Woke up last night thinking about my first TEOTWAWKI.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I thought about my past TEOTWAWKI and will share some of it for you since many of you may have no idea what it might be like. You might want to practice some of this beforehand to get used to it. Remember dung beetles don't know they live in it.

The important blunt and brutal truth:

You know what our sex organs looked and smelled like. Not very sexy. Penises had cheese on them. Rags were washed by hand and dried on clothes line.

Forget about "extended 24-hr under arm protection." Believe it or not, unless you don't bathe frequently this stuff makes you stink more. Why? I think that it destroys benificial bacteria in your pits.

Bathing was a lot of work. Had to haul water in, heat it, bathed haul it back out. To heat it was a lot of work. Haul wood, make fire, etc.

We didn't do the laundry very often because it was even more labor intensive. We wore our clothes for weeks then boiled, yes boiled to get the crud out, stirred, stirred and rinsed it. Hang it to dry. Hauled it back to repeat this cycle.

It's thundering right now(weird), so I'll sign off to keep this PC from getting fried.

Sorry about my bluntness; that's how it was.

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), February 17, 1999


Unlike the dung beetle, I knew all this already. Sheesh.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), February 17, 1999.

Worst of all was the bitter, aching, painful cold, knees red raw (appropriate clothing unavailable or beyond reach)--and chilblains. Chilblains? That's what you get from coming in from the freezing cold to stand directly in front of a heat source, like a coal fire, they're purplish sores that itch and hurt. The cold wasn't just outside; frost left beautiful fern and flower gardens on the inside of the window panes. It's absolutely true that I lost my pet goldfish because he froze to death in his tank. Diseases like tuberculosis, polio, scarlet fever and rheumatic fever were not the least bit uncommon. It's just such experiences and memories that prompt this old git to live in central NC and stock up on warm clothes, boots, blankets and (my favorite) a couple of solar panels and some deep-cycle batteries to run the heater for the water bed.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), February 17, 1999.

i have to disagree with you on the subject of personal hygiene. i grew up on a farm with a well and handpump, no running water inside the house, and outhouse. water was hauled in. we had a woodstove with a box on the side that kept water hot.

maybe it's a female thing, but it makes a HUGE improvement to me if i use antiperspirant. deodorant won't do at all, neither will washing pits several times a day. so i am buying antiperspirant as well as soap. i have found that even if i can't wash, that the antiperspirant works wonders, as long as i don't do anything too sweaty. it even works well on feet.

as for amount of water needed. a person can keep quite clean by using a small washbowl and cloth daily. the old washcloth will remove a tremendous amount of b.o. if applied all over, or at least in the major areas. it helps to use a soap that is good in hard water, like zest or dove.

there are a couple ways you can cut down on laundry chores. one way is to use black underwear instead of white. that way you don't need to worry about using bleach.

another way is to wear your clothes more than once, unless you have done a lot of hard labor and the clothes are too gross. generally if you wash the body before putting on the clothes, clothes will stay acceptable for awhile, particularly in winter. in summer, of course, you get sweaty and gross faster, but this y2k thing will happen in winter. if you're expecting guests, you will of course want to be more fastidious than normal. you can also have 2 sets of clothes put out at one time--one set for work, and a nicer one for lounging and visiting.

my plan for laundry is to wash underwear and socks by hand every day and put them up to dry, the same as when camping. other clothes, i have enough of so hopefully won't have to wash at all for awhile. if i do have to wash something, it can go in a pot of water and boiled for awhile.

the best thing to do, i think, is to use cotton where it counts (underwear), but to use drip-dry synthetic materials in other clothes, avoid denim and other stuff that is heavy and takes a long time to dry. this advice applies when you'rs camping, too.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), February 17, 1999.

i forgot to mention that my last post assumes you will be at home with your regular family. things change, of course, if you wind up with refugees in your house, or if you are crowded close to others in a shelter. the more crowded you are, the more essential hygiene becomes. in that case, you need extra soap, antiperspirant, toothpaste and mouthwash for the others, and make sure they use it.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), February 17, 1999.

I hate to sound stupid....but I don't get the cheese thing. And I probaby don't want to know.

Deodorant- try the crystal things at the health food stores. They work and last a long, long time.

-- (rick@ina.com), February 17, 1999.


