Into the grossness

There are times when I really, really wish I had a gas mask at home. Something that would cover my nose and mouth, allowing me to happily carry out housework tasks without having to smell them. Or taste them. Wouldn’t that be handy?

Okay, I can breathe through my mouth which affectively shuts off the nose but then you can sort of taste the foul odours of the day.

Speaking of sense deprivation…has anyone carried out researched into bluetooth? I have no idea how it works but it seems to me that sending some sort of signal directly at your head should be tested a bit before wholesale adoption.

A simple Internet search reveals that there are two, very vocal, sides.

Like a good scientist, I quite like to read opinions based on cited articles by reputable people. I also distrust opinions that are paid for by the industry that is responsible for selling it. The Marlborough Man springs to mind. And the adoption of vaping without any research.

Still, whatever the health risks, I find it extraordinary that so many humans are happily letting their devices probably scramble their brains. This is extremely bizarre. Even if Apple insists that its users do it.

It makes me think about how often we are prepared, as a species, to just block out the world by blocking up our senses. Sometimes permanently.

Like, what is it with tasteless food on your tongue? We have an amazing sense of taste and yet millions of people devour tonnes of tasteless food daily. I find that quite odd as well. (Obviously I’m talking about the first world here. I understand that there are people on the planet who have no choice.)

And while I’m asking, what is it with people wearing noise cancelling headphones and staring at their phone while they walk along? That’s great. Reduce your hearing and your sight at the same time. If we look at our need for security before we consider anything else, this sort of thing says we are far too secure.

Back to today. I really wanted to remove my sense of smell for a bit.

Our kitchen sink has started draining really slowly and no amount of drain unblocking chemicals have made any difference. Today I decided I had to start removing pipes.

We have twin sinks in the kitchen and one was draining perfectly fine which meant it was easy to find out where the problem was. It was in the first bit. The bit betwixt plug hole and U-bend. I sat on the floor and started emptying the under sink cupboard.

This is always a journey of discovery. Being an archaeologist, this kind of exercise always excites me. Things from the long ago past appear for the first time in centuries. It’s always extraordinary. Who knew we had furniture polish? Or a packet of descaler?

Anyway, cupboard cleared, I started dismantling the pipes. That’s when the Slimy Black Ooze of Satan made its presence felt. I don’t know what the infamous Westminster fat berg smelled like but if it was anything like this evil sludge then I feel really sorry for anyone smelling it.

I was thankful for my black, heavy duty rubber gloves as I attacked the gunge with various kitchen implements (and some not usually found in the kitchen). It was not coming quietly. It was foulness personified. I was at it for a couple of hours. The blowtorch helped.

Eventually, all was removed and a pleasant citrus scent pervaded the kitchen. Afterwards I buried my nose in half a lemon.

And it was raining all day.

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