Modern Manners: Bad Breath

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Human beings have a lot of pretty disgusting tendencies that are guaranteed to turn an ordinary, relatively relaxed social situation into an embarrassing and slightly nauseating nightmare. I’m not talking about public farting, burping or even watching a mate puke their guts out on the side of the street after a few too many vodka-oranges on a Friday night. If you want to really repulse your friends, mild acquaintances, or even your date, give bad breath a try. We’ve all been there: trying to subtly manoeuvre yourself away from the culprit; holding your hands over your mouth, breathing out and having a sniff to make sure yours is ok, or edging closer to your new beau, about to go in for the kill, only to discover a new side to them you hadn’t been expecting.
Let’s face it, you don’t need to fancy someone for bad breath to be a turn off! Whoever thought that this silent but oh so deadly whiff could be so technical? There’s the ‘stale beer’, the daily curry eater, the ‘didn’t realise how garlicky that garlic bread would be’, the chain-smoker and (possibly the worst) the ‘I just haven’t bothered to brush my teeth for a few days.’ This last is inexcusable. But if there’s anything worse than being a victim of another’s halitosis, it’s the gradual sinking realisation that as you’re leaning in to talk to a friend at the crowded bar they’re subtly trying to edge away… suddenly that extra garlic pizza you ordered the night before doesn’t seem like such a bright idea. There’s only one thing for it: at least 10 pieces of gum and numerous manic scrubbings of the tongue with as much toothpaste as you can manage without gagging.
Apparently the smell of garlic doesn’t just linger in the mouth; if you’ve had enough, it actually sneaks its way out through the pores of your skin… When that’s the case, a full on shower and a vigorous, soapy scour of your entire body is the only option. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it matters not what it’ll make you late for – whatever it is will have to wait because ultimately, although bad breath that you haven’t realised is a shame, bad breath that you know about is an unforgivable sin. Trust me, whoever you were meant to be meeting will be grateful you made them wait.
– By Helen Smith

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