You're right, you don't really want to know. AND, this is not the place to pass that type of info.

-- Greybear, who has probably just amazed many by showing them that there ARE depths to which he wiil not go.

- Got Baby Wipes?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), February 17, 1999.


BIG SMILE. Mercy,mercy, puleeze!


-- Mercy (geez@likin'Greybearmoreandmore.com), February 17, 1999.

Oh, Greybear, what a laugh I got to your response about the cheese thing. Once again, we agree.

-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), February 17, 1999.

A hospice caregiver knows about the cheese thing. Forewarned is forearmed. If a person does not wash those body parts which are normally covered, moist, in the dark, and contain hair, bacteria and fungi quickly form. Think yeast infection, Candida, thrush, etc. Many elderly ppl who live alone and are confused or ill get these conditions. The crud builds upon itself in cobwebby layers rapidly. If doing "sponge" or "bed baths" or "washcloth quickies," one must wash AT LEAST twice a day.

Baby wipes are excellent to have. Also, get many boxes of BD Alcohol Swabs, which are individually wrapped little squares of spongy pad which can be used to scour the armpits. Try a couple first before doing on a regular basis, as the strength of the alcohol can irritate some ppl's skin. Rinse after 3 minutes with small amount water. It is one step of effective odor control when one does not have access to normal soap and water, which are preferable. NEVER use alcohol swabs in the underwear region.

It is always important, when compiling one's personal hygiene stash, to first TEST all supplies in the ways one anticipate using them. No use stockpiling something which affects you adversely.

Some things are better discussed now than learning on one's own the hard way when supplies are no longer available.

Good luck with all preparations and gathering & testing activities!

Ashton & Leska in Cascadia

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 17, 1999.

i got a big laugh out of the cheese thing too. it certainly helps if you were circumcised at birth, otherwise you need a few more swipes with the washcloth. enough said about that, it's not a big deal.

i'm glad someone brought up the subject of hygiene. i was beginning to think people were afraid to discuss this necessary topic.

then we could get into a fullblown discussion about germs. personally, i plan on using antibacterial soap, and that's about it. especially on PTA. i won't explain what PTA is.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), February 17, 1999.

oh yes, leska, you're absolutely right about testing stuff. i'm lucky and can use about anything, but my husband has allergies so i don't mess with what works for him, unless we test the new stuff. he also has delayed food allergies, so he will be tested and we plan to rotate food to be on the safe side. fortunately, the only 2 things i have to watch very carefully are live yeast and sesame oil.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), February 17, 1999.

Penis cheese????????????!!!!?????

Next they'll talk about vaginal yogurt or something.


-- INVAR (gundark@aol.com), February 17, 1999.

Why, Invar, you of all people, to be squeamish about a plot point! ;^D

If this condition were not fairly common, one would not see so many over-the-counter remedies at pharmacies. At the Hospital, over 25% of incoming patients exhibited varying degrees of such peri problems. Healthy persons who shower every day *do* need to become informed in case we all can't have our nice hot bubbly showers next January.

Another very helpful item to keep stocked is Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Pure Castile soap, large jugs. Most effective odor soap of all, natural, good stuff. Labels fun to read too :)

Oh, remember, NEVER put a Baby Wipe down the toilet! They go in plastic garbage bags, seal tight and take out frequently.
jocelyne, thanks for the antibacterial soap & allergy=testing reminders. Nurses launch into anti-germ crusades easily ;) Where is Chris and Anita Evangelista?

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 17, 1999.

Good job Leska. And just one more example of the value of the broad experiences and knowledge represented on this board. And a fine way to approach the "subject matter" in a civil manner.

Now if we could just do something about food words when talking about health consideratons. Yes, the Bear does know the proper term but it is way to obscure.

-- Greybear

- Got Soap?

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), February 17, 1999.

Hey, will you guys *please cool it*!!! Those of us on the east coast are trying to eat lunch!

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), February 17, 1999.

there's no way I can finish my cottage cheese now.

-- (rick@ina.com), February 17, 1999.

"NEVER use alcohol swabs in the underwear region."

The first time is educational. The second time is inconceivable.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 17, 1999.

People, I have read the book that Not Again has written, but still not yet published. It is his memoires. I've said this before, it is something everyone must read.

Old Git, I know you'll feel the same as I did when I read it.

Leska, you'll appreciate this book like no other.

