Normally, when we take out the food, he’s happy and wagging his tail. He stares at the screen blankly, like a deer after it’s been shot by a hunter, but still ain’t dead. Pub hears the voices of his family, but doesn’t smell anything. See, dogs sense the world through smell. A dog with no smell ain’t never happy.
So, I got me a little dish with a turkey sandwich, a little green bean casserole, and some cranberry sauce. So, I give Pub a little turkey and he wags his tail. Then Pub looks blankly at the screen, looks at me with puzzled eyes, and looks at the screen. The turkey’s on the screen, but Pub don’t know it’s turkey, since the turkey smells like iPad, not turkey. There gotta be a way to fix this, so Pub’ll understanding.
I open up the mail, eat my miserable sandwich, and look at the mail: Bills. All bills. Then, in the middle of eating my miserable sandwich, it comes to me: The Zoo. They had a thingamagic at the zoo. See, Pub always loved the zoo and it ain’t ‘cause of no stupid animals neither. It’s ‘cause all these here different animals had different shit smells. Dogs like smelling shit and they like different smells. So, my family, before the pandemic, went to the zoo, and they had this exhibit for kids next to the zebras. I pushed one button, I smell what a cooked ostrich egg smells like, I push another button and I smelled bamboo. There were four buttons. Then, I look at the turkey on the screen and look at Pub’s confused face. And if the reader is smarter than a sloth, I think you know why I looked up the zoo in the yellow pages.
On the Monday after Thanksgiving, I call the zoo up.
“Yea, I know what you’re talking about. I can look up the number, hold on,” so I hold and then he gives me the number. Christmas is around the corner and I know Pub would enjoy this, if I can afford it.
But I call ‘em up and they ask what smells I’m looking for and it ain’t cheap,but it ain’t too expensive neither. So, I give them the smells Pub likes like chicken breast, turkey, ham, sweet potato, creamed corn, Polish Sausage, and the operator says it’ll cost $125.00. Considering Pub likes it, it’s well worth it. So I pay the price plus shipping and handling, and wait. I’ll still have enough money.
A week-and-a-half and it comes in a shoebox size cardboard box and I unwrap it and read the instructions. There’s an on/off switch and a simple place to insert the different scents. So, I call my sister and tell her what I ordered.
“Why?” She asks, “. . . with your finances? I don’t understand.”
So, I tell her about Thanksgiving and she shrugs and gets some cole cuts. I put in the insert for chicken and my sister shows chicken on her screen. And then, instead of Pub looking at me, Pub looks at the chicken and smells the chicken and wags his tail. Pub gets it. He gets it! He really gets it! We end the call in half-an-hour, my sister’s not happy, but I’m happy and so is Pub.
Then I start thinking, maybe other dogs and their owners are having the same problem and I feel selfish. I think about sharing this new joy toy with my fellow friends: Human and canine. So, since before the pandemic, I talked to my neighbor, I call him on the telephone and tell him what I did with Pub and ask if he’d let his dogs out and he does.
They come to the fence and each one of them sniff the device and each one’s tail’s wagging and their eyes light up. Now, think of a school where one person knows a secret. Before long, it’s not a secret anymore. So, neighbors start calling me and asking how much this great Thanksgiving dog toy is.
Now, I ain’t no dummy. I ain’t given my secrets away. So, I call the zoo again and ask if they could get me a discount if I mass ordered them. The man said if I ordered a thousand, he’d give me a 20% discount. Now, that there’s a lot of money, but my credit’s good. My income ain’t, but my credit is. and so I’s call the bank and in a few hours, I got me enough for a order of a thousand smell toys.
So, I speak to my neighbor and his dog keeps wanting to go outside to play with this toy and he starts talking to his friends and family. And in five hours, I was sold out and needs to order more. Hallelujah!!
So, I’s waiting and I start thinking: If the smell toy is this popular with dogs, why wouldn’t it be popular with humans? I would have enjoyed the smell of my aunt’s cooking, too. Imagine if our iPhones and iPads had scent inputs and outlets for us to smell each other’s cooking or cleaning and if we don’t like a smell, we could unplug it.
So, I talk to my neighbor on the phone and he says my idea is a good idea, but he thinks I could make more money if I take my idea to the media. Imagine turning on your tv and smelling hotdogs on our favorite tv shows while the star bought hotdogs. It seemed possible, but would need a logistical angle.
Now, some tv shows become movies and some movies become tv shows, but me, I like movies, so I called my local movie theatre and set up a meeting with a manager at 2 pm on Saturday I got me clothes dry cleaned. I ain’t never done that before. Sounds strange it being the 1990’s. But, I dropped it off at the dry cleaner and they said it’d be ready on Friday. So, I stopped at a local grocery store and got a newspaper with what movies are playing in it. I thought about all of them in terms of smell. Where could smell be in each movie? I got home and put Pub in the backyard with his new favorite toy.
So, I have my suit on, my hair is brushed, I’ve shaved, and I leave Pub at home with his smell toy.
When I get to the theatre, the ticket saleswoman greets me and I tell her about my appointment. I’m directed to a room with five businessmen. I sweat a little, but remain calm. They listen, are skeptical, but agree. They pick a newly released movie, “Backdraft”.
In two weeks, a lot of phone calls and a smell amplifier (I got it from the people at the zoo), the following scenario plays out:
So, it’s opening night for the film, “Backdraft”. One of the owners walks to the front of the theater and says:
“Ladies and gentlemen. You are in for a real treat tonight. For the first time in theatre history, “Smellivision” will be used in this film. I’d like to thank Bob and his dog, Pub, for making this possible. We hope you enjoy this film.”
Then, the previews start and things seem to be going well. Hell, they even let me bring Pub to the cinema. Then, the first scene starts and there’s a garden in the background and we smell roses and everyone ohs and ahs.
The next scene on the screen starts. It’s in a house and the cinema smells like steak (the character’s cooking steak)and some of the audience leaves and I’s curse, but in a few minutes they come back with popcorn, M & M’s, sodas, etc. Good. The managers’ll love that.
Then, there’s a scene in the movie where the house catches on fire and I start to hear a few coughs in the audience. Then I hear beeps: Loud beeps. “What the hell’s that?” I ask.
Then, a young lady in the third row stands up and says, “Fire!! That’s the fire alarm! Get the hell outta here!!”
And everyone runs out of the theatre. Everyone.
The managers call me later in the week and tell me they’re canceling “Smellivision” because of orders and a hefty fine from the local fire department. I’m still doing well in the pet stores, but hope it’s enough to pay my bills. I’s hug Pub tight this night. I hope it’s enough.