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Have you ever wondered…

… why we automatically do certain things, evidently without having a single brain cell in operation? I have watched skiers take off a ski boot that had been worn throughout an entire season and hold it up to another kid and say “Dude, smell this!.” And the dude would stick his nose clear down the boot and take a big whiff…BIG mistake. The smell of a boot liner that has been worn that long is simply indescribable. It is somewhere between three-day-old road kill and something even more dead.

There used to be a candy called Face Slammers. You tell me, just what image does this conjure up? My brain failed to engage and I made the mistake of trusting a young nephew. “Aunt Debbie, try this. It’s really good.” The taste of just one Face Slammer immediately made your mouth screw up and your eyes water. You were looking for a place to spit discreetly. I didn’t even try for discreet—the floor of the car was my target. And that nephew almost came off the Christmas gift list.

Cleaning out the refrigerator is another shining example. If a plastic container is buried so deep in the darkest corner of your refrigerator, what would possess a person to pry off the lid (pry it off because here is something gummy caked to all the edges) and smell it? The color is not remotely like anything you remember serving for your family, the shape is now goo and the smell is like that three-day-old road kill again. And just how long has it been back there anyway?  Last week? Last month? This century?

What about walking into a house and the mystery smell attacks?
Everyone present is deputized to find the smell. I have tried to decline, but no go. Every nook and cranny is searched…more than once. The worst time I was enlisted in this duty, the culprit turned out to be a package of elk meat that had fallen behind a chest freezer when the folks had been cleaning it out. We then had a package of wrapped elk meat that had soaked through onto the floor, was stuck to the floor and was by then room temperature. It was literally enough to gag a maggot.

Another thought… why do we automatically smell the bottom of a shoe just because someone holds it up and says, “smell this?” I mean, we all know where shoes go. We also all know the mathematical chances that what is on the bottom of that shoe is not good. Do we think of that? Of course not!  We stick our noses right up to the unknown substance, take a gagging breath and give an opinion. Really, did our opinion matter? Could the owner of the shoe not have figured t out on their own?

All this being said, I think the very  best is when a parent holds up a baby or toddler and smells inside the back of their diaper. Until I had a child, I never understood that.   It is an act of love, pure and simple, and needs no  explanation.

About the author

Debbie Reed

Debbie Reed

Debbie Reed is a 35+ year transplant to Montrose. In her other life, she is a Realtor with Phelps Realty,