Jocelyn, it will bring a new dimension to your own experiences.

It changed my outlook on life, overnight.

I propose to be the intermediate between Not Again and yourselves if you want to contact him privately. I can relay email messages to him. If it's ok with Not Again.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 17, 1999.

Don't forget the Bag Balm, a useful veterinary product available in almost all large drugstores. It helps with topical abrasions, itching, etc. Some user's comments in these links (search for "bag balm).

HardRock Heroine

Skate FAQs:

Words of Caution

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), February 17, 1999.


Is the book available in e-form. I'd be *very* interested if so.

-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), February 17, 1999.

Chris, thank you for your recommendation re Not Again TTF's book. I am interested in reading it. When he came back to the Forum, several posters troll-labelled him, so I was wary. They said he eMailed them, and that seemed to annoy them. Now I feel Not Again is a completely legit poster who has lived thru historical hell, has a sense of humor and a flare for the gruesomely detailed descriptions, can remind us of what circumstances in the not-too-distant-past were like and have been like repeatedly throughout history, and who would probably like Anne Rice's novels of empires falling ;^)

Not Again, I apologize to you if I have ever offended you in the past. Please do not take the troll jitters personally. And even I can get squeamish and bolt at the voltage :-)

xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxx

-- Leska (allaha@earthlink.net), February 17, 1999.

Ladies only,

Since we have broached the subject of hygiene,look at this! www.y2kwomen.com/keeper/index.htm No need to store a years worth of tampons, pads, or whatever. It seems like it might be a good idea even if y2k were not bearing down on us.

-- Sharon in Texas (sking@drought-ridden.com), February 17, 1999.

Threads like this one, and conversations with my elders, continues to increase my admiration, no, make that 'awe' of preceding generations. This is a part of history that should be taught. To go from the 'greatest generation' to the weakest in one generation boggles my mind. Every time I hear one of my generation whining about how hard life is now, I just get so disgusted. We have the highest standard of living in the history of the world and these idiots are unhappy. I fear I'm going to get to see firsthand the hard times some of you went through. I hope to have your fortitude in dealing with it.

-- RB (r@ar.com), February 17, 1999.

Leska, your post is right on target! And there's no other way that he could have related his experience than with caustic/sarcastic humor style to make it readable, as it's a brutal story that got me on an emotional spin. His writing style is sugar coating on the pill.

Greybear, yes it's available in e-form, but has to come from TTF himself.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 17, 1999.

RB, you're right on too. That is why I hope TTF will get to publish his book soon. It's a must read, and should be required reading in highschool. (I'm serious TTF!)

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 17, 1999.

Anita Evangelista is out in CA for a family emergency. She'll be back.A note..buy her books...they lived without electricity for ages and know what works.

-- MUTTI (windance @train.missouri.org), February 17, 1999.

Anything that I can learn about yeast infections and home remedies is a plus for me. My mother has shingles! She's under a doctor's care, but now that I know she can get them again, and I can't get her to a doctor, I need to know what can I do if she gets them again? Any suggestions?

-- bardou (bardou@baloney.com), February 17, 1999.

A few points about hygiene:

First, Sharon mentioned the Keeper for women. I used to use one but you have to be SCRUPULOUS in keeping that thing CLEAN! I wasn't as scrupulous as I should have been and ended up with a serious infection. I am worried that we won't be able to be clean enough to use the Keeper, so I AM stocking up on tp's, pads, etc.

Also, it is a good idea to get about 4-5 tubes of Clotrimazole 2% (yeast infection medicine) just get store brand, same thing. Even little girls can get yeast infections, I have a 4 year old daughter prone to them.

As someone who is slightly "European" in my hygene practices (meaning, I don't bathe daily) I can tell you that some people *naturally* are more odorous than others. For some reason, I am kind of non-stinky. I don't even have to use deoderant (I have no idea why--I just don't sweat or stink there). But I do have that crystal rock thing and it works well, but I can't imagine it working for a heavy stinker. Think: antibacterial gel by the gallon (the kind that doesn't require water), baby wipes (hundreds), etc.

I am married to an uncirced man and have never seen the cheese. He is a very, very clean person. Just thought I'd throw that out there. BTW, hygiene for an uncirced man is not nearly as complicated as people make it sound.

