Heed not Steve

Future Smell

Then there was good old Fred, Fred Jergens – Olfactory Psychic.

He worked in my office and he could literally smell the future.  We’d be sitting around, brainstorming and running the numbers, and he’d look up and say something like, “Tandoori chicken” and he’d sniff the air.  We’d all sniff too, but there wouldn’t be any tandoori chicken smell – not right away.  Fred was usually at least three minutes in the future.  When he’d say “tandoori chicken,” my stomach would growl because I knew at that moment some delivery boy was in the lobby, reading the directory, holding a bag of tandoori chicken.

Now, some guys figured Fred just had a really good sense of smell and could smell the food coming even when it was far away, but I knew different.

I once heard Fred say “Phewee!” a full two minutes before Scott Becker ripped the loudest, nastiest fart known to man.  Whenever Fred said “pheweee!” I’d duck and cover, because I knew something foul was on the way – sometimes it was even from me.  I also once heard him say, “Ooh la LA” to Wilson, 20 minutes before Wilson snuck off to the supply closet with Amanda Crowe and came back smelling like Chanel #5 and hot love.  The worst was when Fred would sniff and not say anything.  I’d get all tense, wondering what smell was wafting my way.

Anyhow, I don’t think old Fred even knew he was doing it.  It was sort of automatic, which is good, I guess, because that day when he sniffed and said, “OH!  The Stink of Death,” he didn’t seem the least worried.  All the rest of us were sweating in our neckties, no doubt throwing off the stink of fear, right up until Fred dropped dead.

Poor old Fred.  He smelled it coming, but he never saw it.

© Steve Mitchell 2010

Been Putting It Off For Too Long

Well, I mentioned I had to take my younger son to the dentist.  It went fine.  He had one small cavity and he’s most likely going to need braces.  No surprise, that.

What I didn’t mention is that I was closely scrutinizing the dentist and his office.  It was our first visit to this office and I had an ulterior motive for going along – I need to find a dentist I’m comfortable with.  I’m waaaay overdue.  I’ve been slowly trying to build the momentum, and the courage, to get myself to a dentist.

I haven’t been to a dentist in nearly 20 years – not since I was in the Air Force.  In those two decades I’ve smoked countless cigarettes (I’ve quit some ten years back), and hundreds of cigars.  I’ve drank gallons of wine and even more gallons and gallons of coffee.  I don’t have a tremendous sweet tooth, but, hey, in twenty years, a fellow eats a lot of sugar.   I’ve taken care of my teeth in an average way.  I brush and I floss, but, again, twenty years!  My teeth are overdue some professional care.

I have no doubt I have cavities and tartar and plaque and staining and who knows what.  My teeth and gums don’t bother me now, even still, but I’m afraid I may have already let things go to far and may have to have some teeth pulled and I’m vain enough not to want gaping holes in my mouth where teeth should live.  Hopefully there’s still time to prevent that.  Also, better dental health means better over all health.

But, oh how I dread it.  It’s been easy to put it off because my teeth don’t hurt and dentist visits do.  Oh, and even the nicest dental assistant, faced with the mess I’m bringing, will be hard pressed not to lecture me.  I’m going to have to swallow some humble pie.  I dread it.  I dread it all, but, there was my nine year old son, stoically enduring the poking and prodding and scraping.  Shaming me with his bravery.  He’s a trooper.

So, it’s something I have to do.  For myself and for my son.