Tuesday, October 12, 2010

That Tinkertoy Smell

The Braille printer in my office at work smells just like Tinkertoys. It’s a very noisy thing so it sits in a soundproof wooden cabinet that smells just like Tinkertoys.

I can still recall that fantastic smell of a brand new set of Tinkertoys. I was eight years old and had quickly outgrown the regular-sized set, then the larger set and had my eyes on the super-duper, colossal sized set of them that came with an electric motor. It cost a whopping eight dollars and seventy-five cents. I collected bottles and saved my pennies and nickels for weeks until I had enough to make this huge purchase. I can still remember what a brand new set of Tinkertoys smells like – just like the Braille printer in my office.

Isn’t it remarkable how one’s sense of smell has such a keen sense of recall?

Whenever I smell cinnamon, I think of my neighbor’s kitchen when I was nine years old. Mothballs carry me back to my paternal grandmother’s house on the family ranch. I can still recall the minty smell of the paste I enjoyed eating in the second grade. And I can picture my baby-sitter’s kitchen -- the one I had when I was three years old whenever I smell sweet pickles.

I imagine that our keen olfactory sense of recall is buried way down deep in our pre-human DNA. When we were monkey-like beings, one smell would mean “eat that.” Another, “run away from that” while another meant “copulate with that.”

It’s how we survived and evolved into humans that could build things with Tinkertoys.

A co-worker was recently giving a tour to a new employee. While in my office, he pointed out my Braille printer to her.

“It smells just like Tinkertoys,” I said.

“Really?” he said. “The plastic ones or the wooden ones?” (He has three kids.)

“The wooden ones,” I replied. (I didn’t know they made plastic ones.) “Smell it and see.”

He bent down and sniffed it.

“Wow! You’re right! It really does smell like Tinkertoys. That’s pretty neat.”

So, if you ever find yourself next to a Braille printer, take a sniff. It’s Tinkertoys. I promise I’m not making this up.

Smells Like Tinkertoys


At 11:00 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Dude, you just make me laugh. :)


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