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Ask Anything

By Adam Pugh
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday February 25, 2003

New advice column here to serve you

Need Advice?

Email us: Gowild@wildcat.arizona.edu

Ask Anything is an advice column for anyone who is curious about any and all things, ranging from your roommates to what deodorant is the best to use. This first column is purely for your enjoyment. The following question and answer series is fictional, and is intended to illustrate the types of questions you can ask us here at Ask Anything.

So have some fun and come up with weird questions, logical questions or just downright silly questions about things you would like advice on, or answers to.

Some things that may come up in your life of college antics and study time in front of the television is the issue of the smelly roommate. Possibly you have been living in the dorms for quite some time and have not yet come into contact with the smelly roommate ÷ but if you are looking for some way to remedy the problem then Ask Anything may have the answer.

So let's say that you write in to us and it goes something like this:

Dear Ask Anything,

I live in the dorms and am forced to share a room with the smelliest kid I've ever encountered. As far as I can tell, he never showers, washes his clothes or his sheets, or cleans anything, his body or otherwise. I need a hazmat suit to enter my own room, and there's no way I'm getting any girls in there. Plus, if the stench weren't bad enough, all he does is listen to lame circa 1990 Pearl Jam as loud as he can. There's no way I'm getting my mack on with this character in my space, so what am I supposed to do?

÷Student Minus Every Living Luxury


Ahhh, the joys of dorm life. You don't get to pick your roommate and boy, do you pay for it. Some people are lucky and end up getting a great roommate who becomes their new best friend, but many are not so fortunate. The perils of school-enforced stranger-living are innumerable and horrific, and are therefore impossible to list completely, but they do include: those weird noises at all hours of the day and night, your roommate's creepy friends invading the 15-foot space that constitutes your living quarters, sharing a bathroom with a God-awful number of people and their bacteria, dealing with the way your roommate screams in his sleep, and his yellow toenail clippings that are matted in your room's rug, which has never had its vacuum-cherry popped.

Not to mention basic personal hygiene issues that everyone should have learned to master by now. Just in case you fancy yourself a throwback to the days of the plague and raw sewage in the streets, these are some of the basic rules of hygiene EVERYONE needs to follow:

1. Shower every day, using soap and shampoo. I know there are some of you out there who think you can get away with holding off on this sacred ritual for at least every other day, but really, ask your friends if you stink before you continue the practice.

2. Brush and floss your teeth, using mouthwash if necessary. Everyone knows how wrong it is to ignore this rule. Four out of five dentists say you don't deserve to be a member of society if you don't comply with this one.

3. Wash your clothes. And your sheets. It doesn't matter how often you shower and brush if this basic tenent of cleanliness is ignored. Because if you don't stink when you get out of the shower, you will if you put on last week's workout shirt.

So, if you're stuck in what amounts to a cubicle with someone who's less-than-snappy to comply with these rules, you've definitely got a problem. If you want to avoid the awkwardness of telling your roommate he's got a B.O. situation, I'd suggest a few things.

First, lead by example. Say something like, "Hey, man, it's pretty rank in here. I hope it's not me! I guess I'd better shower just to make sure." If he still doesn't get the hint, probably because Eddie Vedder's wailing has made him go deaf, try dropping hints for a while about how badly the room smells, and get some of your friends and neighbors to stop by and do the same.

Next, buy a whole bunch of Glade plug-ins and air fresheners and start spraying while he's in the room, concentrating on his pile of filthy clothes and the area around (or on) him, all the while commenting about that noxious odor you can't get rid of.

If all efforts to detox your room have failed, you might have to resort to more aggressive measures. When you're gathering up clothes to do laundry, say you don't have a full load and ask if you can take his sheets and some of his clothes with you to get washed. I know this sucks and that it's your money, but if you're too much of a wimp to just tell him point-blank (in a nice way), this is the price you must pay to purify your pad.

Now that you have an idea of how this whole thing works, tell your friends and your friends friends to let them know! Please try and keep your questions brief, but feel free to include pertinent details. You can send your questions to GoWild@wildcat.arizona.edu. The Arizona Daily Wildcat reserves the right to edit questions for clarity and content

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