Confession: Whenever I need to quickly remember the five senses, I mentally tap into the XTC song above, and always recite them the way they do: see, hear, smell, touch, taste. Admittedly, it doesn’t happen very often: no more then three or four times per week. But whenever it does happen… XTC is my guide. They Might Be Giants provide some guidance with semi-obscure trivia, as well. Also, old episodes of Blue’s Clues from a million years ago. But I don’t want to get off-track here.
Today I’d like to give you guys a State of the Senses report, and ask you to do the same, in the comments. Some of mine are operating a little better than others, unfortunately. Let’s get started.
My eyes are a mess. One is standard-issue near-sighted, and the other is jacked-up royally. The cornea is supposed to be smooth and rounded, but mine has been described as pointed, “like the end of football.” Another doctor said it’s “wavy,” not smooth. In any case, it’s not good. The only things that will kinda-sorta correct my vision are hard contact lenses. They press down on the cornea, and mash it back into shape. I’ve been wearing them for decades, and they do a pretty good job. But I now read exclusively on a Kindle, because I can increase the font size. Paperbacks are out of the question at this point; I can’t see the freaking words on the page. In the not-too-distant future I’ll probably need a seeing-eye squirrel, or something similar. It ain’t good.
This one is controversial. My family says I can’t hear anymore, but I say they’re all mumbling. “Speak! Enunciate!!” I’m always shouting. “We don’t have any kerosene for the demumblifier!” Yes, they love that one… Sure, my eardrums have been traumatized by Cheap Trick and Dinosaur Jr. through the years, but I believe they’re functioning as normal. People just need to quit talking down their shirt collars. Sheesh.
My mother claims to not be able to smell, which is weird, if you ask me. But it would certainly come in handy, every once in a while. Like when you walk into a bathroom at work, and somebody’s in there blasting ass and unleashing the kind of stench disallowed by the Geneva Convention. But, on the other hand… I LOVE the smell of fireplaces in the fall, and that sort of thing. As far as I can tell, my sense of smell is exactly the same as it’s always been. I see no degradation, on account of me now being an old fuck.
This one gets overlooked, I think. It doesn’t really seem like it’s in the same category, does it? But, according to Andy Partridge and the boys of XTC, it is indeed a full-fledged sense. I know that people who are paralyzed, and that sort of thing, lose the sense of touch. But it doesn’t really seem to happen because of age. Am I wrong? In any case, everything’s status quo for me in this category. I’m not one of those guys who can get drunk at a party, and jam a pencil in the back of my hand, for entertainment purposes. Oh well.
My mother also claims to not be able to taste anything. I guess smell and taste go hand-in-hand, right? Once again, I’m firing on all cylinders with this sense. In fact, one of our favorite driving rituals is to buy a giant five-gallon (or whatever) bucket of “gourmet” jelly beans from Sam’s Club. There are all sorts of bizarre, and sometimes NASTY, flavors included in those things. And it’s fun to just randomly pop them in our mouths, and react accordingly. Whenever you bite into what tastes like a smelling-salts capsule, you howl in protest, and it’s good fun. Unfortunately, I’ve caught Toney cherry-picking on occasion. Well, to be more precise… cinnamon-picking. She cinnamon picks the beans! That ruins everything; it throws off the natural calibration and distribution, and also sidesteps the hilarity of the surprise ammonia capsule. Ya know? Anyway, I’m good with taste. No issues, whatsoever.
But what about you? Are you having problems with any of the five senses? Please tell us about it in the comments section.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
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