Friday, April 20, 2012

Reekin' Robin

Count de Money: “Sire, the peasants are revolting!" 
King Louis XVI: "You said it. They stink on ice."

Whenever we watch a movie which takes place in some day of yore (old west, medieval times, Roman Empire, etc.), my wife and I always speculate on how stinky and dirty the people would have been back then. This topic usually comes up in conversation when the film depicts a romantic scene involving two individuals who you know haven’t had a bath in weeks. It’s likely they’ve never brushed their teeth. 

So, because of that, I thought it would be my duty to set the record straight about one particular fellow and his band of very scary, hairy, smelling-like-a-carcass-rotting-on-the-prairie, merry men. That individual would be none other than Robin Hood.

Robin Hood was well-known for his penchant for thievery  robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. What is less known is the fact that the rich would frequently gladly pay Hood to get his putrid body the hell off their property and back into the well-vented woods.

Hood and his men, having lived in Sherwood Forest, never had many opportunities to bathe. There were no lakes around, just the odd babbling brook. Have you ever tried to get clean in a babbling brook, with no soap, shampoo, or conditioner; having to use a squirrel pelt for a washcloth? 

Here is a brief summary of Robin’s fetid yet merry band:

Little John 
Little John was second-in-command and probably the most famous of Hood's motley bunch. His large stature was matched only by his enormous stench. Little John's size made enemies quake in their boots, but it was his loathsome aroma that knocked their socks off.

Friar Tuck
The corpulent Tuck was a malodorous monk. With his gluttony for food and ale, one hardly needs a vivid imagination to get some idea of the foulness that emanated from this jolly yet gross gourmand.

Will Scarlet
One of the better smelling of Hood's assemblage was Will Scarlet; a dandyish dude who spent a great deal of the band’s ill-gained booty on clothes (usually red) made from the finest silk. That and the fact that he had a bouquet more befitting an aristocrat made him reviled by many of the men. It also did not help that when the band tried to hide in the woods — camouflaged in green and brown tights — there was Will looking like a gigantic cardinal sitting in a tree with his silk flapping in the wind. Not that it mattered much; for even if one were to be upwind of that band in a stiff breeze, one did not need to be a bloodhound to detect their presence.

Will Scarlet:  A breath of fresh air  — dubbed "Fop of the Forest" and "That non-stinking s.o.b." by his colleagues

Maid Marion
Robin, with all his repulsiveness, did manage to hook himself a pretty tasty dish by the name of Marion. The Maid Marion, by all accounts, looked just like Olivia DeHavilland. Her eyesight was fine, but she saw something in Robin beyond his less-than-Errol-Flynnish looks. Luckily though, her olfactory senses were severely impaired. This was not considered a detriment in Sherwood Forest.

The enemy of Robin and his merry band was the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Sheriff detested Robin mainly because Hood and his men would frequently visit Nottingham, leaving their pungent scent behind. Due to this, the county was the butt of many jokes and visitors would laughingly refer to it as “Rotting Ham”.

It’s ironic that through the years and after so many tales told and re-told, Robin Hood has come out smelling like a rose. It is also ironic that since nothing smells better than fresh-baked bread, pastries, and cake that a major brand of flour was named after this rank rascal.

Robin, more often than not, has been portrayed on movies and TV as a dashingly handsome fellow. In reality he looked like a backwoods deviant; similar to the scuzzball that Bill McKinney portrayed in Deliverance.



Robin Hood, Robin Hood, stinking up the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his filthy men
Fouling the air 'round where he stood
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood


  1. But oh, those pheromones were so much closer to the surface! I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at

    1. You mean pheromones covered in grime and muck. Thanks for commenting. I'll be checking out your blog :)