August 07, 2008

Eau de Corps

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-lost to me...

-Emma Lazarus

Here in the famed hospital of Corrupt-zone Toxin Memorial Regressional Hospital, the smell of the great unwashed is strong and tenacious. No Ajax detergent in the world will ever rid the stench of human refuse. It's quite hard to imagine that a hospital this huge would have the temerity to be the incubation lab of countless microbes. Imagine a facility where every nook and cranny your olfactory senses are barraged with smells originating from every pore of humankind. If one shall make these into perfumes casing each aroma in a bottle, it would be like this:

1. Agua de Cebollas (by Nenooko)
Take a whiff of the distillated vegetal essences of allium cepa and the tantalizing spiciness of Jamon Jabugo as it excites your senses. It will assault you, it will make you stop walking, it will earn everyone's undivided attention. In fact, it shall make everyone's tastebuds water with delight. Sourced from the best Andalucian axillas, Nenooko gives you nothing but the richest and undeodorized corporal fragrance. Such is the power of Agua de Cebollas, it will catch you dead on your tracks- before and after it kills you.

2. Cool Yellow Water (by Davideaff)
Davideaff's new creation is a new honey-colored heaven characterized by blissful summer days full of bright lemon and pineapple tones embellished with the brazen ammoniacal odor of uric acid. It's a gurantee you will turn heads with this one. All your friends will ask you where you got that unique perfume. It's so familiar, so banal and yet so intimate that in the end, they will be so moved by your scent that they will grab a tissue to wipe that sudden burst of excitement from their, uh, mouths.

3. L' Pied No. 5 (Tsanel)
As experts of hairy armpits and unshaved legs, the French too has mastered perfume-making. The house of Tsanel is proud to announce a new fragrance- inside a sinuous and shapely bottle lies the scent that has, according to Time Magazine, "become the fetish of millions". People are smitten by the exotic and esoteric smell emanating from the bottle. The heart notes of sweet-sick tang of melon, ginger, and the by-products of billions of staphylococcal colonies are tempered by the muskier blue cheese ripened to perfection. It's so intoxicating and heady that you will inescapably catch the attention of patients 50 meters away. They cannot evade the scent as you yourself cannot which is highly recommended to use this sparingly. Anklet and toe ring included.

4. Barfgari pour Homme (Barfgari)
You'll be swept away by the rich scent of chocolate, cinnamon with base notes of rancid butter and fermented fish, capped by the top notes of coconut and vinegar. This perfume will bathe you in warm glow of emesis that others will find irresistable. Your lover shall swoon at your feet after filling up the enclosed unused motion-sickness bags twice. Such is the power of Barfgari pour Homme, you will always emerge a winner.

5. Old Leather (Ex-Christian Brothers)

Such is the appeal of Old Leather- comforting, exquisitely genteel, and classic like an old Master in a checkered bathrobe clutching his walker. This amber-colored inter-generational concoction (in an exclusive wrinkled and corrugated cardboard box) continues to survive and win more patrons with its earthy and smoky musk. It reminds customers where their roots are- a few feet underground. With two centuries since its first conception, Old Leather is here to stay.

Now, which perfume shall you pick?

August 06, 2008

Atrocious Prints

Japan, the country that shocked the world with its 1937 Rape of Nanking is also a major proponent for Muzan-e otherwise known as "Atrocious Prints." Based on the centuries-old tradition of Ukiyo-e (or Pictures of the Floating World) where artisans like Hiroshige and Hokusai created beautiful prints of the Kabuki world and countryside scenes, artists old and new tried to go out of society's moral boundaries by composing prints full of gore and amputations. It's no wonder why their horrific acts of genocidal brutality are not considered as an isolated episode of madness- it's perhaps in their blood to explore beyond the realms of civilized taste. And since Japan is a "graphic society", it's no wonder also why almost everything and anything is illustrated in ways the Western mind can never imagine.

From images from the Hungry Ghost scrolls depicting demons from hell torturing humans (which is akin to the medieval paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Matthias Grünewald) to modern illustrations of eroguro whereby manga characters lop off their partner's head and used the decapitated portion as a sex toy, Japanese taste for the extreme is quite shocking yet fascinating. For those who are only weaned on the missionary position of procreation, the Japanese can teach these prudes a thing or two, but "that" will be a subject for future rumination.

