As I’ve alluded to before, I’ve been blessed with olfactory organs that would not be misplaced on a bloodhound. In fact, it has been widely rumored that I might be an illegitimate descendant of none other than the great Cyrano de Bergerac. Rest assured that my neb is not merely cosmetic! I can sniff out odors that heretofore have only been detectable by highly trained police dogs. Every day I am nasally assaulted with the perfumes, deodorants, musk, and cologne that other people seem to think are “subtle” or “tantalizing.” From my point of smell they are overwhelming and when they are mixed together almost always unpleasant. I can assure you that combining Obsession with One Man Show is not a good idea in public.
In fact, my school has as many distinct smells as it has rooms and hallways. I daresay that I could successfully identify any place in the building blindfolded based upon smell alone. In an effort to blend in I hardly ever call attention to my amazing ability to detect the faintest chemical traces upon the wind, but today I became aware that normal people can actually detect some of the smells so prevalent here among the Order of the Odoriferous.
In fact, a particularly pungent odor wafted through my end of the hallway today and it caused much concern and consternation among the students passing through there. Apparently someone didn’t get the message that the recycling program had been shut down for the school year and they had dumped quite a bit of half drunk bottles of soda, chocolate milk, water, and paper into the recycling bin directly outside my classroom. By the time my planning period arrived, this combination had mixed together nicely and was giving off a wonderful moldy cheese smell. Of course I threw all that stuff into the garbage, but the damage was done and all afternoon the hallway echoed with jokes about which of them hadn’t showered recently.
What amazed me about this wasn’t that someone was so thoughtless as to dump their recyclable trash into a bin with no garbage cans in it and made a horrible mess for someone else to clean up, but rather that THIS was the smell that prompted conversation in our school?!
Every single day dozens of the “great unwashed masses” come through the front door and stand entirely too close to me to ask ridiculous questions just so that I can smell them. Shortly after that I will inevitably run into the Perfume Police who think that every last thing in the universe should smell like some horrible amalgam of the most sweet flowers in existence. If I am finally able to escape from the Police by ducking into a “teacher only” area, then I’m assaulted with anything from flowers, to copy toner, to popcorn.
Whatever happened to the good ole days when students just smelled like soap or even the food they just ate! Either of those (provided the food wasn’t fish because that’s just gross) would be preferable. And why can’t a musty concrete room in a school smell exactly like it is? Why must be add to the bouquet with the not so faint hint of fake flowers? Just imagine how these thousands of scents combine in my delicate proboscis and the muddle it must inevitably create. Truly I live in the Land of a Thousand Smells and it is a tortuous existence, indeed.