Thursday, October 21, 2004


Catherine Cochran sent me a wonderful story and was kind enough to allow me to share it with you.

I read your entry about "Scentstories" and it brought back memories of a friend I had when I was a kid.

Jay and I were both in the fifth grade and spent lots of time together riding bikes, building forts, going swimming, and all the great stuff a kid got to do before the era of scheduled everything (Ah, the '80s. Good times....).

His mom was always buying all kinds of gadgets for the house and one of her purchases was a Smell-O-Disc player. It was about the size of a CD player with a vent on the top. The device came with about fifteen or so Smell Discs: baking cookies, wildflowers, new car, etc. Pushing a button on the player ejected a little platform and you inserted a disk of your choice. (Funny how much it looked like a CD player, but then again there were no CD players around the neighborhood at that time.) One day, Jay and I were bored and looking for things to do. His mom wasn't around and playing with the Smell-O-Disc player seemed like a great idea. We played one (cookies, I think) and then another. And another. And another, methodically working our way through the collection.

Soon the living room smelled as if someone had been baking chocolate chip cookies. On a beach. By a coconut tree. Where a new car was parked. Under a jasmine bush. Alongside newly mown hay. On an alpine meadow of wildflowers. Where vanilla beans grew. Next to a rose bush.

In the middle of a grove of Christmas trees. Where a campfire was burning...

His mother was none too pleased with us when she got home. ("It STINKS in here!!! Both of you--OUT!!!") She shooed us outside and opened the windows and turned the ceiling fan on high to air out the house. Once out of her way, we thought this was really funny. What kid wouldn't?

The next time we had to play inside on a rainy day, we were disappointed (but not surprised) that the Smell-O-Disc player was gone from its perch of temptation on the mantle above the fireplace. We never saw the thing again. I never knew what became of it.

Jay moved away the following summer and I never saw him again. I wonder whatever became of my childhood friend. Maybe he works for the Febreeze company.

I can only wonder.

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