I've got it all figured out.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ask the Magic Internet a Stupid Question No. 0004

It’s Wednesday folks and you know what that means?

Happy HumpDay??!!

No you twisted freak. It’s time for another installment of Ask the Magic Internet a Stupid Question. Let’s dive in head first like a small town teenager up at the quarry after five beers.

Question 4: What’s the worst smell in the world?

I grew up in Burlington downwind from Mary Miles meat processing plant. They slaughtered pigs there and turned them into delicious bacon and sausage. Mmm.

Getting turned on ladies?

If you drove past the place on the days they brought the pigs in the whole area smelled like pig shit. Not a pleasant smell I can tell you.

Like yours doesn’t stink! Oooweeeeeeee!

Then when they turned them into bacon there was this sweet smoky maple smell that was actually pretty good. But then they would burn up or render all the parts they didn’t use and the smell was just god awful. It wasn’t just confined to around Mary Miles either. It would permeate the air and settle on my neighborhood like an invisible hell fog of stink. That’s when, between choking and re-swallowing my own barf I came up with the incredible jingle, Mary Miles smells for miles. (Like how I rhymed miles with miles? Blowhizzle it out your nizzle Snoop Dogg!)

Damn fine meat maker disin’ rhyme Johnny. Chuuch.

Thank you D. O. Double G but let me tell you, if you thought that stink was bad, right across the street from Mary Miles is the Voortman Cookie Factory.

Usually Voortman smelled great and was a welcome scent to catch on a breeze but every once in a while it would combine with that Mary Miles rendering smell to create what I consider to be the worst thing I’ve ever smelt. Like a deadburningpigshitstrawberryvanillawaffer.

It was worse than the indoor dump.

It was worse than summer time dead raccoon.

It was worse than Brut cologne.

It was even worse than subway hobo balls.

In fact I can think of only two smells that even come close. The first is the combined smell of Mr. Sub and Cinnabon in Union Station.

Imagine one of these.

After it’s been wedged under Frank Stallone’s armpit for about a month.

Getting turned on ladies?

The second is Chinatown.

But I don’t think Chinatown really counts. Chinatown is more of a mobile experience. Let me explain. As you walk through Chinatown you pass the fruit and vegetable stands with all the squished/going bad fruit and vegetables lying on the ground below them and you think, ugh that kind of smells.

Just when you’re getting used to that you pass the weird medicinal herb bins and you’re thinking oh my god that smells worse.

By this time you’re breathing through your mouth but somehow you can almost taste the so called fresh fish.

Now you’re running and doing a crazy legs dance around live crabs that are escaping from baskets and scuttling into the gutter.

Then you’re hurdling dead pigs that a man is tossing from the back of an unmarked cube truck onto the sidewalk.

And you’re final leap is a swan dive into a wall of garbage because the Toronto garbage men are on strike again.

So you see Chinatown is less of a singular bad smell and more of terrifying haunted barrel ride for your olfactory. But is there something worse. Tell me oh wise and magic internet is there one stench to rule them all? What IS the worst smell in the world?

Beeeep Burrrrp Zerbert (that sound that R2 D2 makes when he calls C3PO an asshole). Click. Click. Ding!

Magic Internet Answer: A fine question Johnny and I enjoyed your list of the various odors that you abhor. I find it interesting that you mentioned Brut Cologne and Frank Stallone in the same question. I will have you know that not only do they rhyme but Frank’s brother Sylvester Stallone pulled a Brut Cologne trailer at the beginning of Over the Top. Here it is.

And here is another Over the Top Trailer.

But let’s get down to answering your question. What is the worst smell in the world? is a very subjective question. To begin with it is highly implausible that every odor existing on this planet has been recorded. But let us begin by looking at some of the chemical odors that have been documented. Sulpher compounds are widely regarded to omit a very unpleasant odor akin to rotting eggs. This smell is even added to certain gases in order to warn people of leaks. Sulpher compounds are also behind a stench that is considered to be in the top running for worst in the world. The smell of the blossoming Putrescine Amorphophallus Titanium plant.

Also known as the Corpse Flower, this plant blossoms once every several years and the odor it gives off (used to attract bees for pollination) has been described as smelling like a combination of rotting fish and garbage or a rotting elephant carcass. That being said there is a group of chemicals that is said to be worse. Isonitriles are described as giving off the Godzilla of smells.

Those that have smelt them are at a loss to say what they smell like beyond that it is awful and that it lingers in your brain like a trauma. This is a good segue to what I believe to be truly the worst and most traumatizing odor for human being; The smell of a dead and rotting human being.

You see the human sense of smell goes beyond the mere analysis of chemical compounds breathed in. The human perception of smell consists not only of the perception of the odors themselves but of the experiences and emotions associated with these sensations. Some people may perceive a so called nice smell to be terrible because they associate it with a traumatic event and others may perceive a terrible smell with less abhorrence because they experience it on a regular basis. That being said we know that a rotting human corpse gives off a foul odor on a chemical level due to the release of chemicals such as putrescine but it’s the effect that the odor has on the average human that truly makes it the worst smell in the world. There is the trauma of being in close vicinity to a human body, there is the natural instinct to stay away from dead bodies in order not to contract diseases and there is the emotional turmoil of confronting one’s own mortality. When one factors in all of these variables one can only come to one conclusion. To the average human being the worst smell in the world is the smell of another dead or dying human being.

Hmmm, Gross. Thanks Magic internet. You’re probably right. It probably is a dead guy. Either that or Frank Stallone.

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