Who is the world's dirtiest old man? Is it the Angolan holiday resort magnate Tom Gowans or perhaps a certain infamous resident of the city of Canton in Georgia USA? No - apparently it's the fellow pictured above. He is called Amoo Hadij and he lives on the outskirts of Farashband in Iran. Of course I discovered this claim on a short internet surfing expedition.
Amoo Hadij, is "a peculiar 80-year-old man who has not bathed himself once in more than sixty years. He lives in a small abandoned brick hut in the village of Dezhgah, completely alone, surrounded by garbage, dirt, and animal faeces. A bit of a loner, Amoo likes to keep to himself, and rarely has the opportunity to interact with other people. This is probably due to the fact that he smells to high heaven and has the outward appearance of a troll."
"However, Amoo Hadij has no idea he’s so dirty. In fact, his less than sanitary but simple life is completely by choice. He is dirty because he has refused to bathe – not because he does not have a way of cleaning himself."
"Looking at Amoo, one can see that his skin is as thick as leather and a bit scaly, most likely due to the layers and layers of dirt and grime that have accumulated over his body over the last sixty years.
His face and beard are covered in black soot because he is a constant smoker, with his most prized possession being a broken steel pipe, which he uses to smoke animal dung on a daily basis. Though he’s technically not homeless, he often sleeps outside of his simple shelter, preferring the “fresh air,” as well as the warmth of his fire pit.
No one knows why Amoo has refused to bathe in over six decades. However, he seems to be doing fine. While it is difficult to understand why anyone would choose to live the way he does, he appears to be completely content with his primitive but personally satisfying lifestyle."
You have to feel sorry for Amoo. He clearly has mental health issues that haven't been addressed. Nonetheless his filthy lifestyle brings western obsession with personal hygiene into sharp relief. The television often seems to be bursting with commercials for various shampoos, grooming products and indeed germ busting cleansers. If you believed the legend you would imagine that little green gremlins live under every toilet seat threatening the annihilation of the human race.
When I was a small child, it was common for people to bathe just once a week and families would often share their bath water. In northern England, nobody had showers at home. They were reserved for public swimming baths. My family were lucky - we had a functioning bathroom but both my mother and father remembered tin baths on the kitchen floor - filled with hot water from their old black kitchen ranges.
Nowadays - like most of us - I shower and shave* every day. Blessed with aroma-free armpits I nevertheless insure myself with roll-on underarm deodorant from "Lidl" (currently on offer at 55 pence). After shave spray, combing of the leonine locks and I'm done. The old tushy pegs are brushed morning and night come what may. (*Yes ladies!)
In all of this, I must admit that I am just a teensy bit jealous of Amoo. After all, his personal hygiene is much closer to the habits of our ancient ancestors who had different priorities from us. Maybe I'll join Amoo for a while in his cave in Iran - I have heard that Iran is becoming increasingly popular with package holidaymakers, eco-tourists and cruise liners. Mind you, I'm not so keen on the idea of smoking animal dung!