First Panel Meeting

Have you ever been publicly mortified? I have. I am writing this blog to help others get over a similar circumstance. We are all human so small setbacks in life shouldn’t hold us down. We can rise and get over our embarrassments. We all have them. Life is too short to brood about things that in the long run aren’t major. What happened to me wasn’t good, but it wasn’t a catastrophe either.

I was asked to be on a panel of advisors for a local Mississippi representative. I jumped at the chance. It was an honor and a form of personal recognition; it was a great opportunity to garner some experience. These are the times when we grow. I wanted to make sure that people listened to me and that I had a positive and pleasant demeanor. The problem is that I smoke when I am nervous and couldn’t stop myself from indulging before the meeting. The smell of the cigarette is obvious as most of you know. It makes me self-conscious because I feel that people will notice. Guess what, they did. Not that anyone made a joke or yelled out the evidence, but I knew and wanted to hide in the closet. I ran out of there mighty fast and headed for the drugstore. I would be ready the next time I had to appear on the panel. There would be no odor at all. How did I do it?

I asked the pharmacist for every over-the-counter remedy to have a fresh mouth. Bad breath can be caused by food, illness, or smoking. They all get the same treatment. Binaca or a similar odor-reducing product. They are alcohol based and have a strong flavor that knocks down any telltale smoke. Even your standard mouthwash will help, according to I also bought teeth whitening paste to handle the brown stains. If your mouth looks fresh, it feels fresh. Others notice. To enhance this “treatment,” I added Tic Tacs, those cute little white ubiquitous mints. They do contain sugar, so some people avoid them, but I don’t. There are only ten calories in one. One is potent enough to take care of your cigarette breath for a couple of hours.

Here is a crazy remedy told to me by a diet-conscious vegan friend. If you don’t want a dose alcohol, even in a rinse, and you don’t consume sugar, you can go natural and eat parsley. Yes, this simple green vegetable is a great breath deodorizer. Just make sure it is fresh, she told me. Cut it into tiny pieces and eat it alone (you can keep it in a plastic Ziploc bag) or sprinkle it in a salad for lunch. Don’t think you can substitute dried parsley flakes, the kind people use for cooking when they don’t have the fresh stuff. This will never work. There you have the modern and traditional methods for curing bad breath caused by anything from garlic and chili powder to cigarettes.