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Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, bunch! | Main | No more whining in 2006! »

My head is packed, but not with ideas.

What peanut butter tastes like without one’s sense of smell:


What everything else tastes like:


Come on--everything? What about an orange? A smoothie? Hot and sour soup? Or here, have some sushi with extra wasabi.

Spackle, spackle, spackly liquid, slightly salty spackle.

Worst thing about losing sense of smell (hereafter referred to as “smellability”):

Unable to indulge in morning ritual of smelling Charlie’s popcorn-scented paws.

Greatest thing EVER about losing smellability, according to Charlie:

See above.

Best thing about losing smellability:

Able to use the bathroom immediately after husband has befouled it.

Items used to confirm loss of smellability:

Coffee, Windex, dog’s paws, air freshener, armpits, dog’s paws, top of preschooler’s head, dog’s paws, dog’s paws.

What it feels like to not be able to smell anything:


“Lurh”? That’s the best you can do, Ms. Fancy Wordsmith?

It’s my experience of not being able to smell. You wouldn’t understand.

Just don’t claim that’s onomatopoeia, because it is so not onomatopoeia.

I would never claim such a thing.

The only thing going on inside brain, which was once jam-packed with self-conscious musings, lyrics to Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally," and revenge fantasies involving eighth grade bully:


That’s what I thought.

Shut up. I'm sick.

There, there. Here’s some spackle for you.


Reader Comments (68)

I can't even come up with something clever that anyone else hasn't said already so here goes what I was actually thinking:

Snort! Spackle! Alice is so funny! Hahahahahaha! I wonder what Eddy's feet smell like.

If my cat scratches me to death tonight, I'm totally blaming you.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDM
Ugh, get better soon spackle-head.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKari
Why is it so disorienting to lose your sense of smell? It's like nothing else works right--your brain, your other senses.

I have two friends who lost their sense of smell in car accidents (head injury). For some reason (maybe I'm obsessed with smelling things) I kept accidentally asking them to smell this or that. Yes, whenever I was in their presence I'd be like 'does this perfume smell good?' 'Don't you like the smell of gingerbread?' 'Oooh, let's go into that candle store and smell the candles.'

It was non-stop and horrible. I always felt bad doing it to my English friend Julia in particular because my friend from Texas would just hit me but Julia would be polite (and yet I knew she was savage when those she was polite to weren't around).

When I read Wislawa Szymborska's poem "The Kindness of the Blind" I felt a little better but only a little as my reference to scent is not Nobel-prize worthy.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterozma
All good dogs smell like fritos to me, except spaniels, which I am not fond of anyways. I just love the frito stench of my dog, it's lke coming home again.

Also, regarding the spackle situation: avoid guacamole at all costs-eeeww.
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterclickmom
ozma -- I have 20 friends exactly like you, so you're not alone in your peculiar impulse to bring smells to the smell-less. But it really does drive me nuts to be asked whether I can smell certain things or not. Nobody goes up to a blind person and says "Can you see this? How about THIS? Not THIS either? But it's so... so VISIBLE!"
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrachel
Oh God Rachel, sorry for us idiots. I wouldn't be surprised if people say to blind people stupid things like "Look! The moon's out!" But that doesn't make it right.
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterozma
mmm.... love that spackle!
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa
When I had a similar episode of snot taking over my entire body recently and had gone for days without tasting anything, or being able to swallow what I could taste thanks to swollen tonsils, I eventually found myself craving brussel sprouts as they were the strongest taste I could think of. I hate brussel sprouts.
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Whoa, I wonder how many people have just suffered near-injury sniffing around their pets' pointy parts. I know I just did, but, damn...fritos!

Hope you feel better soon. I know whenever I lose my sense of smell/taste I always think I'll lose weight. Nah, not so much.
January 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
My dog had a knack - a commitment even - to stepping in his own crap, so I was not a paw-sniffer, to say the least. However, this photographer and his commenters inspired others to go home and sniff a paw to confirm the Frito Foot Syndrome:
January 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen Burke
oooooh but I bet you have that lovely sick taste in the back of your throat. One thing that is NOT spackle....
January 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCandice
I think the world is sick these days. We have green snot and non-eating boys in our home. Good luck with the spackle...add some sugar.
January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJerri Ann
I love "lluuuuuurrrrrhhhhh" - it's going to be my new shorthand for "I hate fucking sinus infections". I'm on my second one in the past month (actually probably the same one that didn't get eradicated by the first round of antibiotics), and you know, when your TEETH hurt from a sinus infection, well, that's just crossing the line.
January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I'm here to de-lurk, wish you a HAPPY DE-LURKING WEEK and hope you are feeling better. May the spackle be gone!
January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMoMMY
I have two kids in diapers. You can have my smellability if you want it. Happy De-Lurking Week.
January 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersarah
Wow! My dog's paws smell like Fritos, too. I thought I was a sick freak..... Who knew?
January 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdkbp73
ALthough I'm wondering where you first tasted spackle to have a basis for comparison, I do have a suggestion for the future. A Neti pot, and no, I'm not insane. It actually feels GOOD. Once you realize you are not, in fact, drowning.
January 12, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda
mmmmm! Snap, spackle, pop!

January 14, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterf-i-n

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