The Smells Of War

War stinks, as we know, but now those madcap experimenters in charge of the Pentagon's Department of Turning Anything and Everything Into Weapons That Eat Taxpayers' Money have come up with several possibilities for making war stinkier yet.

The objective of this multimillion-dollar R & D program is to weaponize stench. We're not talking about the nasty smell of two-day-old road kill or of the gagging power of Overloaded-Porta-Potty-On-A-Hot-Day. Instead, we're talking about both of these combined, with some rotten eggs and hot bear breath thrown in for good measure. The military hopes to extract the essence of these "malodorants," as it calls them, and pack them into canisters that can be fired at armies, unruly crowds, protesters, Democrats, and others whom the military doesn't like.

Among the horrific smells that they've alread bottled are ones labeled "Bathroom Malodor," "Burned Hair," and simply, "Stench Soup." Courageous journalists at the Los Angeles Times sniffed out this story and filed this first hand report: "Bathroom Malodor had a strongly fecal smell, with sharp notes of spoiled eggs and an undertone of rotting rodent." As for Stench Soup, the reporter said, the smell is so foul "that it fills the mind with white noise."

Pentagon researchers claim that these "odor weapons" should not be considered as chemical warfare, which is outlawed by international treaty, but as psycholgical warfare. Smells, they note, are powerful triggers of memory and emotions, and repugnant smells not only can cause people to gag and barf, but also to panic and flee. By using smells, they can turn one's own emotions into a weapon of war.

Instead of using disgusting odors, why not spread wonderful scents into the air -- such as a baking pie or a spring garden? This would mellow people out and turn their thoughts away from conflict. Instead of making war, let's stimulate people to make love... or at least a pie.

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