Nasal Warfare

Posted: April 19, 2010 in ADHD, Life, writing
Tags: , ,

My stomach tossed and turned.  It knew the day was early but it clearly was uncomfortable, maybe even bored.  So it decided to wake me up.


I glanced at the clock.   6:30.


Who the hell gets up voluntarily on a Monday morning at that awful time?

Evidently I do.

I ignored my stomach and rolled over.  Stomach protested.  Loudly. 

Sometimes it’s good to be a bachelor, what with all of that irritating rumbling going on.   This way I only annoy me.

Looked at the clock.  6:31.   Closed my eyes.

Brain woke up and started rummaging around in my head, knocking shit over and just generally being loud.  “Hey!  It’s a new day!”

I thought back.  “Fuck off, brain”

It persisted.  “But you can do so much now.  Don’t have to be to work until 9:00 so what can you do in the meantime?”

I thought “sleep”

“No no no.  You’ve got a few hours.  HEY!!” it shouted.

I opened one eye.

“What if you get your washing done?”

“What if I just shoot myself.  In the head.”

“No seriously.  It’s Monday so you know NO ONE is going to be in the laundry room.  You’ll have all of those washers and dryers to yourself.”

I rolled onto my back.  Brain had a point.

Fucking brain.

It was useless to try and get back to sleep.  Stomach and brain were both pushing and prodding at me so I got up, got my shit together and went down to the laundry room.

Having loaded the laundry, I was waiting outside the elevator to go back to my apartment when I heard a screeching sound, like metal banging on metal.  Loud.

And smelly, I realized shortly after the noise started.  I figured it out.   The garbage bin people were here, hauling out all the vomit-inducing detritus of the apartment-dwellers’ stinky cast-offs.


Then the elevator door opened and I eagerly stepped forward to escape the stench.

Only, there was a rather large woman with a massive red beehive coming off, so I stepped back.

Good thing.    Her smell hit me harder than the garbage truck.   

Double ew.

She tottered on her stiletto heels out to the parking lot, overly large designer shades just sitting there precariously on her face.

I thought to myself  “Lady.  Spend some money.  Leave the Kmart bargain bins alone when you’re buying scent.”

I’m not stupid.  I didn’t say any of this aloud.  She had enormous fists and I have a delicate face.

And an even more delicate nose.

I’m just glad I didn’t have to work in the same office as her.  I could feel the headache coming on, just from those few moments of exposure.   The aura of “L’Eau de Backed Up Toilet” competed heavily with the garbage truck outside.   The perfume laughed in derision, pummeling the garbage truck odour into a quick submission, and finishing it with a round-house kick, right to the gonads.

The garbage truck was down.   And the people in the stands trampled each other as they left the stadium in panic.  Perfume glared around, just daring anyone else to challenge it.

Fortunately for me, just then, the elevator doors closed.

  1. wordofabe says:

    Good write. I think I smelled the same perfume the other day!


  2. Loree says:

    :) It’s a shame we can’t effectively smell ourselves, isn’t it?


    • God. I hope that’s not true.

      If it is, it means any of us can make the same terrific blunder. Maybe we need some sort of system or something. If you walk out of the house and you notice people starting to tear up and have nosebleeds, maybe that’s a signal.


      • wordofabe says:

        The sense of smell is the first sense to desensitize–I learned that in Biology class many years ago, and I never forgot it. I think that’s why we can’t smell ourselves.


        • I’ve been thinking about this. If smell is the first sense to desensitize, then logically we shouldn’t be all that bothered when someone else has a bath in cologne, right? I doubt the loss of smelling power differentiates between the cologne I put on and the cologne someone else puts on.

          I’m stumped.


          • wordofabe says:

            When you put cologne on yourself, you smell it strongly, but then? Your nose and brain “forget” about it. When you encounter a new smell–whether it is good or bad–you immediately are assulted by the new smell and your brain goes crazy. However, if you were to sit by the stink for long enough your brain would eventually “forget”. It doesn’t really totally forget, but the senses dull enough that you will not notice it as much. The same thing happens to each of our senses. I can’t remember what the scientific term for this is. Another example is if you are laying in bed trying to sleep and you keep hearing dripping water. It drives you nuts. But eventually, your brain will begin to tune out the sound or ignore it. You don’t even realize when it’s happening.

            The brain differentiates between your cologne and someone elses because it desensitizes to yours first. Plus, yours doesn’t stink, right?

            I think those Axe commercials have done more harm to the sense of smell than anything else. Now those teen boys are spraying an entire bottle of Axe stink on themselves in hopes that strange women will hurl themselves upon them to devour their delicious stink. Instead, they find themselves acosted by the fire hose mounted on the back of my truck!


  3. deb says:

    The trains…bums we all avoid, right? But what happens when Ms I-Went-To-The-Mall-This-Weekend-Smell-Me? sits down next to you, trapping you against the window??? Perfume is nice until it isn’t. Especially not underground.


    • Have you ever gotten up and walked away when that happens? I have. I really don’t care how it comes across. That stuff is offensive and if I don’t move it’ll trigger a migraine.

      Sometimes though (and I kind of think this is what you’re getting at) it’s impossible to move. Like on packed buses.

      Then it’s a living hell.


  4. Just Me says:

    I think you should need to have a license to wear perfume. Before you can get it you would need to show that you have adequate understanding of how much to put on, as well as what does not constitute “perfume”.

    In answer to your question of who gets up voluntarily (I use the term loosely) at 6:30 on a monday:

    \  :)
         | \
      _/ \_

    I’m hoping the above actually shows up right….


    • *laughing* Your ascii-man showed up perfectly!

      Licensing is a great idea! Some quality control would be nice too, with a hefty fine for substandard scents.


      • Just Me says:

        Yeah, quality control for the perfume companies would be a nice start.

        As for as stick man goes, I’d say I have far too much time on my hands but I don’t……..probably just far too much time on my brain, ha.


  5. suzrocks says:

    Oh the things I could say about smelly people… particularly hygiene… particularly feminine hygiene!!! I am quite disturbed at how far some people can go without recognizing the odors they put out… but, let’s discuss perfume… and cologne… almost all of it gives me a headache. People tend to ignore both quality and quantity at the same time. Too much and too bad seems to be the majority rule. Ever notice this???


    • Absolutely I noticed! Some of that weirdness was explained in earlier comments. Evidently our own olfactory senses are the first to dwindle. Put simply, we can’t smell ourselves so we end up adding to the nasal carnage by adding enough scent so that we can smell it. By then it’s too late.

      I’m learning a lot of things here.


  6. contoveros says:

    The scent of a woman? Or a woman of scents?

    What a way to start the day. A Monday at that. Sounds like you got some karma paying you back its two scents worth.

    michael j


    • Not to mention the extra karma I earned back tonight. Injured my leg in a freak accident. Not sure how bad just yet – I have to go for an ultrasound tomorrow to find out.

      I think it’s time the pendulum swung the other way.


  7. This same woman stalks me wherever I go…

    I don’t know her name, nor do I need to – her signature scent announces her presence to all (especially those with allergies or severe asthma *raises identifying hand*)

    Yes – dodging this same woman in a crowded corridor is more fun than a sprint through the perfume isle at the Bay…

    Being only 4’11’ I dare not challenge this meat fisted monster myself – my safety lies in avoidance and my trusty puffer companion.

    I wish you strength in future battles!



  8. Wordofabe – no need to get out your fire hose, there’s really no need to overdo it! AXE has a move to show guys just how much to spray. One spray under each arm and one across the chest is all they need!


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