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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution


 
The Essay
Show #270
In Search of an Unbouqueted Clime
David Gunn

Meanwhile, in that same busy cafeteria -- i.e., the do-it-your-eatery in which a famous plagiarist last week celebrated his fin-de-vie -- Rollo Tumerik was seated before a foodscape that defied all but the most problematic description. He'd loaded up his tureen with morsels from random entrées and pottages plus a few discarded culinary experiments he'd nicked from the kitchen, then folded them into one another until a couple of the ingredients yelled "uncle." A convocation of mediums had gathered around the gastronomic amalgam but not one could guess its constituent parts. One of them, evoking the spirit of the 4th Earl of Sandwich's sous-chef, got as far as making psychic contact with a dollop of softserve calamari that had stuck to the edge of the dinner tray before the spook got the creeps and hightailed it back to its otherworldly plain. But the glutinous pile's composition was of little consequence to Rollo, because he didnít plan to consume it. Rather, he was consumed by its steamy aroma, an aroma that seemed to fade into and out of focus, an aroma whose soporific complexion sent little slumbery shivers down his spine, causing him, after a few moments of glazed contemplation, to drift ... off ... to ....

Rollo slept, and dreamed. He dreamed of foody fragrances, of spicy scents. He dreamed that he was on a world so replete with aromas that his nose, up to here with overstimulation, had separated from his body and gone into hiding. And still it couldnít escape the stray odoriferous whiff. So the nose made up its mind -- it had to be an unscented milieu or nothing. It broke free from its temporal bonds to search the universe for an odor-free environment. From Alfa Agamemnon to Zombocartumian, the nose sniffed and snuffled. And in the end, it turned out that there was but one in all the cosmos, and it was on Earth. In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In a large, green dumpster that lurked at the edge of a housing development called Indiana Grove.

Why should we be surprised?

Evidently, Rollo's nose was not the first cartilaginous smellometer to seek out an unbouqueted clime. Much to its delight, the nose found scores of other similarly-suffering schnozzles in the dumpster, which had been converted into a kind of extra-sensory nasaltorium. Rollo's nose's amazement continued as, having been welcomed with open, ah, nostrils, the other noses performed rudimentary acts of locomotion, communication and stand-up comedy. Rollo's nose was keen to learn these and other new skills, and it felt no compunction for having left its owner up the creek without a beak.

Speaking of which, sometime later, Rollo woke up minus one of his favorite sensory organs, and the one best suited to accommodating his pince-nez. He could see, he could hear, he could taste, he could even sense some distance away a rudimentary form of stand-up comedy, but he couldn't sniff. Still, that wasn't the worst of it. Either he was partaking of a very realistic action dream, or his cafeteria booth had been replaced by the inside of a large onion. The skin was opaque and the activity outside was indistinct, the sounds muffled, but what he imagined he saw and heard did not reassure him. Rollo extracted a tweezer from his pocket and poked a hole in the side of the bulb. The puncture abruptly depressurized the vegetable, sending a deluge of pungent essence d'oignon (and nearly him, too) through the man-made orifice and out into ... Rollo blanched like a Dubois. He and his onion appeared to be in a Brobdingnagianly big kitchen in which colossal knives wielded by toque-topped giants cleaved similarly sized vegetal matter into tiny utilitarian bits. His own globular vessel sat expectantly on a plate with two others, as if awaiting a reprieve from the culinary warden.

An analogy may be drawn here between that not especially uncommon tableau and Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar, where we await reprieves from those punishing musical selections which we hope not to feature on today's 270th episode. The phone lines are open. If you can spare us the angst of really bad music, please call us now. The number to call is 1-802-KALVOS.