When it comes to bad breath you can never discriminate because halitosis can catch anyone by surprise. Did they eat onions or garlic the night before, have they had the deathly combo of coffee and cigarettes before interacting with you, have they even eaten or hydrated -deathly hunger or dehydration breath, what’s the cause of these poisonous fumes that intoxicate all unsuspecting victims?
Sometimes it might not be their breath, it might be body odour, their clothes, hair, or whatever they had decided to cook before they left the house.
Instinctively your body tries to baton down the hatches and protect itself from the onslaught of halitosis. How can you stay composed when facing an attack on the senses?
At this point your only option is flight -what’s your fight option; offer the aggressor a mint and wait for it to mask the smell?
I feel as though I’m suspended in time post making a sudden move to flee the scene without considering the items around me. The glass jug which overfloweth with my internal distress is now between the marble kitchen worktop and the floor -and once said jug hits the floor and shatters into humungous pieces, will set free a plague of awkward non verbal communication. There’ll be facial expressions illustrating my discomfort, nose twitching to the rhythm of an SOS morse code to coast guards, hand gestures trying to get the attention of a freight plane above or in real life cover my nose twitches with a series of trigger hand shapes, which allow me to cover a part of my face as if I was deep in thought.
What happens if you patiently wait until the mint takes effect?
That’s not even a viable option because you can’t exactly unsmell the disagreeable stench even when you’re out of range, having already contorted your body to an uncomfortable angle and held your breath until you’re within seconds of keeling over. If you continue you’d probably die or worse; the conversation ends and you feel cheated because someone else will benefit from your bold move of offering a mint. Don’t even be salty because good deeds never go unnoticed, may the blessings you receive as a result of your selfless deed be forever bountiful.
There are scenarios that don’t allow you to simply up and leave because you’re in a confined space where there’s no fresh air such as a car. Me and my partner recently travelled in an Über and we suffered immensely. She was confused as to what it could’ve been but I knew what it was from the moment I stepped into the car after her. The conversation went:
MP: Oooo It smells really nice in here
UB: It’s a cherry scent. I’ve had complaints about the smell but please leave your feedback and tell them that you like the scent
It was at the point of writing this that I realised that he had no idea that the poor score and feedback was nothing to do with the car but all to do with his halitosis. Imagine that. It’s peak for him. I did give him 5 stars because I couldn’t bring myself to be the bearer of another bad score. Besides you can’t have such extreme halitosis and be that aloof so something must be amiss in this situation.
On a real tho.
I used to naively hold my breath when walking past some people but have since stopped doing that upon realising that there’s no way any of us can predict who’s breath will cause you to gag, squint, or twist your neck at the angle whereby you can still manage to breathe, whilst masking the fact that this person is causing you major discomfort.
You pray for the shortest interaction possible, but more often than not you are faced with someone who wants to have an elaborate conversation. From the initial point of contact you become Muhammad Ali, bobbing and weaving jab-like toxic fumes thrown from their mouths, strategically keeping your words to a minimum and choosing when to speak, balancing yourself on a tightrope of survival and throwing counter punches to resolve queries as soon as possible.
I’d love to read how you deal with people who have halitosis; are you composed, are you an escapist, or do you just shrug it off on some ‘Whatever innit‘?