Something has happened to my sniffer.
Not in the way LA Daddy can't smell or taste anything (I can't even imagine). What I'm talking about is actually the opposite problem... hypersensitivity to certain smells - specifically cleaning agents and perfumes.
The single biggest offender by far (that I'm aware of) is a product called Goof Off. All someone has to do is simply pop the top open in the other side of the house and I'll instantly get a headache. Other kitchen type chemicals cause headaches too, but not so quickly.
I don't know exactly when it started, but it's been getting worse over the last 10 years or so. In fact as a kid, I actually remember riding in our car with my dad and my brothers when we would go on snowmobile outings. My dad would load up the trunk with spare gas cans and our car would wreak of fumes - AND I LIKED IT!
And later when I was playing on the road, it didn't bother me that I used to practically bathe in cologne - although sometimes it had a different adverse effect. For example, one time our guitar player and I were on break and decided to grab a drink. We were both doused in Polo at the time when we saddled up to the bar next to a particularly burly looking guy. All of a sudden he spun around on his stool and screamed, "Sonofabitch, it smells like a g*ddamn French poodle around here!!!"
The biggest challenge of course is trying to enforce the no-scent policy at work. So far, I haven't come up with a subtle way to tell someone their perfume is making me sick without it sounding like, "Ahem, excuse me... but you smell like toxic waste."
If I was to guess, I'd say my sensitivity to odors is probably related to years of inhaling smoke in all the millions of nightclubs I've performed in. As a harmonica player, I have to inhale exclusively through my nostrils since my mouth is kinda busy while I'm playing. And, since I play harp on about 1/2 of our songs, I'd say it's like smoking an entire pack of cigarettes through my nose in one night. Currently Minnesota is about 1 vote away from becoming completely smoke-free. If this happens, it will be the single biggest bonus to my music career in the last 20 years.
But the most embarrassing result of my neurotic nose was one day at my office when I could smell that someone had been overusing a cleaning product - because (to me) the office wreaked of it, and it was starting to give me a headache. And so I followed the offensive odor up to a coworker's desk and asked her if she wouldn't mind not using Windex to clean her work area. After denying that she was using anything, she asked me what I thought I was smelling. "Oh, I'm sure it's Windex," I said. "I would recognize that awful smell anywhere."
That's when she opened up her purse and realized that her favorite perfume had been leaking in there.
See that would have been a good time to have LA Daddy's broken sniffer. Because not only wouldn't I have smelled the imaginary Windex, but I also wouldn't have been able to taste the size 11 shoe I had stuffed in my mouth.