The Sabbath is a holy day. A holy day that came about after a protracted struggle against the tyranny of bathing. The name Sabbath gains its etymology from two opposing forces during the War of the Bath.
It is written in the history books that once the country had been captured by a tyrannical trio of germophobes; Duchess Dettol, Priest Protex and Justice Jik. Under their rule there were three types of compulsory baths. They commanded that, in their honour, each person must take three baths a day, each dedicated to one of them – this was the first type; The Masters’ Baths. The second type was the Defecation Bath, to be administered immediately after a shit. The third and last compulsory bath was the Fornication Bath – to be administered immediately after a fuck.
It thus came to pass that on average a person would have a minimum of four baths, and the particularly devoted to the Masters would also have voluntary baths. Some devotees would go on bathing binges, staying in bathtubs for days on end. At the festival of the baths, the Masters would join the pilgrims in the Warm Lake for a three-day long bath. There would be bubbles of a myriad of colours and sizes floating above the lake, the lake itself would be completely crowned in foam. The Masters would lead the chant “Cleanliness is next to Goldenness.” When people left the lake they would jubilantly shout, tired from lack of sleep and pale from the protracted immersion in water, “I am clean as Gold!”
The effects of over-bathing were clear to anyone not as yet thoroughly brainwashed; the dull skin overly sensitive to the elements, the soft hands and feet that felt abused each time they had to hold something or take a step. All of these defects, and the fact that people spent most of their time bathing and generally avoided anything that could dirty them, effectively brought life to a standstill – no productive work was taking place, including even reproduction. The Masters were aware of this, and the dangers it presented. To circumvent the impending uprising against the ‘Cleanliness is next to Goldenness’ ideology, they employed the services of the influential Omar Omo to run a counter ideology to protect the master ideology.
Omar Omo was the first person in the country to be punished for skipping a compulsory bath; it was a scandal of epic proportions. The whole country tuned in to listen to the testimonies of family and friends telling how Omar Omo had failed to burn his white t-shirt after it had sustained a stain but instead wore it for a full two days.
“A foul smell emanated from his armpits,” his wife sobbed, “I had never in my life came across such pungent scent.” The son testified how when he went to his father’s bathroom at midday to draw him the second Masters’ Bath – dedicated to Priest Protex – he found the first bath still unused; “The water had turned cold, the foam had deserted, only the gold of the Dettol remained as I had poured a generous portion,” the Duchess smiled at this.
Justice Jik, who was presiding over this unprecedented case, asked in panic; “And my bath? Did he at least take that one?” “Under protest My Lady,” the prosecutor interjected, “he had to be held down by four police officers.”
“Better!” she sighed her relief, “that is the strongest of the three.” She added much to the repressed ire of her two colleagues. It was unheard of, for a person to skip a compulsory bath.
The country was, however, in for more shocking revelations. Omar Omo, on the day in question, had also defecated and fornicated, and had also skipped the concomitant baths. No one could even begin to imagine how could someone be so dirty! Justice Jik sought to set an example; she banished Omar Omo to an island far away. After the sentencing Omar Omo chanted as he was being dragged away to live in solitude: “Dirt is gold! Dirt is gold! Dirt is gold!”
Many whom had reservations about the ruling ideology sympathised with Omar Omo. #DirtIsGold started trending in twitter by the evening. By the morning another disturbing trend began: #AsiJiki – ‘we won’t Jik’ – clearly as protest against Justice Jik’s judgement. People skipped their third Master’s bath in protest, the most taxing of them all. This however did not have much of an effect besides apathetic shock. The protestors upped the ante – they shunned all baths all together. A new trend, #Asisabathe (we won’t bath), gained momentum, and more reports of pungent smells escaping armpits reached the police. Justice was swift, in four days Omar Omo had three hundred cohabitants on the island. In the next two weeks there were thousands Asisabathes as they called themselves – or Amasababath (those who fear the bath) as the rest of the country called them. The arrests did the job of instilling discipline to bathing in the country, they brought coherence to the country – there was an enemy to guard against.
For theirs sins, the Asisabathes in the Island of the Great Unwashed were tasked with all productive work. Omar Omo was appointed the leader by the Masters, his was to ensure that the dirty work of productive labour got done. They farmed, they manufactured, and they washed the garments of the main land – keeping whites white and colours bright.
“Dirt is gold!” Omar Omo drilled into their heads, “You must work for your dirt. Phokoje go ja yo o dithetsenyana” And work they did. They also reproduced in great numbers – in two decades they outnumbered the slowly declining lazy population of the main land. Omar Omo had a problem of overcrowding on his hands, but he was never one to let a crises go to waste. He realised that with his vast numbers he had more power than the Masters, and the Island of the Unwashed was a stronger nation than the Masters’. He hatched a plan to take over country.
He gathered the Asisabathes, sent out word to the mainland that they had a bumper harvest and the stores of the Island of the Great Unwashed where overstocked, so they must send more ships than usual. The ships came, saw nothing of the expected cargo, and were conquered. Ten thousand of the strongest Unwashed arrived at the harbour of the mainland in the middle of the night and spread dirt all over the city, more ships were sent to the Island to collect more Asisabathes. The great siege had begun.
On the seventh day of the siege, the Asisabathes won major concessions; their imprisonment was lifted with immediate effect and they would be allowed back on the mainland, the Masters decreed a moratorium on compulsory baths, however strongly recommending that each person bath at least twice a day at the time of their choosing. The Asisabathes – knowing very well that a ‘strong recommendation’ from the Masters was effectively an order – decreed one bath-free day every week. The Masters succumbed to this.
The day came to be known as the ‘Day of the Asisabathe’ or the ‘Day of the Amasababath’ – now simply called Sabbath.