Did you know that some people can smell thunderstorms?

It’s true! Distinct weather patterns have their very own scent and if you’ve got a well tuned shnozz, you can pick up on that. I can tell when a storm is coming because any drop in pressure makes me feel like a red hot railroad spike is being hammered into my skull by some invisible bastard, but i’ve also noticed that there’s a smell and even a lingering taste on the tongue which goes hand in hand with the thunder. It’s a fascinating thing.

Similarly, I think emotions can evoke certain smells and tastes. I know smell is a powerful memory trigger, but reversing that process is it strange to think that powerful emotions might bring to mind certain scents? I don’t know, perhaps i’m just constantly having some sort of bizarre, prolonged stroke. All I know is that right now the entire world is in a state of emotional turmoil, but one emotion is really clambering to the top of the stinky pile and I can’t quite tell what it is.

A child hiding under couch cushions
“Piss off. I’m in my Corona-fort and i’m not coming out unless you have 500g of pasta twirls!”

Fear?* That’s a blast of cold air in the nostrils and a lingering metallic taste. It’s there, for sure. People are understandably afraid at the moment, all of us asking ourselves the same questions. Will I catch it? Will I be ok? What about my family? My friends? Do I have enough toilet roll? Jesus, has Donald Trump had part of his brain seared away with a hot wire? Seriously though, do I have enough toilet roll?!

Being scared is absolutely natural. You can’t let it rule you, though. My advice would be to set aside an hour each day to curl up in a ball and cry or maybe scream into a cushion. Sit in the cupboard under the stairs with a colander on your head, clutching a kitchen knife and being utterly convinced that looters have gotten into the walls. Agree with Piers Morgan. Y’know, the kind of ridiculous shit that only makes sense when terror takes full grip. That’s 10 til 11, tops, then you get back to being a rational human being. Scheduling is key, people.

Seriously, we’re all a little scared right now, but it’s going to be OK. Honestly. It’ll take a long time and it won’t be easy, a lot like having sex with a Wookie. Still, we’ll come through this if everyone just shows a little common sense, follows the steps laid out by the powers that be and does everything they can to love and care for each other, even if it’s from six metres away and behind plexiglass.

A phone displaying an anger emoji
“Siri, I need to explain emotions to a dipshit.”

So, not fear. It’s a warmer kind of smell, if that makes sense? Anger, maybe? No. Anger is smokey, like fried blood. Oh come on, it’s not that weird! You never had black pudding? That’s anger, hot and singed. Plenty of that floating around in the air, too. Mostly directed at people being bloody stupid, as always. I know the air around me reeks of rage at the best of times, but as I watch people emptying the shelves of pasta and pooh paper, it feels as though the infectious wave of stupidity is the real plague we’re faced with.

It’s not just the panic buying, either. There have been a rash of racially motivated attacks against Asian people, across the globe. This is possibly not being helped by Trump’s insistence on using the term “Chinese virus” and speaking in a manner which lays the blame for the pandemic squarely at China’s door. At a time when the whole world should finally be setting aside our differences to combat a global threat, there stands Donald bastard Trump, face smeared with Dorito dust, a fresh toupee stapled to the necrotic flesh of his idiot skull, trying to drive a wedge between people. Fuck that. Love each other, just do it from a distance.

The smell isn’t anger, though. It’s warm but has a metal twang too it. It’s kind of iron-y. OH! It IS irony! I know where it’s coming from, too. Following the scent like a weird looking bloodhound in Marvel pyjamas, i’ve sniffed out the source. It’s Twitter! It’s a thick cloud of ironic stench, pouring forth from one particular hashtag.

People wearing homemade infection masks
“This was the image I found for irony. I couldn’t write a better joke than that.”

It’s the International Day of Happiness, folks.**

I spent a goodly time in the wee small hours comforting the youngest Child Unit after a particularly nasty nightmare. The subject? Coronavirus. We’re all scared and angry and smell of shit because we can’t wipe our arses and now it’s the International Day of bloody, buggering, bastarding Happiness. Sod that, hey?

Well, maybe not. Look, I get that everyone is feeling crappy right now but (and this goes against my nature as a malevolent being of pure, unbridled rage and hatred) maybe we need a little happy. A little joy booster. I’m sat writing this at the crack of dawn and outside it’s blue skies, bright sun and a wind that’ll cut the cock off ya. Well, it’s still Scotland. The point is, it looks gorgeous out there. I’ve got plenty of supplies, a speedy internet connection and at the moment i’m healthy. As healthy as a diabetic cripple gets, anyway. I’m happy enough.

In these turbulent times, perhaps it’s best we turn to one of humanity’s great philosophers for inspiration.

“Truer words were never sung.”

Look after each other, love each other and find ways to be happy. If you don’t, i’ll come and cough on you in your sleep.

*For images, I went to Pexels (love that site) and used the first image that popped up when I searched for the relevant emotions. Apparently nothing is scarier than a kid covered in cushions.

**I checked out the site for this oddly timed day and it’s lovely. Head to DayOfHappiness.net and get tae smilin’.

DISCLAIMER: Is this a weird post? I’ve not slept. Smell of emotions? Fuck, I think my sanity is slipping. I don’t even need this disclaimer. Send coffee and adrenaline shots.

Hopefully this post brought a smile to your face. If so and if you’re able, consider throwing me a buck or three via my Ko-Fi page? I’m freelance now and pasta is currently around £200 per kilo, so every little helps…