Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scratch and Sniff

The other day I was at my desk, writing a check to pay the studio's gas bill when I noticed something curious along with the bill.

There was a single-sheet insert, with a title that said something like "Know the Signs of a Natural Gas Leak." Usually something I wouldn't pay attention to, but something else caught my attention. The sheet invited me to scratch and sniff an emblem at the top of the sheet in order to teach myself and my family what natural gas smells like.

I was so taken aback. I mean most people know what gas smells like, right? And there was absolutely no way that Mountaineer Gas added the appalling scent of natural gas to this paper in order to invite me to sniff it. So I did what any normal person would do -- I scratched and sniffed.

And gagged.

Now I don't know about you, but scratch and sniff is a sacred part of my childhood, as I grew up in the '90s. It was beyond, like, the coolest thing ever to have scratch and sniff stickers or those amazing markers that smelled like chocolate, lemon or licorice. It seems like Mountaineer Gas must have been the uncool kid on the block and still harboring jealous feelings over the wonderful scent of a grape scratch and sniff sticker. Why else would you force unsuspecting customers to put the scent of natural gas right up close under their nose and sniff it? 

I sat for a minute wondering if I had really just scratched and sniffed that gassy smell. And in order to make up my mind over whether or not that had really just happened --

I sniffed again.

I REALLY like to follow directions.

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