Dave T’s Pros and Cons of Stuff Everyone Has: Smells

Big Wheel Blog: 

Sniff. Do you smell anything? If you smell anything, that thing that you smell is called a SMELL.

(I could use “odor” and it would make a lot of these sentences flow better. But I won’t. Instead, I’ll give you a final count on how many times I use the word smell in this article.)

If you don’t smell anything, that means you have anosmia, the inability to smell smells. This can be a temporary or permanent condition. Hopefully it’s the former. Either way, go put on more deodorant and some cologne/perfume right now, just in case you reek and no one has the heart to tell you.

Don’t know what they are?

Smells are chemical compounds in gas or vapor form perceived in animals by the olfactory sense (the sense of smell, duh). Most smells come from organic matter, but some inorganic matter, like ammonia, also smells.

The perception of a smell has two stages. First, the physical: the receptors in your nose receive the smell. Second, the psychological: the brain processes and interprets the smell. The second part is completely subjective. That’s why when you fart, you kinda like the smell, but your sister gags to the point of nearly puking.


• Thanks to smells, you have a chance to know if milk is bad before you take a sip. You also have a chance to know if your drink has been poisoned or roofied before you take a sip. Unless the poison or roofie is smell-less. (I should’ve used "odorless," but no, I made up a word instead.)

• If someone recently pooped in your bed, you’d probably smell it as soon as you walked into the room. Without smell, you wouldn’t know about the poop until you got into the bed and it touched your leg. Though, without smell, I guess poop wouldn’t be so horrible. It would just be ugly and tacky to the touch. Poop would become super-boogers.

• Smelling your own burning flesh is the best way to know you’re on fire without a mirror.

• Smell helps with attraction, aiding in the pairing off of people that leads to love and sometimes babies. And the cologne/perfume/soap/potpourri industry keeps thousands of people employed.

• Skunks use stink as a defense against predators. Women can do this to ward off men they don’t like. (Ladies, if you don’t like a dude, eat some pork rinds and something with curry in it and then tell him something up close with a lot of h sounds in it. He’ll leave you be.)

• If you couldn’t smell, you wouldn’t be able to taste either. Vanilla ice cream would taste the same as mud.

• Smell is the sense connected most closely with memory. Smelling fresh cut grass and watermelons reminds me of Sunday afternoons at my grandparents’ house. The smell of a rubber ball reminds me of being nine. The smell of chlorine reminds me of summers in Wildwood. The smell of Bugles and grape soda reminds me of the road trip I took to Arizona with an inner city coyote named Michael. I heart nostalgia!

Total Pros: 7


• The expense of smelling good is expensive. (An expense being expensive is even more obnoxious than smelling a smell. I can’t help myself!) Shampoo, cologne, perfume, soap, Lysol, this stuff adds up. Luckily you can usually get free matches for the bathroom from bars.

• Some really tasty food has quite a stink to it. I don’t eat sharp cheeses, but that’s a good example. Being around sharp cheese really sucks for me since I’m not even going to eat any.

• Homeless people would have better self-esteem if we couldn’t smell them.

• Super strong smells can cause migraines in sensitive sniffers like me.

• I hate it when I’m full from dinner and then I smell something delicious and get magically hungry again. It will lead me to obesity or diabetes or both some day.

Total Cons: 5

So, 7 pros, 5 cons, smells are here to stay.

If we didn’t have smells, Dwayne The Rock Johnson would’ve said “Can you taste what the Rock is cooking?” And since there’s no taste without smell, he’d have to say “The Rock is cooking something.” With a crappy tagline like that, he’d never have gotten to make The Scorpion King. The cinematic world would have a hole in its heart.

'Til next week, Ciao!
Dave T

(There were 39 instances of the word "smell" and its derivatives in this article, excluding the title, including this sentence.)

Dave Terruso is half of the sketch comedy duo Animosity Pierre.