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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Six foot, seven foot, eight foot, bunch! | Main | No more whining in 2006! »

My head is packed, but not with ideas.

What peanut butter tastes like without one’s sense of smell:


What everything else tastes like:


Come on--everything? What about an orange? A smoothie? Hot and sour soup? Or here, have some sushi with extra wasabi.

Spackle, spackle, spackly liquid, slightly salty spackle.

Worst thing about losing sense of smell (hereafter referred to as “smellability”):

Unable to indulge in morning ritual of smelling Charlie’s popcorn-scented paws.

Greatest thing EVER about losing smellability, according to Charlie:

See above.

Best thing about losing smellability:

Able to use the bathroom immediately after husband has befouled it.

Items used to confirm loss of smellability:

Coffee, Windex, dog’s paws, air freshener, armpits, dog’s paws, top of preschooler’s head, dog’s paws, dog’s paws.

What it feels like to not be able to smell anything:


“Lurh”? That’s the best you can do, Ms. Fancy Wordsmith?

It’s my experience of not being able to smell. You wouldn’t understand.

Just don’t claim that’s onomatopoeia, because it is so not onomatopoeia.

I would never claim such a thing.

The only thing going on inside brain, which was once jam-packed with self-conscious musings, lyrics to Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again, Naturally," and revenge fantasies involving eighth grade bully:


That’s what I thought.

Shut up. I'm sick.

There, there. Here’s some spackle for you.


Reader Comments (68)

i must say, you have made me very keenly aware of my sense of smell now. unfortunately there is a puppy on my lap whose feet smell like fritos.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSarcomical
How is it you can make even spackle and blocked olfactory senses funny? I'd have some serious envy going on here, but I'm laughing too hard.

Seriously hoping you're feeling better soon. Middle child and I are getting over something similar, so I know whereof you speak. Rest. Get well.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
I don't know what you're husband's eating. When I leave the WC, it smells like fresh-baked cinnamon rolls.

As far as you know.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLOD
Okay, I've never smelled my dog's feet, so I just got down on the floor with him and checked it out - FRITOS! He's looking at me like I'm crazy now, though.

Love the onamonadingdong!
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSandee
LOD says WC. He thinks he's so classy, with his crapping of baked goods.

Hey, who has a fever of 103? I do! I do! This is sort of fun. In a not-fun-at-all way.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Not to freak you out or anything, but I had a cold about a year and a half ago that robbed me of my sense of smell, and it still has not returned completely. For a long time I smelled nothing, then I could discern the vague outlines of smells, but not distinguish them. A few things (oranges, and poopy diapers) I could smell, but they smelled like something else entirely (vomit and lentils, respectively, which was bad and good, respectively).

Now, I can smell most things, a bit, and a few things in sharp detail. Specifically: oregano. I stick my nose right in the jar like a crazed oregano junkie. I can eat oranges again, although I still get the vomitous whiff every so often, so I don't quite trust them.

There's a word for this condition: ANOSMIA. If you Google it, Google politely queries whether you meant "insomnia", and you really really wish that's what you meant.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterrachel
I never thought about revenge on those 8th grade bullies... hmmm, now I'm going to be up all night.

(though it was a little satisfying when a couple of them got majorly chubby in high school from going on the pill)
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Cats' paws also smell like Fritos. But the rest of them has what I call "good cat smell". Unless they fart. Cats are masters of the SBD.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
"I'd talk louder, but my sinuses have been filled with glue."
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterroo
My roommate and I are currently drinking Keckler's "Dr. Mathra's Totally Hot Toddy," found in the Television Without Pity Apprentice Martha recaps. We'll know tomorrow if it worked, but here you go:

Dr. Mathra's Totally Hot Toddy

1/2 cinnamon stick2 whole clovesJuice from 1/2 a lemon1 jigger (1 1/2 oz) bourbon (I'm not exactly sure why we get Wild Turkey bourbon, but it's always been Mathra's preference. Feel free to make your own choice.)Boiling water1 tablespoon honey, preferably local

The Shake:Crush the cinnamon stick and cloves slightly. A mortar and pestle works well for this, as does the bottom of a heavy pan. Put the spices in a heatproof glass or mug and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the bourbon and pour in the boiling water to fill the glass. Stir in the honey and serve very hot.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
ummm ... you smell your dog's paws?! (and, apparently, not just you. Apparently dog-owners all over the world smell paws. Who knew?!)

So many reasons I will never have a dog. And now I have a new reason.

Lovely for me.

January 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenters
Yeah, great, now I've got that stupid song in my head.

Hope you feel better anyway.

"In a little while from now..."
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCandy
My boyfriend had anosmia after a bicycle accident and subsequent brain surgery. It took about a year and a half (like Rachel's recovery), but most of his taste and smell is back now (though some things, like mint, are completely gone -- sad, as he used to love mint chocolate chip ice cream.) There was an article about his case in the Times, it's reprinted here:
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlizpenn
that said, i'm sure alice will get her smellability back in no time. i'm just fascinated with all things anosmic. it's so weird how much of the sense of taste is really just sense of smell.
January 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlizpenn
I've only partially lost mine. But somehow everything smells the same. Not sure what. Probably snot.Bleh.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTree
I have a similar affliction, but I am more than happy not to be able to smell my cat's paws. He's stinky.

Be well, Ms. Finslippy.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterschmutzie
so funny. i love your writing. i would marry it if i could.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermdog
Oh how I love you Alice! Not only are we leading somewhat parallel lives (with the child and the antidepressants and the love of the chocolate...) but we also get sick at the same time. I too have lost my smellability and right now aveda comfort tea is the only thing that I can sort of taste. Soon this evil sickness will abate and all things will taste and smell again. I hope...
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertuliptoe
I will have to consider your recommendation on spackle the next time I am at Lowe's.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercagey
As a cat owner, I'd like to point out that smelling a dog's paws sounds much more appealing. Litter box?

Hope you are able to smell the good things again soon!
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterharriet
::sends Advil Cold and Sinus your way along with some comment cheer::

I hope you feel better.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterShelli
Oh, poor sweetie. I hope you feel better soon.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterliz
"Cats' paws also smell like Fritos." Really? Cause my cat's paws smell like concentrated evil.

Glad to know that puppy paws are better!
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie
An all-spackle diet sounds like absolutely no fun. Feel better soon!
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJessie
my dog licks my feet every chance she gets, so i figure turnabout is fair play and i have every right to sniff her frito-feet if i so choose.
January 6, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterliz

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