I think all people can be divided into two categories: sniffers and non-sniffers. Take me for instance. I’m a certified non-sniffer. Without a doubt, scent remains my least favorite sense. In fact every time I’ve played the “what if” game and the question was “Which sense would you give up if you had to lose one?,” I’ve always chosen smell. That means I don’t go looking for odors. If something doesn’t smell like death warmed over, I’m generally able to ignore it.
In college I once wore the same gym clothes for an entire semester without washing them. After a couple of months, my tee-shirt literally stood up in my locker. I’m sure my fetid stench preceded me wherever I went, yet I never noticed. If that’s not the picture of a classic non-sniffer then the model doesn’t exist.
Unlike me, my wife is a hardcore sniffer. Her nose remains constantly active, searching Bloodhound-like for the tiniest hint of malodor wherever she goes. Judging by frequency alone, her favorite question has to be: “Does this smell okay to you?”
The odd part is, Sophia finds a host of different smells offensive but still doggedly seeks them out in a multitude of places. All too often I’ve caught her with her nose buried in the fridge, the garbage can, the bedroom carpet, the bathroom sink, my worn underwear and (one time) the dog’s ass – trying to detect any hint of stink in places which fall squarely under my heading of “ignorance is bliss.”
In my opinion the Mrs. goes overboard with her sniffing fetish, no more so than yesterday. Around noon she suddenly became convinced she smelled a gas leak in the kitchen. She informed me of her observation, yelling at the top of her lungs that we had to evacuate the house immediately. When I tried to tell her I was busy and that she was probably imaging it anyway, she told me she’d already called the fire department. She harangued me until I agreed to drop everything and join her and Prometheus outside.
We did not have a gas leak. According to one of the firemen, Sophia must’ve confused the odor of some eggs I’d left cooking in the microwave (eggs apparently well-beyond their stated expiration date) for the scent of the chemicals added to natural gas. The firemen reached this conclusion, however, after I’d already spent an unhappy, uncomfortable hour waiting outside. Only then did they give us the all-clear signal, freeing me at last to pick up where I’d left off before Sophia’s panicked, rude interruption. As my wife headed to the kitchen to dispose of my intended lunch, I gingerly waddled back to the bathroom … where I finally began wiping my ass.