Wednesday, December 07, 2005


It has come to my attention all too recently that I am lacking in my sense of smell. This knocks two of my senses flat. My vision falls in the far-from-perfect category as well. But, unlike my sense of smell, I have been aware of my visual shortcomings for quite some time. Chalkboards in first grade alerted myself, my parents, and anyone else who might accidentally make me read from afar that I was indeed near-sighted. I could adapt, though. And what with eye glasses being around at least long enough for Ben Franklin to make bifocals out of them, I could even improve my vision.

But, here I am at twenty-five and I'm just realizing that as poor as my vision is, I have the smell to match. My poor vision is easy to diagnose, though. Things far away are hazy. I am scent-impaired and there are no hazy smells. There's really no way to discover this except by sudden realization. It's like that flashback scene at the end of The Sixth Sense (Warning: Six Year Old Spoiler Alert Ahead) where Bruce Willis recounts all these strange coincidences fitted into a montage that suddenly add up to the realization that he's been dead throughout the entire movie! That's like my nose! Except only half-dead!

My sudden realization montage would go something like this:

Shot of me in a room where someone has farted something horrible out there ass. Everyone is cowering and covering their nostrils with whatever they can readily find. I stand complete still and calmly read a book of happy poems until the smell has undetectedly leaked far enough into me to create a stabbing pain in my head.

Cut to-

Shot of me taking the train to work. The car that I'm riding in is completely empty. Each time the door opens at a new stop, the incoming passengers are forced back out by the stench of rotting urine. I again am sitting content with my book of happy poems until that stabbing pain strikes.

Cut to-

Shot of me in a floral shop. Same book, same stab. The only difference is that now everyone else is happy. Yes, even pleasantly potent smells hurt me.

Basically, every shot ends with a stabbing headache. And I realize that I can barely even smell my own farts. A tear falls. I drop my book of happy poems, stand and say,
"My name is Shane Portman and, yes, I am near-sighted and near-scented. I can neither see nor hear from afar!"
I, then, cry some more.

Maybe this is more of a bad infomercial for late late late night television.


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