Offensive Weapons

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By Dave Barry Miami Herald

The United States is developing an Odor Bomb.

“Why?” you are saying. “Don’t we already have New Jersey?”

Fine, make your little jokes. But this happens to be a serious matter of national security. According to news items sent in by several alert readers, the Department of Defense has asked scientists to develop an odor that is repulsive to all humans, regardless of culture. This odor could be used by the military to harmlessly clear people out of a given area.

On the other hand, it would attract dogs. The more disgusting something smells, the more a dog wants to take a hearty whiff. I recall one time when I was home playing host to a hostile stomach virus, and I suddenly had an urgent need to (as we used to say in college) talk to Ralph on the big white phone. I made it as far as the hallway before I went down on all fours and released most of my bodily contents, including, I am pretty sure, my spleen. It was beyond repulsive, but it caused my dog, Earnest, to go into a state of wild dog elation, vibrating with happiness and barking joyfully into my right ear, as if to say: “THIS is the best Christmas EVER!!”

So the Odor Bomb would not be effective against dogs. But it would definitely work on humans. I know this, because I was present, decades ago, at a historic demonstration of the power of stink. This was in 1962, when my class at Harold C. Crittenden Junior High School of Armonk, N.Y., took the annual 9th-grade class trip to the Boston area.

This included Salem, Mass., where we toured the House of the Seven Gables, the setting for the book by the prominent boring author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Read more at the Miami Herald

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