Despite all claims and evidence to the contrary, I am neither naive nor ignorant. I know I smell bad. That is just the natural course of things when one is constantly laboring in the woods, huddling by a campfire, and showering once a week. I do what I can to counter my odor with baby wipe-sponge baths, deodorant, and fresh changes of clothes, but those measures only go so far. From what I can tell, my aroma is a mix of stinky boy and campfire. When I go into civilization, I'm not really embarrassed about smelling bad--that's just my current lot in life--but I do try to freshen up as best I can and to avoid close proximity with possible discerning noses. That said, yesterday, I did get to see firsthand the rather humorous consequences of my olfactory presence.
I was sitting in the library, only feet from the circulation desk, working on updating this very blog. It was close to closing time and an older gentleman was leaning on the circulation desk, shamelessly flirting with the librarians. At one point I got up and crossed the building to use the bathroom. Upon my return, I walked directly past the circulation desk and the aforementioned older flirt. As I was sitting down, the following conversation ensued:
Older gentleman: "Do you smell that?"
Librarian #1: "No, I can't say I do."
Older gentleman: "Smells like meat...meat bein' smoked on a wood grill. Smells good."
Librarian #2: "Sorry, I can't smell it either."
Librarian #1: "Maybe, it's the Mexican restaurant over there."
There is a Mexican restaurant two buildings over, but having eaten there, I can assure you, they positively do not have a wood grill. In fact, given my experience there, I would be surprised if they had anything more than a large microwave in their kitchen. There was almost no one else in the library, and the front door hadn't been open. The smell was definitely coming from inside. More specifically, the smell was coming from the dirty-looking dude sitting at the first computer, trying to smother a grin and stifle a laugh.
Older gentleman: "No, it smells more like bar-b-que or grillin'. That's definitely a big slab of meat and some 'veggers' on the grill. Nice and smoky. Dang, it's makin' me hungry. I'm gonna have to go get me some of that when I leave here."
Librarian #1: "There's a bar-b-que place out on North Hope street..."
Older gentleman: "Nope, I want that smell. I'm going to that Mexican restaurant to get me a big ol' Mexican car-nay ('carne', the Spanish word for meat, was pronounced clearly as two separate words).
The conversation degenerated into a review of local eateries, but I couldn't help but think how disappointed that man was going to be when he realized that whatever he ordered didn't smell quite as appetizing as me.