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A Few Words on Good Hygiene
by Death

 Hi, can we talk for a minute? I am Death. You probably know me from such works as The Black Plague, World War I and World War II : The Revenge. Today, I come before you to speak about a subject that I think really affects all of us and for reasons that will become clear, I personally feel very deeply about. That subject is hygiene.

Many people take good hygiene for granted, thinking that it happens by itself or even that it doesn't matter at all. Well, I'm here to let you know that that just isn't true. If you want to feel good about yourself, you need to look good too and no one looks their best unless they follow good hygiene habits.

Sure, brushing your teeth regularly and wearing deodorant are important, but they absolutely pale in comparison to the necessity of clean underwear. Now, I'm sure that many of you when you were little didn't see the need for clean underwear. You liked your Superman underwear and never wanted to take it off. Not even to shower. Your mother or possibly your father probably told you that you had to change your underwear on a daily basis. When you asked why, they said that if you got hit by a car, they didn't want the paramedics to see your dirty underwear and think that they were bad parents. You thought it was just a stupid excuse to make you change your underwear. You thought your mother was just being strange, perhaps even a little morbid or selfish in her line of logic.

Guess what, buddy? You thought wrong!

You heard me. I work with paramedics every day. I'm right there with them when they get to the scene of an accident. You think the first thing they check for is the victim's pulse? Check to see if he's alive? Wrong again! First thing that happens, the pants come off. They check the underwear for freshness before they give the victim treatment one. In fact, all paramedics receive special training which allows them to tell the cleanliness of underwear from smell and texture. If the underwear isn't clean, the victim may get shoddy treatment and on top of that, the names of his or her parents are recorded in a central database for future use. Basically, the paramedics themselves use this database to determine who's at the top of their priority list as far as handling emergencies. The information is also distributed nationwide to other public service organizations. This includes the school system, the post office and it is even factored in when someone applies for an organ transplant. So yes, if you wear dirty underwear, then everyone, and I do mean everyone is going to know what a terrible mother you had.

Of course, that's just what happens to your parents. If you die and you're not wearing clean underwear, you have to deal with me. I don't really do anything, just knock you around a little before sending you into the great beyond. But, I mean, what the hell is wrong with you people? You should see some of the underwear I have to deal with. You people are just disgusting. When I was a freshman in college, my next door neighbor in the dorm had these enormous skid marks in his boxers that showed right through the back so that it looked like he'd been mauled in the ass by a chocolate bear. What, you're too busy to wipe properly? Some people's underwear could be picked up by the EPA for crying out loud. I'm not picky or anything, I just don't want to harvest a fresh soul and have these nasty brown splotches staring me in the face all the time.

This isn't a modern problem either. I've been trying to get you morons to change your underwear more often almost from the invention of clothing. Initially the problem was that people got attached to their animal hides and it was tough to get more skins anyway. So I went with the flow. I cut you some slack. But then textiles were invented and still you didn't get the idea. After a couple centuries with the mortal population failing to shape up in the underwear department I kind of took matters into my own hands. Most ghosts or spirits or whatever that come back to talk to their loved ones are there because I sent them. They're supposed to get the word out about the underwear thing. The problem is that no one really seems to listen. Everyone wants to hear about life after death, or say their tearful fairwells or maybe they're just freaked because some dead guy's visiting them. In any case, the really important part about wearing clean underwear and wiping more thoroughly gets lost somewhere along the line. Thus, I thought it might be a good idea if I came to you myself and let you know. This isn't just my problem. It's your problem too. In my official capacity as Death let me say the following: No one wants to see your nasty skid marks walking around! Wash your damn underwear!

Well, that's about all I have right now. Thank you for your time.

Oh. And you should bathe more too. You smell.

 Wash your hands before you handle the index, will you dear?