A few days ago, before St. Louis was covered in an invisible layer of ice, I was driving to the grocery store when I smelled something suspicious. A car smell, not a human smell.
I inhaled deeply, trying to identify the source or proximity of the smell. Then I looked for smoke coming from under the hood. Nothing to see.
Then I checked the various gauges: Coolant? Fine. Engine? Nada. The little dial next to the odometer? Good.
I’ve gone through this checklist many times. For some reason it’s always the scariest when it comes up negative. If my car doesn’t even know there’s an issue, that’s a big problem.
But then I do the last thing: I wait for the cars in front of me to go on their merry way, and then I inhale again. This usually brings me the happiest of scents: The scent of a scent fading as another car drives away with the issue under their hood instead of mine.
Of course, I feel sorry for the other person too, but hopefully it’s not as bad as it smells.
Have you ever done this? How much do you rely on scent to identify problems in daily life?