Saturday, December 3, 2016

I get my sense of smell the rink

Back in 1980, I had a head injury and lost much of my sense of smell.  For decades the scent of the world around me has been muted, like looking at a beautiful sunset through a heavily tinted window.

Thursday night after group, we were gathered around the Adult Freestyle Circle of Fire, chatting away. 

Then one of the denizens of the hockey locker room opened the locker room door next to me and suddenly a tide of stench rolled out, hit my nose, and for the first time since 1980, I got a full whiff of reality. Skaters have told me about this smell, but I never...I mean, I really never comprehended..... as if I was blinded by a nuclear explosion of fetor, I compulsively yelled out...


It smelled like a dead cow, left to rot in a summer field,  wrapped in a plague, tied up with a bow of moldy jock straps, then covered in the mildew of scorn and the dew of despair.

The hockey player, a grown man on the farm team, slid out, head down and ran out on some errand.

We figure skaters spoke loudly about the odor, hoping our words would haunt him throughout the building. When he came back we continued  to belittle the filthy habits of the hockey team and yet we managed to do this while not paying attention to him at all. He had to thread his way between a bunch of women and one guy who were ignoring and insulting him at the same time.

We kept the loud discussion of filthy habits, and 'good luck' superstitions, going for a bit more. Then I noticed the door of the locker room had cracked open and a single eye was looking at me in terror.

I gave Bad Ass Ice Dancer a high sign so we could move down to the other end of the bench, and as we moved Bad Ass Ice Dancer made a loud and  pointed comment: "I once shared a locker room with the Wisconsin Badgers Green Bay Gamblers...AND THEY DIDN'T STINK!"

 Now that I've smelled it once, I smell it every time I go to the rink. I'll never be able to eat at the Cafe' again.

This is a corpse flower, with an odor of rotting flesh, apparently they're growing them
in the hockey locker room


  1. A minor clarification -- It was the Green Bay Gamblers, a semipro organization who, like the pros do, clean their gear. And they were perfectly respectful to us practitioners of other ice-sports. At that event, I actually had a great discussion with their right-wing about stop-and-go and quick edge-changing. We traded: I picked up his hop-rocker, and he adopted my bracket slide-stop. It was a neat experience, and reinforced to me that the ones who take their sport seriously are worth respect. On public ice, we are typically exposed to the scrubs, the ones without respect-- those who have ability that outpaces their investment. The class-acts are out there, though; regardless of their sport. I appreciate them.

    1. Not to detract from the fact, though: Those dudes last week were stank AF.

  2. Congrats on regaining an important sensory capacity! Has this re-flowering of neuronal plasticity translated into other areas like improved balance on an otherwise troubling edge???

    1. Sadly my neuronal plasticity has only brought back 'bad' smells I could do without.
      I still have no depth perception, which I'd really like to have.

  3. No depth perception. Must make driving a car (and skating) tricky business.