Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Smell

I think I've meet the closest thing in Australia to Foul Ole Ron.

There was a fellow at the train station this morning, heavily bearded but dressed in reasonably neat and clean-looking, if lower working class, clothes. His clothes might have been clean, but the rest of him wasn't. He stank so badly that the smell was deserving of a capital letter, like Foul Ole Ron's Smell.

I don't have the most sensitive nose on the planet -- there are probably rocks with a better sense of smell than me -- but the stench of this fellow was making me ill. The miasma he was giving off actually remained in the area for minutes after he walked to the other end of the platform.

I've been within smelling distance of people covered in honest sweat, and even dishonest sweat. I've been exposed to the smell of beggers, and people who don't wash during the height of Aussie summers, and folks whose diet includes much garlic or curry, and even one person who has a metabolic disorder such that, five minutes after stepping out of the shower, he smells like he's just run a marathon and been dipped in vinegar.

None of them came close to this bloke. For the first time ever, I think I understand what it must be like to be a bloodhound, and to be able to follow trails of scent through the air. If I wasn't trying to keep away from him, I could probably have tracked him blindfolded just by following the smell he left in his wake.

He didn't, however, say "Millenium Hand and Shrimp" or "Bugrit", so I guess he isn't the real Foul Ole Ron.

And for that, we can all be grateful.

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