We were talking about memory recently and how it is that you can remember every lyric from a song you first heard twenty years ago but haven’t got a clue what you did yesterday. Obviously the conversation moved on to association and how much easier life would be if you could associate all of your professional and educational learning with songs. Some bright spark brought up olfactory association, or how we associate things with smells. The example of, many years ago, supermarkets pumping the smell of fresh-baked bread into stores to encourage us to make the purchase was offered as the standard example.
When I closed last night I was pondering olfactory association and the smells of my trade. On Saturday night, after a fairly busy shift, I would have associated the smell of pizza (which was meant to be my dinner for the night) with the pub after close, well for a while anyway. You see when I closed I started cleaning as usual only to discover that the gents urinals were blocked, never a nice task and somehow worse at 2.30 am! So by 3 o’clock my associated smell would be uric scale, aged urine and dustbins. The dustbin was, of course, added as this was the location that the pizza ended up in after I had pretty much soaked myself in p*ss and no longer felt hungry!
Today the weather is not so great so I didn’t expect a busy start and set about cleaning the fridges. As I was crouched in front of the first fridge a bottle of wine toppled and, because it could, caused a prosecco to explode between my legs. For those gentlemen who are feeling the effects of the warm weather I can confirm that a sudden dousing of ones genitals in ice-cold prosecco is quite refreshing, briefly. Of course this means that today’s olfactory experience will be smelling like an old soak for the rest of the day added to which is a distinctly sticky feeling.
Having worked in regulated industries for most of my life it still astounds me that I am ‘allowed’ to spend most of my life smelling of alcohol. When you get into bed and the pillow smells of beer that at some point has made its way into your hair then you know that you are a publican!
Whilst we are on this subject I would also like to mention that smelling of beer does not mean that I cannot function. On Monday I had an appointment at the opticians which I dutifully attended half way through my working morning. It was only once I had arrived in the clean smelling opticians that I became conscious that I smelt of the current bitter, having changed it earlier. It seems wrong to point out why you smell of beer, almost as if you are saying exactly what a drunk would say, so instead I go into super professional mode and speak as eloquently as I can* As I sat down in the chair I discovered the run of coke syrup that had found its way to my elbows and was now sticking to everything and acting as a rather effective fly trap.
Really, if my optician is reading this, I am a normal person. All I had drunk on Monday was tea and, yes, I had a shower, I really am not some homeless bum despite appearances. This is just my life and it all seems perfectly normal and right within the confines of the pub but when you venture into normal it all goes wrong, hence I avoid it as much as I can.
*That will solve it