John couldn’t smell how bad Glenda smelled. She stunk. She stunk to high heaven and beyond. It was a good thing the entire society had lost their sense of smell thousands of years ago. With the loss of smell, people got less picky.

It started with food. Not being able to smell the food made it easier to eat it. Once people discovered food they used to consider inedible edible, a quiet revolution began.

People smelled the same, food pretty much tasted the same, people got less fussy about who they ate and what they dated. This was Glenda’s second date tonight. Her first date, Roger, had turned her off by telling her that his hobbies included long walks on the beach and racism.

First, of all, who really enjoys long walks on the beach? It’s hard to walk on sand, it gets in everything; we just say long walks on the beach cause it sounds romantic, when really, it’s just a pain in the ass.

And, his hobby is racism? Glenda at first laughed at Roger when he told her this, then his hurt expression told her he was not joking. His hobbies were long walks on the beach and racism.

“I didn’t laugh at your hobbies,” Roger whined at her.

“Yeah, but my hobby is meeting as many people as possible; yours is long racist walks on the beach, which I bet you do alone.”

Glenda left Roger for her date with John. She had just enough time to squeeze in a ten minute date via Date-Finder. Glenda was so busy with dating, that she didn’t have time to set them up; she paid a team of agencies to arrange her dates for her.

She also didn’t have time for bathing. She was fortunate she lived in a society that couldn’t smell, or, she wouldn’t be accepted by any dating agency with any standards. At first, Glenda had tried the cheaper bargain basement dating agencies, but soon found that she got cheaper, bargain basement dates, including one guy who kept asking to borrow money from her so he could buy a coffee.

But she liked John right away. He was handsome, funny, polite, non-smoker, all the key things Glenda looks for in a potential second date. Glenda gets bored easily, so second dates are very rare, and third dates have never been attempted.

John thought Glenda was beautiful until suddenly he was struck with the sense of smell.

“Oh my God, you are disgusting!” John held his nose and pushed his chair back from the table.

It was obvious that she had repulsed him, but, Glenda didn’t know why. She asked him leaning forward, which caused John to lean even farther back in the chair he was practically falling out of.

“Please, stay back! You’re making me want to vomit!”

Suddenly the entire restaurant was stricken with the same sense of smell except Glenda. All the patrons and all the waiters and waitresses and bus boys all began moaning and retching at the putrid stench poisoning their air.

“Get her out of here!” people cried.

“Please! I can’t breathe!”

“Either get her out of here or knock open a wall!”

‘What did I do? What did I do?’ she racked her brain to tell her why she had gone from desirable to disgusting. She looked at herself in her compact mirror. She looked fine. She checked her teeth and found nothing suspicious between them.

Humiliated, Glenda went over to her best friend, Darlene’s house. Darlene, like the rest of the society, had just developed her sense of smell. Darlene opened the door to Glenda’s knocks, then slammed it shut again at Glenda’s odor.

“Eu! What’s wrong with you?” Darlene shouted at her friend shut out on the other side of the door.

“What’s wrong with you? Why’d you shut the door in my face?”

“Don’t take this personally, Glenda, but if I get any closer to you I will throw up.”

“Why? What did I do?” Glenda was dying to know so she could stop it.

“It means what you’re doing right now. I don’t know what it is either, but you’re doing it.”

“I can’t hear you through the door! Open up!” Glenda yelled to be heard through the metal.

“No, I can’t, I’m sorry, please don’t take it personally, but I can’t be near you right now or I will throw up.”

Glenda was desperately pounding on the door with her fists. “Please! Help me! Tell me what’s wrong with me! I will change it!”

But, Darlene could never explain her olfactory’s objection to her friend. All she could do is tell her to go home and maybe she could sleep off the problem.

It would take society three months before coming up with the word: smell, and Glenda was both embarrassed and relieved when she first understood it in the context of: “Hey lady get out of here, you smell worse than the toilet in the Black Hole of Calcutta!”

Though she couldn’t actually smell the soap on her body, she could sense the big difference it made after she used it.


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