Monday, May 3, 2010

He Who Smelt It....Dealt It

Springtime in my neighborhood is ripe with the smell of skunks.  It permeates my home especially when we are trying to enjoy the short season between FREEZING and HOT AS HELL that is a New York spring.  I enjoy an open window and a window fan for sleeping, much more so than the canned air from A/C that I live in all day at work, but when it brings skunk stink....not quite the springtime fresh scent I'm going for.

Today at work, all I can smell is skunk.  I'm trying to figure out if (a) I'm imagining it...(b) it is some kind of sour smell from the flowers my boss gave me last week...or (c) heaven forbid I've absorbed the skunk smell into my own skin. 

Have you ever chased a smell?  I've been known to drive my Hubby crazy by walking into a room and saying, "Something smells....Don't you smell that?  What IS that smell?"  And never EVER actually identifying the smell.  Perhaps at times it is receptiveness to certain hormonal/pheremonal scents.  Perhaps it is truly just a whiff in the air that is traveling through.  But when those smells occur that totally turn you off...and you can't figure out where it is coming from, or even describe it? That is one of the most frustrating things in life.

Once I moved into a new room at the office and the smell drove me batty!  I thought is was residual from the previous occupant.  Finally I purchased a plug in room freshener.  When I crawled under the desk to plug it in, I came face to face with three dead mouse carcasses.  So, while I may not be able to identify it...I definitely sense it.  Kind of half....nosed? (get it....instead of half-assed?)

A few years ago I was chasing a smell around our bedroom.  I was convinced something had died or been really really ill somewhere in our room, our closet, or between our walls.  But I could never quite put my finger on it.  We went away on vacation and when we returned, the smell seemed to be gone.  Then, within hours of coming home, it came back again with a vengeance.  Finally Hubby muscled my huge dresser away from the wall (the one place I hadn't fully investigated) and there was a huge black patch all around an electrical socket.  It had disappeared because we weren't home to use the power!  Turns out we were overloading the electrical system in our old house because the fuses were accepting too much power before blowing (wrong grade, or something technical like that).  I maintain to this day that we avoided a deadly electrical fire by my superior stink detector (oh and Hubby's muscle too).  Remember that movie with Steve Martin playing a version of Cyrano with the big nose.  He led the fire department through the streets sniffing out the smoke from the fire as he went.  "That fire was beat by a nose!"  True dat.

As a parting note to this bizarre and rambling post about scentology I'll just say one more thing.  A friend of mine has no sense of smell. She lost it for some reason and it has never returned. It is something I don't know if she will ever fully get over.  What we don't realize, she says, is how much this sense affects everything else. Mood. Appetite. Sense of time, even! Imagine going to your favorite restaurant and you can't smell the food cooking! Imagine no scent of freshly mown grass, coffee, cologne! Imagine no scent of rain or morning dew. 

So, given the choice, skunks do your worst.  Just remember he who smelt it, dealt it.

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