Do as I Please

Note: On some of the social implications of stink bombs, or, if you wish to substitute, try cigarettes!

Joe Doakes
(a well-known bum prefers to be under suspicion rather than identified by use of his full name).

I like stink bombs.

They may nauseate other people but I like them and believe in freedom--at least, my freedom to set off stink bombs any time and anywhere.

After all, in this free country, a fellow ought to be able to do as he pleases. (Personally, it seems only very queer people would object to these bombs.)

Some folks have nerve to tell me stink bombs are revolting, but I have a blistering comeback. I tell them: Get yourself a stink bomb if you don't want to smell mine, else don't blame me. That usually shuts them up for keeps.

I always liked stink bombs. Well, at first I didn't--until I got used to them; but now I can't get along without them, and when I think of the quiet satisfaction they bring and the lift I get when one goes off, I say, what the heck with finicky people with over-sensitive smellers. After all, a guy is due some pleasures in life without having everybody jump down his throat.

Besides, it's unfair to accuse me of being inconsiderate of other people. I am really very polite about my stink bombs because I never set one off without asking people around me, 'Would you mind if I set off this stinker?' The fact that nobody ever had nerve to stop me ought not to keep you from seeing my good intentions.

Or, when people indicate my clothes or my breath may smell like my bombs, I always draw back at least an arm's length for the rest of the conversation. It is true that only one fellow ever suggested we not talk so close-up and he did that after I kept asking him why he was turning his head to one side and catching short gasps of breath.

It's a free country, I say. Anyway, I like setting off stink bombs, even if they do leave bad odors around the place. You can get used to anything if you like it and I guess I just like it and am used to it. There's no use telling me to give up one of the biggest things in my life just because it happens to bother other people.

And, if you will hand me a match, I'll set off one right now....

Truth Magazine VII: 11, pp. 11
August 1963