Bus stop man smell…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s heraldic term is ‘fret’ – A voided lozenge interlaced with a bendlet and a bendlet sinister. A ‘voided lozenge’ and a ‘bendlet sinister’! Now you know why I like the language of heraldry. (Fret)

So, I was waiting for a bus into town when I was joined in the queue by a middle-aged tweed man who came up and stood close behind me; I don’t know why people do that, perhaps they think that the wait will be shorter if the queue is more compact?
Anyway, I could small his smell… Yes, I could…
Isn’t it funny how a particular smell can zoom you back in time? There is an old brand of perfume, or a make of soap, which takes me back to… well, I have no actual memories of what it takes me back to, just a ‘feeling’; the scent could have been sniffed when I was a toddler, or even when I was a baby, it was something my mother used I expect…
This bus-stop-chap didn’t smell of that, but his smell was definitely familiar, and from a long time ago, I couldn’t quite place it… It brought up olfactory images of wood, of the colour brown, of a pine forest, of music, of cassette tapes, of vinyl records… Yes, I know! But can you describe a mystery smell in words? Oh, what was it? It was definitely coming off this chap behind me – I suppose I could have turned round and asked him what it was, but that’s not really the sort of thing one does, is it?…
‘Excuse me…’
‘What is it that you smell of?’
‘Me? I don’t smell of anything… What are you getting at?…’ etc…
The bus came, and we got on. He sat a few feet away from me across the aisle, but I could still detect a faint whiff. Aha!… Suddenly it all flooded back!
A good twenty or more years ago I bought an old hi-fi amplifier from a second-hand shop, I think it was a British-made Ferrograph one. It smelled, just like this man! It didn’t smell all the time, unless you bent over and sniffed it up close, but when it was switched on and it warmed up ‘essence of amplifier’ filled the room to accompany the music playing. I became used to, and quite liked, the scent that the beast produced when it was in heat. I don’t think it was a clever design feature of the amplifier (smell-o-sound?), or even the usual fumes that come from hot electronic components, but was the result of the previous owner conscientiously going round his room with a can of spray furniture polish and a nice soft yellow duster and giving the amp a good squirt on its nice hardwood case. The polish had obviously gone through the ventilation slots and settled on the components inside, which of course liberated the vapours when they warmed up.
So, that’s that then! I expect the chap in the queue had just been doing a bit of dusting and waxing before coming out. If I see him again, I might sidle up to him for a nostalgic sniff – I’m sure I’ll recognise him again – I think I’ll name him ‘Ferrograph-Man’…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in brain, dreaming, existentialism, heraldry, history, humour, information, mind, observations, puzzle, serendipity, story, surrealism, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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