Today I'd like to discuss something that's very important to any illustrator or cartoonist working at home: Hygiene. Well, it's not necessarily that important to us, but it can be to one's spouse. Ask around, and you'll find that 9 out of ten wives prefer a husband who doesn't stink to high heaven. This statistic interestingly coincides with the percentage of women (ten percent) who suffer from Anosmia, the inability to perceive smells.
This topic has been on my mind because I have been spending the last couple of hours or so trying to motivate myself to take a shower. As I recollect, the last time I showered was approximately three or twelve days ago. It's a bit hard to keep track of time when one works at home, because terms like "Monday," "Time to get up," and "laundry basket" become ethereal concepts that have little meaning to one grasped by the entrepreneurial spirit.
Thus it becomes important to rely on one's young children; you won't be able to find anyone else in the world besides a 7-year-old who will actually come up to you when you say, "Smell my armpit and see if it's stinky." Of course, if you have a dog, he will faithfully execute said command, but you won't be able to tell if it really stinks or not, because dogs like things that stink, and besides, it tickles.
As the sole proprietor of your business, it is important to create a schedule for daily domestic duties, just as we're supposed to do for professional duties. For those of you whose eyes just glazed over, "Domestic Duties" include household tasks such as Putting the cap on the tube of toothpaste; Putting beer bottles in the recycle bin; Finding the remote control; and Making sure there is always at least one square of toilet paper left on the roll for the next person. These tasks can be just as important as those we schedule for work.
If you don't do either, then another trick of the trade is to attach unrelated tasks to others that you are sure to remember (or be reminded of) such as setting the garbage out at the curb. This particular chore works well for me because, while taking out the trash and taking a shower may on the surface seem unrelated, for some reason I draw a mental parallel between the two. So this ensures that I will take a shower at least once a week, every Wednesday. Or Friday. Maybe Thursday?
Okay, so let's say it's Trash Day, and you've been successful in remembering to take a shower. You're clean and can now face your spouse with confidence. But wait! I'm afraid there's more to good personal hygiene than just taking a shower, my friend. Now it's time to take inventory of migrant hairs... those hairs that, as we become more mature and verile over time, begin growing in various orifices of the body, such as the nose and ears. There are other areas of the body faced with rampant and rebellious hair growth, but today we will focus only on these two.
It is important to choose the proper tools for trimming hair that grows in the nose holes and outer-inner ear. Many fine tools designed especially for these tasks are readily available at fine establishments such as Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Ace Hardware. Now you'd think that someone who puts quite a bit of energy into selecting the proper brushes, the best suitable paper, and the least abrasive eraser (made of baby dander), would put the same effort into what the best implement is for trimming nose hairs. But this is sadly not the case. For many men, the nearest available implement with a semi-sharp edge will do... hedge clippers, safety scissors, squaring shears, whatever gets the job done. It can easily resemble the process used by ancient Egyptians when removing the brain through the nasal cavity in preparation for the mummification process.
Well, I still haven't taken a shower, even after taking an hour break in writing this. I'm putting it off even further. It's 22 degrees outside and (I just checked) the tile on the bathroom floor is -47 degrees. I believe that people who live in older, quaint homes probably shower less than people who live in new homes. Let's face it, getting naked and wet in the middle of winter in an older home is just not as enjoyable as it is in a newer home. I did, however, start a small fire in the bathroom wastebasket so the temperature should be more tolerable in a short while. It is trash day, after all.