How’s it going, duelists? It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood Dark Magician, and I wanted to talk to you all today about a topic that extends beyond Yu-Gi-Oh. As I’m sure you’ve read the title, we’ll be discussing hygiene in this article. I feel like it’s very important to understand why you should be taking care of yourself every day, especially at a time like this when the flu is running rampant. It comes as no surprise that when tons of people gather in one place, there will be a huge exchange of germs. This is unpreventable. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do our parts in reducing the risk to ourselves and other players.
We all know how early in the morning you have to be up to participate in Yu-Gi-Oh events. It’s hard enough to wake up on time, let alone to do everything else that needs to be done on a daily basis. But that shouldn’t stop you from forcing yourself to get in the shower. It honestly doesn’t take long to wash yourself. My showers last no longer than 15 minutes each. I manage to completely wash my body, shampoo and condition my hair (this has been made easier with combination shampoo, conditioner, and body wash brands), and brush my teeth, all without fail each and every day. Daily showers go a long way; they make all the difference, especially if you’re a big person. Over the course of a day, our bodies naturally perspire, oils are produced from our glands, and pores get clogged with dirt. Showers deal with these things in one fell swoop. Not only is it beneficial to your health to shower on a regular basis, but it also feels nice. You can literally feel the difference when you’re done.
People who forego regular showers will naturally smell and make others feel uncomfortable. I would also like to mention that there’s been an influx of female Yu-Gi-Oh players as of late, and you don’t want to be that guy who causes them to faint in the middle of a round. Scientific studies show that women have stronger noses than men, so if you smell, they’re more than likely going to pick up on it. It also sucks that your friends have to deal with it. Often times, they will either talk about it behind your back due to the fear of offending you, or they will host an intervention where the topic of discussion is your odor, in which case you should be extremely embarrassed. Don’t be mad at your friends if you find out that they’ve been talking about how you smell behind your back; it’s your fault. If you practice good hygiene, this would never be a problem.
Just hop in, lather up, rinse, and repeat.
Brush Your Teeth
Showering is only one part of maintaining good hygiene. You need to also brush your teeth every day to reduce other complications. The mouth is home to one of the most potent concentrations of germs in the body. If unattended, it will surely wreak and cause problems for whoever you attempt to talk to. Bad breath is extremely noticeable, too. No one likes to be in front of a person who doesn’t take care of their oral hygiene. Once again, you don’t want to be that guy. If you know that your breath stinks even after brushing your teeth, then I would strongly advise that you carry chewing gum. Sometimes you might eat something that doesn’t smell too good—like onions for example—and a stick of gum after that meal will do you much justice. If you aren’t a fan of gum, you have other options available to you such as Tic-Tacs, Listerine Strips, and breath mints. Keep one of them with you at all times; you never know when you might have something to say and it’s better to get your point across than your foul breath.
Deodorant is a powerful tool in conjunction with your regular showers. I want to place emphasis on the word “conjunction” because using deodorant without washing yourself is absolutely disgusting. For anyone who doesn’t know, if you apply deodorant without showering, it will create an even nastier odor. It will only mix with the stench of your underarms and destroy the nostrils of anyone in your proximity. I know a lot of duelists who think it’s okay to wake up for a regional and spray some Axe under their shirts before they walk out the door. If you are one of those duelists, please reconsider your actions. It is not fair to the other players. It is just wrong. Axe cannot conceal an odor for long; the stench will surely overpower it in time.
On the other side of the token, showering without using deodorant is also a disaster. I don’t care how much you think you don’t sweat, or how cold it is outside, or whatever your justification is for not using deodorant, please understand that throughout the day you will start to smell. You might not smell it yourself, especially since humans are rarely aware of their own scents, but it’s there and people will notice.
Wear Clean Clothes
Now that you’ve completed all of the above steps, it’s important to note that a lack of clean clothes will be counter-productive to everything you’ve done. Do not take a shower, shampoo your hair, brush your teeth, apply deodorant, and then put on dirty clothes. If you find yourself checking the smell of your underclothes or shirts too much, then there is more than likely something wrong. Clean clothes have a distinct smell to them; they happen to smell just like laundry detergent which is almost impossible to miss. In the winter time, do not fall under the mysterious popular delusion that you can wear the same hoodie every day without it creating an odor. Hoodies stink, too. You can wear them more times than you could a regular t-shirt, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be washed on a regular basis with your other clothes. The same rule applies to jeans, sweatpants, track pants, shorts, etc. If you’re a man of expensive tastes like myself, you can’t even wash most of your jeans; they have to be dry cleaned, but that’s neither here nor there. Just make sure to wash your clothes regularly. If you don’t know how to wash your own clothes, they now have drop-off Laundromats in certain areas. Check to see if there’s one nearby you. They even fold the clothes all nicely for you and everything!
While you might not think that your appearance matters because “you’re going to be around a bunch of dudes and who cares,” you might want to reconsider that. You never know when it’s your time to get a feature match. Who wants to be caught in a picture with a grease-stained, holey shirt? Imagine winning the whole event and being deemed “unpresentable for website coverage.”
Wash Your Hands
I cannot count on my own two hands and feet how many times I’ve been in the bathroom mirror washing my hands, and caught some guy coming out of a stall and exiting the lavatory without stopping at the sink. It creeps me out to no extent, especially since I end up shaking many hands at every event and I would hate to think that someone just used the bathroom and didn’t wash their hands. I’m sure it happens and has happened, but it’s disgusting and spreads a lot of germs. It only takes about 30 seconds to complete the process, so there’s no reason why you can’t take a moment to do it. For those of you who fear this, I recommend carrying hand sanitizer. I actually think that it should be carried normally in flu season. We exchange a lot of germs through shuffling each other’s decks, shaking hands before and after the match, rolling dice, signing slips, touching the table, etc. Washing your hands can go a long way in preventing yourself from getting sick.
While I certainly hope that duelists everywhere follow these instructions, I did not intend them to be only relevant to Yu-Gi-Oh. These are things that you should be doing naturally on an everyday basis. I hope that this article helps the community a little. There’s no reason that we can’t all enjoy a good game of cards without having to hold our breaths.
Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!
-The Dark Magician