Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Top 10 Things That I Think Smell Good, But That Are In Some Way Hazardous

Paul Newman Watch = RIP... :( Twins Watch = you gotta believe! Obama Watch = +8 in the Gallup AND I got a Duane Reade cashier to PROMISE to vote for him.

10. Woodshops

This is a total childhood thing. I used to hang out with my dad in the woodshop, watching him work while toiling away on my own little "special projects". (NB: Most of my special projects were stray pieces of wood that happened to look like ducks or something. Oh, also, I ran a business for a while in the 4th grade where I sold little wooden cars. FOR A HEFTY PROFIT!)

9. Spray paint

Looking at the rest of this list, one might get the impression that I have an inhalant addiction. I assure you that I do not. (Although I have seen the movie Love Liza in its entirety and I think it is not too bad?) Also, looking at the list so far, one might get the impression that I have a home-improvements affinity. Again, I assure you that I do not. In my one year tenure as a resident of my current apartment, I have do absolutely nothing to improve my home. However, I've built several tables for my lab. (For one of them, I was just like, "LOOKIT. Here is a large, wooden rectangle. Here are metal poles that I will use as legs. I WILL MAKE THIS WORK," and I did. Because that is totes in my job-descripsh.)

8. Spent matches

You would think it's just for their power as a masking agents, but no, I really just like the smell of burnt sulfur, totally independent of other nasty smells. I dunno, man. Sometimes I just sit around lighting matches, letting them go out, and smelling the results. Years from now, I will be arrested for stealing the complimentary matches they give out at some nice (and, frankly, some not-so-nice) restaurants. I will be imprisoned for this crime for 10 years, but I'll be let out after 2, after an intrepid law student stumbles on a flaw in the case: the matches are, in fact, complimentary. A TV movie will be produced, starring Devon Sawa as me, but never broadcast. 

7. Turpentine

This just gross, I'm sorry. I used to do a lot of oil-based painting, okay? Is that so weird? NO. It isn't. Is it weird that I enjoy the smell of turpentine? Yeah, kinda. Is it weird that I kept at painting even while I obviously had no skill and no desire to be taught? Yes, definitely. Is it weird that in my later periods, I spent FAR more time cleaning my brushes than I did actually putting paint on canvas. Sure. Does this speak to some sort of compulsion or addiction? Get out of my house!

6. Rubbing alcohol

Um. Yeah. What can I say, it has a bracingly pleasant odor. You guys think I'm weird, don't you? You can admit it... Well, fine, tomorrow I'll just do the Top 12 Indiest Indies Of All (Indie) Time so I can get back to my fucking bread and butter. Oooh! Oooh! How about Top 26 Quirkiest Quirks That I Happen To Share With Quirky Film and Television Actor Michael "Captain Quirk" Keaton. I QUIT.

5. Bars

I was kidding about quitting!!! Okay, um, bars. What do bars smell like? Mmm, stale beer and second-rate perfume. It sounds like a Journey song already! Oh, you know what REALLY smells amazing? Super sketchy dive-ass bars. Man, this one time I was at TimeOut on Amsterdam with Pat and Frank (and maybe Rami was there, too?)... by the way, TimeOut doesn't exist anymore. ANYWAY. There had just been some party there and a bunch of food was left over... so Pat's playing with the food and he stumbles upon some hot peppers. Well, this gigantic mountain lion of a man, replete with mane and skeezy-ass goatee, comes over and chews us out for touching his foodstuffs. Then, he lays us 10 to 1 that we can't eat a pepper without crying. Long story short, I made a hundred dollars that night! NICE.

4. Basements

Mostly, it's just the smell of laundry... takes me back to childhood... when I did all that laundry? You guys, it is a warm, musty soapy smell--what is not to love? (Translation: When people go, "Ew... there is a mildewy aroma in this room," I go, "COOL! I WANNA SMELL!" I have terrible taste. And smell? Oh, gosh...)

3. Permanent markers

Especially those really thick, metal ones. I'd sniff those so hard that I'd end up with a comical fake-Hitler mustache. Oh, man... then I bet I'd walk into a social gathering where it would be TOTALLY culturally-inappropriate for me to have such a faux-costume on and there would be screwball hijinks and madcap wackiness a-plenty!

2. Gasoline

Preferably Mobil. (Preferably pre-2000, when it didn't cost that much--am I right or am I right! Who am I kidding, I live in NYC.) Also of note... many of the entries on this list are hydrocarbons. Perhaps I just like the smell of hydrocarbons? Once I had a chemistry teacher who would bug the kids who wore gel in their hair by saying, "Mr. So-and-so, I notice that you are wearing hydrocarbons in your hair. Are you trying to attract a female mate?" Legend has it that he jumped out of window to prove a point once. ONCE.

1. Cigars

My uncle is a cigar aficionado and when he smokes his Cubans, he wears a fez. No lie. Also, once upon a time, Frank and I sat on a stoop while smoking Cubans on 47th Street, singing "You Got What I Need" by Biz Markie. In friggin' harmony, dudes. THAT IS AS GOOD A WAY AS ANY TO END THIS LIST!


El Gigante said...

I was not there for the peppers incident though I heard about it a lot. Thanks for the shout out either way.

Anonymous said...

i like the smell of vinegar and bleach.

Lakshmi said...

As if that Duane Reade cashier was going to streak across 8th ave with "Duane for McCain" burned into his chest with a cigarette. Pick a bigger battle.

Peter said...

Dear Anonymous--

YOU ARE SO RIGHT! I personally really love the smell of vinegar. When I was a kid, I would mix vinegar and baking soda in spent film canisters and throw them at kids I didn't like. They were like fake grenades. Also, bleach. You are a true olfactory hero.


PS: Dear Laksh--

FINE. I'm pickin' you. YOU are my new battle.


Rob said...

I'm sniffing some bleach right now, just to start the day off right.