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Written on December 14, 2004, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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A bluethroat Robin recently seen in Scotland that has nothing to do with this article at all.
It’s been known for some time that there are various clues to the declining mind and the onset of dementia in old age, and the BBC (“Ten odours ‘help spot dementia’ “) have picked up on research by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology which reveals a “hit list” of scents. Lemon, lilac and leather are all in this smelly Top Ten.

The well known folk wisdom down our way would concur. Old people also smell of piss and it’s not just incontinence – they can no longer smell themselves, and so are oblivious to the rancid shop-clearing miasma that precedes them like a marine platoon.

It’s an awful truth that some people are born with anosmia (smell blindness) for one or more odors. In this situation, the individual apparently has a normal sense of smell, but is unable to detect one particular odour regardless of its intensity. This affects a small percentage, perhaps 1% of the population.

Anosmiacs, aside from suffering problems of nutrition, generally cannot smell cheesy feet, body odour, bad breath – so no wonder they are also deaf to the howls of protest which their (few) friends regale them with, never have girl or boyfriends, or physical contact with anyone, develop social pathologies, develop tendencies to explode or implode psychologically, and end up on the streets or in the news for the wrong reasons or dead on the pavement, or just simply rotting in some smelly backwater, which they find perfectly acceptable.

Thankfully, the stimulated disease-free mind frequently escapes this final geriatric chapter. I’ve known several people who lived happily and healthily into their 80s and 90s who had all their senses intact, and even with fading physical energy had appetite for life undiminished. They were all uniquely sensitive to one particular smell – the smell of bullshit.

The BBC article quotes Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in smell at Cardiff University. He is appalled by a device on sale in the US “…a self-testing Alzheimer’s kit based on smell, which I think is unethical and horrifying.”

I can picture the advertising now: “A Timely Seasonal Present for the Elderly ! You too can have more room in your home, with the Granny Annex restored to the Games Room, the way it always should have been… ”

“Grandma, how do you like your new scent ? I had it specially made for you ! ” “Hmmm, it’s very nice dear. A little less leather, perhaps…”

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This thing has 5 Comments

  1. Lightning Bug's Butt
    Posted 14 December, 2004 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Amusing. Funny.

    I love any posts that takes a dump on old people.

    Bravisimo!

  2. Lightning Bug's Butt
    Posted 14 December, 2004 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Amusing. Funny.

    I love any posts that takes a dump on old people.

    Bravisimo!

  3. Lightning Bug's Butt
    Posted 14 December, 2004 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Amusing. Funny.

    I love any posts that takes a dump on old people.

    Bravisimo!

  4. Lightning Bug's Butt
    Posted 14 December, 2004 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant! Amusing. Funny.

    I love any posts that takes a dump on old people.

    Bravisimo!

  5. Deek Deekster
    Posted 14 December, 2004 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’m not “taking a dump on old people”. I wrote about dementia, the failure of the sense of smell, anosmia, and people’s attitudes towards the elderly. Thank you very much !

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