Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Helter Smelter, or My Life As A Dog

I just took an evening stroll with our trusty Golden Retriever, nine or ten years old (human),and I got to thinking as I observed her curiosities and excitations.

I recalled a hilarious cartoon in The New Yorker not too long ago, I believe by Alex Gregory. It showed two dogs checking each other out by smelling each other's private parts simultaneously. The caption went something like (but funnier than), "We've got to find another way to introduce ourselves."

Maybe not.

They say the sense of smell of dogs is something like 100 times that of our sense of smell.

What if we were to reacquire that same olfactory perceptiveness that we used to have, way back when, even before MTV and rotary phones? The ramifications are endless. It might even lead to greater understanding, and world peace. If only. (Well, not that dogs never fight.)

Imagine if that sense of smell could be articulated (because, after all, our sense of smell affects us every day in ways we do not even know). I can just imagine some bits of daily conversation, or interior monologue, whether at home, at work, or on the international stage:

I smell fear on you; that's why I'm going to take advantage of you.

Well, we all know why he (or she) is so chirpy today! Got lucky. Twice.

I know you're lying. I can smell it.

We know they will attack. You can smell that rage a mile away.

They're bluffing. It's obvious with those olfactory signals.

Well, this is their territory. They've marked it out. And there's more of them than us.

You say you hate me but everything else about you says the opposite.

We're going to win.

We're going to lose.

No one will beat this hand. Just smell what they've got!

I think we can work things out; we're even.

She's not worth it.

He's not worth it.

I like.

I don't.



Laugh. Or....


Special bonus from The Laughorist:

Words related to smell, from David Grambs's The Endangered English Dictionary:

nasute -- having a good sense of smell

hyperosmic -- having a keen sense of smell

osphretic -- smellable

maleolent, olid -- smelling bad

olent -- smelling fragrant

caprylic -- smelling like an animal

oikiomiasmata -- smells that are noxious from household conditions


noctuolucent -- smelling strongest at night

G'night all!


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. Entertaining as normal and thought provoking. They say the sense of smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. I do believe this. Everyonce in a while I will smell an odor and it will evoke memories of my childhood associated with that particular smell. It is amazing.

Good Post.

Later Yall.

Anonymous said...

I have to completely agree with Melon. It's neat when a smell takes you back.

Great post Mr. Laughorist! Although I have to say, I could smell the humor when I logged on to your blog ;-)

I'm glad no one can figure me out by just seems so personal.

The Aromatherapist said...

Well, folks, that'll teach me. Rosie, the aforementioned dog, just got skunked. Fortunately, I was inside. What's the difference? The whole feckin house smells. Even though I just bathed her in Nature's Miracle (r) Skunk Remover, left over from last time. She's staying downstairs tonight. This is not fun, even though you are all just laughing (as previously directed) away. F*ck! I just knew this would happen! You can't make this stuff up.

mist1 said...

My favorite New Yorker cartoon is of two snails checking out a roll of Scotch tape, one says to the other, "I don't care, I love her."

shadow falcon said...

I'm fasting at the moment so my sense of smell is driving me mad I can smell food a mile away and its torture...

(Mist - I got that cartoon on a birthday card, it is really cool)

Natalie said...

I am really glad we can't smell that well. Think of all the awful pee smelling train stations and how much worse they would be. I could never ride public transportation again.

Odat said...

Have you ever walked through NYC in the summer on garbage pick up day??????????????? Oikiomiasmata!!!! to quote the chinese! ;-)
And I also love it when a smell brings me back in time.....when I was young I used to suffer with headaches, and my Mom always put a cold, wet washcloth with rubbing alchohol on my head...and today when I smell rubing alchohol, I feel so comforted....Weird huh?

P.S. LOL about your skunked dog...(sorry).

Army said...

I too am fascinated by our brains' connections between olfaction and memory. I always wondered if it was possible to become addicted to a smell, either psychologically or physically. I guess it would depend on the emotionality of the experience and/or the electrochemical interplays of the neurons.

I also like that sense of smell is more powerful in our experience of flavors than taste is. Thus the old trick of holding your nose when eating unappetizing foods.

In the animalistic sense, smell would warn us of danger and disarm us with attraction. And thus the trick of adaptation -- the deadliness of a sweet berry's poison, the malice beneath a killer's cologne.

mutleythedog said...

My sense of smell is about 10 000 times yours actually - I can even smell you over the internet. Seriously it would be like having ESP - maybe thats why humans evolved away from it - like "Too much information man!"