Funny old thing, noses.
Around the end of last year, I got Covid. At least, I think it was Covid. I was on my overlanding trip across Arabia and we had a conspiracy of silence. Do not say; do not stop, was the unspoken rule. If anybody said they had Covid, the trip would have to stop. So we all said nothing. The bug travelled around the whole group and most of us got ill at different points.
Thanks to my good peasant genes and a liberally applied dose of denial, I recovered very fast. The only lasting side effect was a reduction in my sense of smell and taste. But, like everything else, my brain’s soon normalised this and I didn’t notice it anymore. It’s hard to notice the absence of a presence. Or indeed, the presence of an absence
Anyway, a few days ago, I got a mild touch of hay fever. I felt my nose itch and I sneezed a few times. I rarely sneeze and if I do, it’s usually only once. This time, there were around 3 or 4 good old fashioned orgasmic mucus membrane convulsions. It felt great.
And then I blew my nose. It was a very loud honking blast of a blow. Geese, the length breadth and width of Ireland, raised their heads in puzzlement and looked around. Oi, said the High King of the geese of Ireland, as he contemplated nibbling a particularly succulent piece of grass on the Hill of Tara, that sounds like one of our kin in distress. And then, having the attention span of a goose, he went back to doing what geese do best, eating grass and shitting.
Suddenly, I saw that my sense of smell had returned with an olfactory thunderclap. It was like I could suddenly smell in colour.
The vegetarian chili con carne I had made yesterday, whose smell was still lingering in the corners of my apartment, suddenly smelt as good as it had tasted the previous day.
The fancy sandalwood underarm deodorant, which disappointed me by its faint smell, exploded into life and tendrils of a musky exotic odour dived up my nostrils and ran around my scent receptors like snuff at a funeral.
When nobody was looking, I sniffed my armpit and meowed with pleasure.
Note to self: avoid public lavatories for the next few days.
Funny old thing, noses