Last night Jo and I watched ‘Titanic’ for the umpteenth time. Jack and his lady-love were portrayed as way-cool pretty people, which is at odds with the reality of a stoop laborer early in the 20th Century — as well as his lady-love, a cosseted whelp.
Jack, to start off, would have reeked of B.O., having bathed oh, maybe, six months before. His clothes, however, would be even worse, having never been laundered — in the finest of Wisconsin traditions. Of course they would be rife with body lice. Jack’s shaggy mop of hair would, naturally, be infested with head lice.
His skin would have been filthy and covered with angry eruptions.
Jack’s teeth would have been carious, stained with nicotine and at least three would have gone missing. Add-in bleeding gums and his breath could have stripped paint.
Below the belt, Jack had problems too. In those days, most men were not circumcised (a barbaric, stone-aged practice if ever there were one) and this, coupled with Jack’s aversion to bathing, would have left him with a good teaspoon of foul-smelling smegma gracing the head of his pecker. If ever he were to skin that thing back, the stink would have cleared a large room.
Jack’s underwear (if he wore any) would have been sodden and caked with dirt, duck butter, pee stains, pecker tracks and skid marks — they could have almost walked by themselves. And where was toilet paper during all this? Well, lady-love probably had some in her steamer trunk but Jack?
Of course Jack, being of Irish descent, would have had rickets, thanks to a very poor diet and his legs would have been bowed like a chicken’s wishbone. This would have not enhanced his attractiveness.
But would all this have been enough to make the lady-love turn away? Probably not, for she herself would have hardly been in better condition. Razor blades were of poor quality and dangerous (recall Sweeney Todd) so her armpits, legs and nether-places would be as hairy as a St.Bernard.
Of course the tight bodice and voluminous skirts wouldn’t let air reach those places so the sweat would have clung to the hair and … well you can imagine the smell. Her hairy airless crotch, swaddled in those airless bloomers, skirts and whatnot, would have captured old menstrual blood, shit stains, pee marks and kuze. Were she to fluff those skirts, the stink would have been intolerable. It would have been right out of the Infernal Pit. Her unshorn arm pits were hardly any better. Of course her teeth (and breath) would have been no better than Jack’s.
To ice the cake, lady-love would have plastered her face with harsh chemicals they called ‘cosmetics’ which made her face as rough as sandpaper and as tough as parchment. These ‘cosmetics’ would have laid on her face like coatings of lard; they would have worked their way into her pores and turned black. These blackheads would have been so large and discolored they wold have looked like freckles.
What a pair.