What I worry about is how to wash the hair with limited water? I heard you can comb cornstarch through your hair for a "dry shampoo" (they do this for invalids) but that can only help so long.

If you are really curious what it will be like and aren't going to be around anyone for a while, see how long you can go without bathing before you can;t stand yourself. For me it is approx. 7-9 days. My husband, from being in the Army has gone 17 days without bathing and said he stunk to high heaven. Yuck.


-- Kellie (kellie@babywipes.com), February 18, 1999.

I don't know if these things are still available as alternatives to tampons and pads, but back in the 1960s (maybe 1970s) there was a thing -- don't remember what called -- made out of rubber or soft plastic. Was sort of like a cervical cup/cap. Shove that thing up the old puss and it would collect the flow. Empty out a few times a day, wash and re-insert.

Haven't heard about them lately, so they were probably taken off the market because some bimbos probably would leave it in for a couple of days or so (light period or end of period) and got toxic shock.

A handful of idiots misuse something, big lawsuits, and it disappears.

-- A (A@AisA.com), February 18, 1999.

I found some of what A is talking about under the brand name Instead. I haven't seen it everywhere, but they had it at Superstore (local grocery supermarket - Safeway competition). I bought some for my daughter, but she doesn't want to use them. They take up far less space than pads, though, and space is starting to be a consideration. Package says not to use if IUD in place, and "MUST NOT BE WORN LONGER THAN 12 HOURS". Also gives 1-800-INSTEAD as # to call for any problems with insertion or removal. They may be able to refer you to an outlet near you, too. NB, may not be available in US, I don't know.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), February 18, 1999.

great thread! nobody has brought up shaving, so i will. IMHO, neither women nor men ought to worry too much about shaving. it will be the dead of winter, anyway. i plan on wearing slacks mostly, and i have black tights to wear instead of pantyhose, you can't see thru the tights and they are almost indestructible.

the exception is underarms. i think men as well as women could benefit from keeping them shaved fairly regularly because you tend to build up salts deposits on the hair, and they are odiferous. it takes a while to build up the deposits, so you can shave infrequently. sorry for those trying to eat breakfast.

-- jocelyne slough (jonslough@tln.net), February 18, 1999.

All good suggestions so far. I just want to add that we shouldn't worry too much about odors, as the nose adjusts to strong odors quite nicely after a while. That's why some women stinking of perfumes don't realize they do, their noses got used to their own smell, and thinking they're not smelling enough they put on more and more. Same thing with stinky underarms, smelly people don't realize it. Going a week without bathing is not unhealthy at all, on the contrary it is beneficial to your skin, as it allows the natural oils and beneficial bacterial flora to floorish and protect your skin. Bathing is overdone in the western countries, much of it is due to brainwashings from the soap/hygiene products companies, and then reinforced by social customs. A hot shower or hot bath is soothing to sore muscles and old bones though, and in that it's therapeutic.

We should worry instead about good hand washings and handling of foods, and keeping private parts adequately clean (women, never wipe from back to front ;-)). And get used to never touch your face with your hands, that's the most common way of catching viral infections such as the flu/colds etc., through the mucus membranes. And disposing of materials with body fluids (TP, kleenex, wipes, diapers etc.) properly and not let any of it lie around.

My .02 cents as a nurse.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), February 18, 1999.

Dear Chris,

Brilliant insight. And it's so true.

I used to work near a "rendering plant." At first I thought I would vomit from the stink. Then I became used to it.

I still remember mother's odors during and after the war when I buried my face in her skirt. Ancient smell gave my great comfort.

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), February 18, 1999.

Alternative to shaving is yanking it out. That's what I do for beard and moustache edge trim. (And, dare I confess, ear hair.)

-- A (A@AisA.com), February 18, 1999.

BTW, shaved/plucked pits and pubes can't hide lice.

-- a (A@AisA.com), February 18, 1999.

A and Tricia,

I think what you are referring to is the same thing referenced above as "the keeper".

-- Sharon in Texas (sking@drought-ridden.com), February 19, 1999.

Another favorite entertainment during TEOTWAWKI might be squeezing carbunkels. At least that's how it was the last time. Do YOU know how to drain boils? If not done properly it feels like sticking a knife in you and can cause blood poisening, a very unpleasant method to return to dust.

-- Not Again! (seenit@ww2.com), February 19, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