jail term….

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Okay. I don’t enjoy the stench of another’s body odor anymore than the next person. But it is well that this idea of fining or jailing smelly people got flushed in council. It is just too problematic to even consider.  And it failed for all the right reasons: “stench” is far too subjective a factor for such a law to be just.

Hawaii B-ONevertheless, two of the original sponsors have plans to revive a modified version of the bill at some point in the future. Perhaps they will establish a branch of law enforcement known as the Stench Squad, or the Stench Police, who will sit in the back of the bus with high tech devices that measure the nature and intensity of body odors. Plain clothes “Stink Marshals,” patterned after Sky Marshals might also be employed.

They could even have a graduated penalty system–

Onion, Garlic breath, Major Halitosis: 1st offense, written warning. 2nd offense, $100 fine. 3rd offense, $500 fine, or six months in jail.

Feet: 1st offense, $250. 2nd offense, $500 fine, or six months in jail

Underarm odor: $100-$500 fine depending on intensity as measured by the stinkometer.

Generalized body odor: $100-$500 fine depending on intensity as measured by the stinkometer.

Urine: Same as above.

Ass: $500 fine and one month’s suspension from using the bus. However, crapping one’s pants would result in permanent expulsion from the transit system and up to a year in prison, except in instances where medical causes are confirmed in writing by a physician.

Babies would be exempt, but it would be forbidden to change them on the bus. Parents might still be fined if it were determined that they were feeding the kid a bad diet.

Farts could be handled on a case-by-case, taking intensity, intention, age and other factors into account. In the case of the ubiquitous “slider,” the “silent but deadly” air biscuit, the culprit could be isolated by determining airflow, and the order in which various bus patrons smelt it, or fart-sniffing dogs could be used to isolate residual butt-gas in the culprit’s pants.
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The Stench Police sit in the back of the bus
The Stench Police are coming to arrest us….

(to the tune of “Dream Police,” by Cheap Trick)

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“Caveman” Must Wash

‘Cave man’ must wash

Wash that nasty ass, caveman!

Oslo, Norway (Aftenposten)–A city magistrate has ruled that Oslo’s so-called “cave man,” who once lived in a pile of garbage near the city’s university campus, must agree to wash himself since he’s now living in a publicly funded nursing home. He objects, and vows to take his case to Norway’s supreme court.

The “cave man’s” case has been brewing in the courts for months, and was sent back to the magistrate’s level because of some judicial errors.

He’s still insisting that he can’t be forced to wash, and will only do so if he so chooses. His lawyer called forced washings “an extremely serious assault on the private sphere.”

The 54-year-old man is a former physics student who’s lack of personal hygiene led to his expulsion from student housing back in the late 1970s. He then started living in a pile of garbage adjacent to the campus, and public authorities let him be.

Health problems led to his admission to the nursing home two years ago, but once there he caused a stink, quite literally. Staff insisted he follow the rules of the institution out of consideration for his fellow residents and infection control.

City officials were pleased with the magistrate’s decision. The “cave man” was not, and he also has reported his forced washings to the police.

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Poo Flags: The Sequel

Have you ever been walking along the street or through a park, and encountered a pile of dog crap? If so, hopefully you gave it wide berth. Yet, even the best of us gets shit on his/her shiny brown shoes from time to time, because there’s a lot of it to go around.

I’ll bet you were irritated, when you got dog crap firmly embedded in the tread of your tennies.

Most cities have ordinances about this, yet they are largely unenforceable because dookie is a transient affair. If the cop isn’t there to see it happening, chances are the guy on the other end of the leash will go unpunished.*

When I worked for the Bellingham Parks and Recreation Dept., in the 90s, we had a meeting about dog poop in the parks. We were told that up to that point, a couple of parks personnel had been deputized, so as to be able to issue citations (mind you, this is two deputized employees in a city of 75,000, with more greenspace per capita than most cities of its size in the U.S.). However, due to the fact that there were so many indigents and “crazies” in the parks, this practice was no longer considered safe, and was terminated. And so the goal of the meeting was to educate us, the seasonal workers, about our “responsibility” when we observed someone letting his dog do his business in the parks, and then not cleaning it up: we were supposed to approach them and politely tell them about the [unenforcable] dookie ordinance.

One of the last things the speaker said at the meeting that morning was, “It’s important to remember: you have no authority, but you do have a responsibility….”

HA! I laugh on you, you pinhead. For $6.00/hr, 6-months-a-year hard labor, with next-to-zero opportunity for advancement, all that statement gets out of me is contempt.

Here’s a way to make a statement about dog crap that might at least make you feel better, and also might catch the attention of the powers that be in your particular jurisdiction. All you have to do is to save and print the PDF file I’ve created (linked to below) and then construct little poo flags with toothpicks. Or, if you wish to make a really prominent statement, use a long bamboo barbecue skewer (if you can get it to stand up).

Unlike the Dubya poo flags, this is not a political, but rather a civic statement. A statement about the dookie and the dog-owner, rather than a utilization of the dookie as a platform for a political statement.

Ergo: sure, Dubya stinks, but so does dog crap on the sidewalk.

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Click here to download the PDF file

Here’s a shot of two completed poo flags. I presume you’re able to figure out how to make them on your own.

Pooflags - samples

*I expect that increasing video surveillance on the streets of U.S. cities will make doo-doo infractions more susceptible to prosecution (not that I approve of constantly expanding video surveillance). Even in that case, however, it won’t always be possible to track the individual down. Unless, of course, we all have chips embedded in our necks or the backs of our heads.

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