Originally Posted: 2006-08-29 02:34 (no longer live)

RANT: Old People Smell Funny, and Other Life Lessons From EMS

It's a fact of life. The older you are, the funnier you smell. Everyone remembers wrinkling their nose at the occasional malodorous burst that your grandfather would emit from his recliner. We all have that one Great-Aunt who never quite got the message that bathing in lilac perfume not only didn't make her attractive, but was also socially inappropriate at funerals and baptisms.

Eventually though we're all going to reach the age when our olfactory abilities are no longer quite up to snuff, and then we too will join the ranks of the Funny-Smelling-Old-People. In the hopes of brightening the lives of all of the various and theoretical individuals who will be involved in caring for us though, let me offer a few ground rules that I've thought up during the course of my intensive studies of the aged human.

Rule Number 1:
If you piss yourself, change your garments and/or bed sheets immediately. If unable to fulfill this task immediately alert your caretaker to the problem. If caretaker is a lazy fatass NA in a nursing home, threaten to cut some bacon off that bitch's ass if she doesn't get you some new drawers.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you have no brain (quite literally, as the Alzheimer's disease has put millions of little holes through yours) you might need a little reminder now and then. This is a bigger problem with little old men than with little old women. These 80+ year old gentlemen have worn the same pair of tighty-whities since Churchill was smoking cigars and fending off Nazis, and by God you're not going to change that habit now. True, the tighty-whities would now be more appropriately called tighty-yellowies, tighty-brownies, or tighty-WHAT THE FUCKies, but the stench of old ball sweat, urine, and last weeks nursing home brand chili-con-carne is appealing and soothing to the most ancient of men.

All the same- fellas, change it up every now and then. If for no other reason than to spare the young paramedic who's come to pick you up off the floor the overpowering stench of your manly musk. The gentleman I picked up last night had been on a "Nothing but asparagus, and garlic" diet for about a week based on the incredible odor that was released every time he spread his sizeable thighs.

Rule Number 2:
If you have a colostomy bag, wear it. ALWAYS.

According to Wikipedia, a colostomy is "a surgical procedure that involves connecting a part of the colon onto the anterior abdominal wall, leaving the patient with an opening on the abdomen called a stoma. This opening is formed from the end of the large intestine drawn out through the incision and sutured to the skin. After a colostomy, feces leave the patient's body through the stoma, and collect in a pouch attached to the patient's abdomen which is changed when necessary."

I don't know how much more detail I need to go into on this one. The implications of not following my rather simple directive are obviously severe, but sadly it's a problem that millions, if not billions of Americans face everyday. At least it seems that way to me. Letting shit literally run down your entire body, including into the open, gangrenous wound on your foot is just bad form. There's nothing at all Christian about doing that. As a matter of fact, didn't Jesus say "Thou shalt not let shit run down thy body", or something like that? I'm pretty sure I read that in Gastrocnemius 13:4.

Of course if you do let all of this happen to you, you're probably crazy enough to latch onto the railing of the staircase with your old-lady claw hands, and contort yourself into an ungodly position. And did you just manage to get your head stuck between two of the support posts for the railing? You did? Good. Time to call the Fire Department.

Rule Number 3:
Do not, at any time, place your nasty old-lady hands anywhere near the paramedic's genitals.

"Ma'am, with all due respect- please stop cupping my balls. I don't care if I do look like a guy you fucked in 1928" Yeah, I'd hoped to make it to at least 21 before I had to use that line, but unfortunately my chosen profession will afford me no such luxury. This rule doesn't have as much to do with terrible smells as the others, but it's still an important announcement for the geriatric population. Once you top 60 (and I'm being generous there) it is imperative to the psychological well-being of those around you that you adopt a perfectly asexual lifestyle. IMPERATIVE. To the younger folks reading this: work hard in school, and develop the anti-Viagra. Work hard to pass a Congressional measure requiring all old folks to take said pill.

Rule Number 4:
Ladies, take care of your teats. Everyone likes American Cheese- nobody likes Boob Cheese.

There is nothing worse than boob cheese. It ruins my days, and haunts my dreams. It stalks me in my nightmares- sneaking up behind me all curdled and smelling like a septic tank with a yeast infection. It's a known fact that failing to lift up your titties and clean underneath (especially if they hang to your knees) will result in the spontaneous formation of boob cheese. Now before you get all spiritual and assume this is some sort of divine creation of new life let me assure you that if I didn't was parts of my body all sorts of little creepy crawlies would grow there too, and I'd have no part in their creation.

Now many of you may be wondering why I'm dealing with old lady funbags in the first place. Well sadly enough a few years ago they decided that paramedics were intelligent enough to apply a few stickers to a patient's chest, look at a few wavy lines on an ECG, and determine whether or not someone was having a heart attack. This would be a good thing, if placing some of those stickers didn't require diving into the heart of darkness that is the underside of a 94 year old woman's 37lb breast that you have to start lifting from below her shin. I kid you not; this woman was scratching her left nipple with her big toe.

So there you have it. Rules for not smelling terrible in your old age, and for making the life of your medical care provider that much better. Oh, and really, no matter how bad they smell old ladies are still sweet as can be.

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