Generally, muzan-e depicts scenes of heroes, usually samurai, in the throes of their glorious death while they carry out their vengeance for their honor or their master's honor. This makes the print tolerable. But contemporary artists like Suehiro Maruo took the genre to another level. While leaving behind the valiant ideas of Bushido where seppuku is being swooned over and over by the likes of the novelist Yukio Mishima, Maruo took the bloody aesthetics and incorporated modern themes resulting into something more disturbing and blood-curdling. For instance, he explored artistically on the finale of Red Riding Hood's untimely demise, as seen below. It really takes your breath away.

Looking at these prints reminds me that the human mind can be cruel and sublime at the same time. Isn't it strange that such beauty and skill is used to depict madness and chaos? These inspires me to contemplate that at least in modern Japan, such notions of violence are only found in ink and paper, and not in blood and flesh. Fortunately for us, we are not Japanese.

August 05, 2008

Doctor Green Is In

This was an old entry to which I dare not publish, but since this has already been classified as "history," I might as well declassify this X-file for the sake of entertainment:

I am disgusted by this doctor-consultant. Physically speaking, his paunchiness, decaying wrinkly skin, flambouyant voice and Estrada-style haircut were already alarming signals of how disgusting he can be. I thought I wouldn't have that sick feeling again for I realized that since I'm a doctor, I should already be desensitized to the many gross specimens, body parts and operations. This means I cannot cringe in front of the patient while cleaning and debriding his near-amputated diabetes-ridden feet that smells like a horse's ass. This means that another surprise like that will not easily stimulate my "nausea" reflex. Besides, I think that since he's a doctor, he should the dignity to be decent and professional, but then again, being high in the hospital totempole made him virtually unassailable and untouchable, therefore, he felt he can get away with bloody murder!

My feeling was recently confirmed that this doctor was indeed a veritable slime ball. How? Let me count the ways:

1. This morning, our female senior resident reported on typhoid fever- a disease caused by the fecal-oral transmission of Salmonella typhi. When the discussion reached the part on how typhoid can being transmitted via eating poorly cooked meat or drinking contaminated water, our consultant-moderator asked (while sporting a sly smile), "Can sex become a cause for typhoid transmission?"

Our resident who was reporting stammered and apparently looked embarrassed at such an impudent query. She vainly looked for words that will sugar-coat what is plainly obvious. Duh! Fecal-to-Oral route.... hmmm... Anus-to-Mouth... hmmm... and sex?? How so?? Anyone with an IQ of a baboon can deduce what our consultant was aiming at.

So the reporter said instead, "Umm... sir... Typhoid fever can be transmitted via other sexual positions."

"And so?"

"Umm... can be transmitted by anal sex."


"Umm..Umm... Sir..."

Apparently, he wanted the whole kit and caboodle. The big man was eager to hear how anal sex and oral sex could be jointly related. At his age, it was not funny. In fact, it painted him a very dirty old man.

2. As the morning reporting dragged on, it came to a point when the discussion proceeded into the usefulness of urine culture in diagnosing typhoid. And because the patient presented with increased pus cells in the urine, the consultant touched on the fact that males can have UTI too. Normally, females tend to get more frequent UTIs because of their shorter urethras.

The consultant turned his head and asked our male resident, "So (name), gaano kalaki ang urethra mo?" By the sheer sound of it, it was tantamount in saying "How long is your schlong?" It was like asking the female reporter the depth of her... uh, feelings.

The resident just gave a nervous laugh, apparently not at all arous... i meant, amused. Even in another department where some male consultants make lewd jokes about their female residents, they do not go into that territory wherein the victim is publicly embarrassed. In our consultant's case, his remarks made him an embarrassment.

3. Last duty, this doctor and Dra. Hag (a decaying frizzle-haired female consultant) gate-crashed the morning endorsement whereby they nestled their fat assess at our instantly vacated table. After having a bit of small talk, this he began to interrogate the duty resident who stayed in the room.

He said, "So (name), how are you and Dr. (name) nowadays?"

She answered, "Ok naman sir"

Then, turning his head to the other consultant, he said,"You know (name), I'm able to remember (name)'s boyfriend because it reminded me of something bad." He gave out a repressed laughter as if he has something funny to reveal.

"What?", the old hag said apparently enjoying where this conversation was going.

"Eh di, Semilla! Sounds the same eh. Can you imagine if you'll hear from the paging system 'Paging Dr. Semilla!"

My resident blushed furiously (out of embarrassment perhaps), and began to knot her eyebrows. I was embarrassed for her. Only Dr. Green and Dra. Hag were oblivious to their blatant social faux pas.

Disgusting. Period. Shame on you, Dr. Green.