Thursday, December 07, 2006



Australia is suffering through the worst drought on record, and numerous towns and cities are close to running out of fresh water.

Outside of the towns and cities in the upper Northern Territory and far north Queensland that is, where rainfalls of two to three metres a year are not exceptional.

But for massive sprawls of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, water restrictions and recycling measures are set to become the year round norm.

One proposed solution to stopping the waste of fresh water pouring down the drain is an effort to convince Australians they have to cut back on their showers.

A dermatologist has claimed that daily showers are luxuries we can no longer afford, and that we can get by with only three or less a week, with a duration of only 60 seconds or so.

The national average time for the daily shower is supposed to be seven minutes. An average family is estimated to "waste" some 60,000 litres of water each year, straight down the drain.

The Victorian government is planning an awareness campaign to get people to cut their shower times in half.

Another awareness campaign.

Don't smoke, don't drink and drive, don't speed, don't eat shit food, get more exercise, remember to vote, don't run down motorcyclists who get in your way, be nice to old people, don't abuse alcohol, eat more vegetables, don't abuse drugs, watch your cholestorol, watch out for arse cancer.

For fuck's sake, Get Off Our Backs!

Whatever happened to towing icebergs in from the Antartic? Massive ice shelves are supposed to be breaking up, huge bergs drifting into shipping lanes. Lasoo some of those ice blocks and bring them to the coastlines and carve those suckers up.

The 'three-showers-a-week' dermatologist also suggested we could get by with no showers at all.

He clearly has not been stuck on a crowded city locked in a traffic jam in the peak of a deodorant destroying summer heat wave.

No showers at all?

What are we supposed to do to keep clean then?

Get the dog to lick our armpits until they're sweat-free? Bathe only in the ocean and get used to living with a salt-encrusted exterior? Carry a bar of soap at all times and quickly strip off in the street at the first sight of a rain cloud?

We could always go back to the pre-World War II bath-only days, I suppose, which Elton John (I think) once likened to "sitting around in a tepid pool of your own filth."

Of course, some tepid pools are filfthier than others.

From :

Dr Stephen Schumack of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, says..."I always tell people 'God did not give us caves with hot running water'.

"So from the purely anthropological view, we weren't meant to have showers or wash our skin. It's really only been in the past two generations — the past 50 years — that people have been having regular showers.

"Up until the 1950s, bathrooms were not common and people would have a weekly rinse in the tub in front of the fire. So the skin is fine without having a shower in most circumstances."

Dr Schumack notes that from "a medical point of view" there is really no need to have a shower longer than 60 seconds.

"I used to advise my patients to keep their showers to two or three minutes, but 60 seconds is the ideal. You can do everything that needs to be done in that time."

Everything? For some people, the shower is the only privacy they get all day.

This doctor is captain fun-kill. Not only does he favour no showers, he insists that if you are so rampantly tempted to stand under flowing water in the privacy of your own home, you should try and take cold showers.

He doesn't see a need see a need for a full-body soaping either.

"You really only need to use soap where you produce body odour — only the armpits and the groin. You shouldn't soap the rest of your skin."

Yeah, he's right. Why bother washing your feet?

Or your arse for that matter?

A good long, hot shower is apparently our "national obsession".

Maybe, but only if you can see the cricket on the tele from under that hot torrent of water.

"....they've become a national obsession in very recent times," says Professor McCalman.

"If you went back before World War II, there were a lot of people in Melbourne who didn't have a shower at all. They washed only under a tap in the back garden. We probably wash too much: a lot of doctors would say that we do. It's not necessarily good for the skin. The thing about showering is that a lot of people find it relaxing, rather than cleansing."

Right. Who needs to relax?

Washing off the daily scum under piping hot sprays of water was not the done thing five or six decades ago. And it was a concept beyond all comprehension in the 19th century.

The Professor claimed that a century ago, "a lot of people in Europe" made do with only two good washes in the course of their whole lifetime. At birth and at death.

He also had some cruel and nasty things to say about Melbournians.

"There were still a lot of very dirty people in Melbourne into the 1930s and into the 1940s because they didn't have a bathroom or a change of underwear."

Some things never change.

The Shocking Truth About The Big Dry's Impact On Australia's Farmers And The Economy - Food Crops Disappearing, Gardens Dying Out, Almost Two Thirds Of Wheat Crops Failed, 72,ooo Farmers On Welfare & Subsidies, Grocery Prices Climbing Steadily