Holy smoke, or something.
For a couple of weeks I’ve had a mild cold and a stuffy nose, not bad, just annoying. But I’ve also had an awful chemical solvent smell in the back of my mouth and throat.
Years ago I complained to my doctor that I seemed to have a smell in my throat – like Araldite. He said, “Have you been using Araldite?” I said, “Yes, I suppose so, but that was weeks ago.”
“Well, there you are,” he said. “These things linger in your nasal passages.”
Now I’m smelling a familiar but awful chemical smell all the time (right now!). I’ve been trying to work out what it is. It seems to get worse every time I go into the loo.
Suddenly today, it dawned on me: paint thinners.
A few weeks ago I had a couple of guys doing some painting for me (paid, of course). I cleaned the brushes afterwards in thinners and turps, then used detergent many times over, but always with that smell. Then like a fool, I poured the residue down the drains.
I suspect that the thinners and turps have formed a film or a flotation layer in my drains and are vapourising up into my nose every time I go near it. Ugh!
What to do? High pressure detergent down the drains? Thinking about it.
Today I was listening to Radio National and I heard a guy being interviewed about tribal violence somewhere. I didn’t intially know where, but I assumed it was in the NT or Qld somewhere and involved aboriginal violence.
As the interview went on, I thought, Gee this bloke speaks well. Is he a policeman? The more he spoke, the more I thought, Gee, this is Aussie police at its best. Very articulate, very level headed, very common-sensical.
More and more, I realised he was well spoken even if in the broadest of Aussie Ocker accents, pronouncing all his words correctly first time, even using Latin law words properly. It was fluent, fluid, lucid, eloquent speaking.
Gradually, I realised it was a Torres Strait Islander, talking about domestic and tribal violence in the islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea. I was impressed! This guy knew his stuff and was a guy I would want on my side if I were caught up in anything there. His name: Bob Black. How ironic.
Hats off to him. I was proud to think of him as an Aussie. I have no idea of his skin colour, but I don’t care. What a good bloke.