Monday, March 12, 2007

Smell Ya Later

It's official: air fresheners have messed with my brain.

A few months ago, the maintenance staff at my office building started using fruity and/or vanilla spice scented deodorizers in the public restrooms. It's one of those systems that automatically sprays the air every 30 minutes or so. If you happen to be in there when it goes off, it's like being gas-bombed with a fruit stand. It's a heavy chemical freshness that stays on your tongue for a while and probably causes cancer. While this is a great improvement over the more common stenches of bleach and raw sewage, it doesn't really elimate the bad smells; it just adds good smells to bad smells, resulting in a horrible new smell that taints the good parts of that smell forever.

Case in point: I arrive at a cherished friend's home for mimosas and brunch. Ever the magnificent host, he has baked some fresh sweet rolls for our enjoyment. The heady aromas of vanilla and cinnamon fill the air. I'm really excited about the goodness to come for about three seconds, and then I'm hit by a weird olfactory flashback. Though his apartment is perfectly spotless and undeniably stink-free, I'm suddenly overcome by the foul ghost-like memories of public toilet. My brain provides the phantom brown note to an otherwise delicious symphony of scents.

So my friend makes his grand entrance from the kitchen, proudly presenting his well-styled platter of gorgeous homemade pastries, and catches me cringing from the invisible funk in the room. I start laughing as I try to explain the reasons for my reaction, but I'm an idiot, so I only make things worse by laughing, then he got all fierce on me... until this sentence came out of his mouth:

"So my sticky buns smell like shit, do they?!"

And then we laughed really hard and got drunk and ate cinnamon rolls.


CoffeeDog said...

Fun with Buns! And a bit of drink to wash them down, YUM.

Bert Bananas said...

"Raw Sewage"

What other kind of sewage is there?

Where do you go where they have fried, or boiled or sauteed sewage? Sewage on a stick? Sewage flambe? Crispy sewage treats? Puffed sewage?

Please feel free to exercise your imagination.

katrocket said...

Alright Bananas. I was trying to be discreet, but you asked for it: To my knowledge, there also exists treated sewage (denitrified with methanol added to produce wastewater), inorganic sewage (mining slag, sand, recycled metal, ceramics), agricultural sewage (field drainage), and toxic sewage (heavy water from reactors), to name a few.

You can tease all you want, but I know my shit.

Bert Bananas said...

"You can tease all you want, but I know my shit."

Ha ha ha ha!

I need to reactivate the charter of my foundation for the proliferation of set up lines.

pistols at dawn said...

Well played, both of you (and originally to you as well, Ms. Rocket).

I learned this scent-based lesson quite some time ago, when a couple of girls discussing men noted that, "I hate it when they try to cover B.O. with deodorent, because then it just smells like a horrible hybrid of the two." And that conversation taught me that bad smells can rarely be saved without their removal.

It also taught me that girls don't like it when you bug their room and record their conversations, but I wouldn't officially learn that lesson until a week later.

Snooze said...

Great post and comments. I hate the smell of air fresheners in general. My mother had one in one of their bathrooms and I threw it out.

micgormit said...

I laughed really hard too. I can't believe I'm just discovering Katrocket has a blog. You're a multi-talented whirling dervish Cobie. I too gag on these "automatic" air fresheners. Thanks for sharing.