Great Sayings Revisited: Saved by the smell

Saved by the smell
Saved by the smell?

In our continuing Great Sayings Revisited series, today we avoid the malodorous stench of “saved by the smell”. Has a particular smell ever saved you from something? Were you about to walk off the edge of a cliff when, suddenly, a “here’s the edge of a cliff” smell alerted you about your impending fate? It’s happened to us all, don’t worry.

In the sensory world we live in, humans have the following: visually induced perceptibility to tangibility (sight), nostril-based acknowledgements (smell), audio input from external sources through diminutive skull crevices (hearing), orifice-based inhalation of nutritious substances (taste), and groping (touch). They all come in pretty useful, although, clearly, smells will save us all.

Saved by the smell

There are certain instances when smelling can come in handy. If you find yourself in a building which is on the verge of collapse due to a rampaging fire, it could be the smell which alerts you to a potential problem in the local vicinity. Indeed, you would inhale smoke and announce: “By Jove! I do believe this building is on fire!” – you would then leave the premises, thusly saving your life.

Sight can be useful in this respect, too, as you’d see the flames. However, vision is an evil fiend which plays tricks on you – you could be too enthralled by the delightful inferno to be bothered to save your hide. Touch is also important as, if you’re immolated, you would realise there’s a problem. The additional problem here is, of course, things would already be too out of hand to avoid being immolated, as one is already immolated.

As a consequence, relying on smell is the ideal way to avoid such a fate. It is, arguably, the one sense which humans rely on to avoid disaster. As evidenced in the 1997 film Titanic, one of the lookouts confidently announces he can “smell ice”. Disastrously, this doesn’t turn out to be accurate and 1,000 people died horribly. The moral of the story? Lookouts are stupid.

The Top 5 Dangerous Smells

Certain smells will alert any intelligent human to potential disasters. It’s important to be alert 24 hours a day in order to avoid a horrific fate; keep your nostrils open at all times, never breathe through your mouth, and record any new smells in a diary in order to alert the WHO (not the band as they’re too busy on their 50th anniversary tour – try the organisation instead).

Here, in Professional Moron’s list of the most dangerous smells, you’ll find the smells you must avoid in order to lead a death-free existence. Make a note of them and the best of luck to you in 2017:

  1. Curtains – Don’t be fooled by curtains as once they get mouldy, they get dangerous. Keep an eye on the blaggards.
  2. Tea – This is a distracting smell which could make you inadvertently walk in front of a 10 tonne truck doing, like, 25mph. Avoid!
  3. Rabbits – Also known as “like rats, but not”, rabbits defecate and nibble things which, ultimately, creates a sensory overload for humans.
  4. Freshly mown grass – This causes approximately 0.009% of people to fall into a coma. Don’t mow your lawn!
  5. Discount coupons – Got a discount for a store? Don’t smell it, it’s covered in capitalistic stench! Become a communist and flee to your nearest shed.


  1. I’m glad you published this when you did, I was about to bring my discount coupons for curtains past the freshly mowed grass on my rabbit farm while drinking tea. Based off of this article, you probably saved my life, or at least gave me an excuse to stay inside all day.


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