I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board
July 10, 2018 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Researchers, hospitals, and programs designed to train medical professionals routinely order Liquid Ass. The stench so realistically mimics the human colon, it’s the perfect training tool to teach medical responders how to maintain focus and professional demeanor in the midst of a truly overwhelming smell. And because the stench is universally offensive, psychologists have found it’s the perfect tool for studying the effects of disgust on all sorts of human behavior, from political decision-making to health care choices.

And while we're on the subject, it's been confirmed that Uranus smells like farts.
posted by Johnny Wallflower (42 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 


As I've mentioned elsewhere recently, I've been rewatching the original CSI, and while they get some things seriously wrong in some of those early episodes (e.g., at least one episode so far that's basically transphobia writ large, and multiple episodes full of psychobabble, pathologizing, and totally incorrect entomology), the whole "learning to deal with the smell of death" thing, including the fact that the dead often lose control of their bowels, seems to be portrayed fairly accurately. So that's what this made me think of, in addition to the fact that nurses are saints.
posted by limeonaire at 9:45 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


So you're saying it would be a bad idea to use this as a fragrance
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:46 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Decades later, Wittman met Masters in the electrical department in a trucking company based in Illinois. They became friends who shared a love of practical jokes, and one day decided to use Wittman’s remaining stash at an office ice cream social, effectively ruining it.

When the company eventually eliminated their positions, the two decided they could probably make a living out of their stinky product.
I realize that if they'd been immediately fired for shit-bombing the ice cream social, the article would absolutely have said so, but I'm still gonna pretend to myself that that "eventually" in "When the company eventually eliminated their positions" is doing a lot of work.
posted by cortex at 9:50 PM on July 10 [27 favorites]


And here we see illustrated the difference betwixt dog people and cat people.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 9:51 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


the dead often lose control of their bowels

... It's the ones that don't do so that you wanna watch out for.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:55 PM on July 10 [15 favorites]


And here we see illustrated the difference betwixt dog people and cat people.
posted by ActingTheGoat


Look who's being all snooty about bad smells
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:59 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


Liquid Ass

I thought this was going to be about the homemade wine I made from grape concentrate in high school
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:19 PM on July 10 [10 favorites]


I work in a setting where maintaining your professional demeanor in the face of horrible odors, sometimes enough to make the most hardened medical profession gag, is essential. On the scale of offensive odors, a fart is little different than a fresh breeze blowing through a field of spring flowers. Poo barely registers. I did an entire exam with an old man who’d crapped his pants while waiting for me today and it was like “oh this is mildly annoying” and asked if he wanted some help going to the bathroom to freshen up (he didn’t). In the medical world, the true impediments that test us are, in ascending order of difficulty, the yeasty BO of a person who for whatever reason has been unable to bathe for several months, melena (the uncontrollable rectal discharge involved when someone is bleeding uncontrollably from the GI tract and passing stool that is just digested blood — it doesn’t smell like poo, it’s worse, probably because I associate that odor with the idea that this person is going to keep me up all night in the ICU and may die anyway), necrosis (the odor of dead tissue from say for instance cancer or an occluded artery which is a culture media for a host of bacteria), and finally, the worst, gangrene (similar to necrosis but actively spreading, liquefying infection. It’s decomposition on fast-forward). I can tell if someone’s about to get an amputation before I walk into the room just by the smell.

So many interesting smells in medicine. Did you know Strep throat has an odor? My smell based diagnosis is almost as accurate as a throat culture. Amniotic fluid and placenta has a really unique, not entirely unpleasant odor that hits you immediately upon entering the labor and delivery ward. Electrocautery is something that is commonly used during surgery to control bleeding and is indistinguishable from the smell of barbecued meat. Really, it’s only disturbing if it’s just before lunch and you’re really hungry. There’s way more disgusting but pathognomonic odors which I’d love to go further into, but you get the idea. Maybe I’ll write a scratch and sniff book for med students one day.

Anyway, liquid ass sounds fun. I’d love to try it out at work, but honestly, I don’t think anyone would bat an eye. They’d just pass around the bottle of Vick’s which we apply to our nostrils when needed and someone would comment “Oh that poor patient” which is honestly a tribute to the professionalism and compassion of my staff, something I completely lack.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:56 PM on July 10 [158 favorites]


And here I learned on actual ass like a sucker.
posted by supercrayon at 11:07 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


And here I learned on actual ass like a sucker.

So, I had an immediate comment to make but didn't because as a first comment it wasn't appropriate, but here is my opening. (hahaha)

I've had a lot of experience in the arena of fisting, and I'm here to tell you that there is a smell that is "ass" and there is a smell that is "horrible feces" and they are not the same.

Part of participating in fisting as a bottom is spending time doing pretty deep douching to clean the feces out of the colon. The smell of the mucous of a cleaned-out colon is entirely different from the smell of one that hasn't been cleaned well.

I have war stories I could share, but won't because they're pretty intense, but I'll tell you that for a certain population of gay men dedicated to extremely personal physical experiences, the smell of ass is not what this smell is. It's something else entirely and is not at all repellant.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 PM on July 10 [14 favorites]


I've found C. diff to have a very recognizable odor.
posted by ericales at 11:37 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


Also, important because of the rhythms of language (which Lucas didn't do well very often)...

"I should have recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board."
posted by hippybear at 11:42 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Where was this post when I was 9 years old and would have appreciated it?
Just kidding. I haven’t matured a day since then.
Uranus smells of farts.
posted by w0mbat at 11:50 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Bet it doesn't smell as bad as rotting potatoes.

(cue everyone who has never worked with produce piping up with “Well actually they can't smell that bad”, while the rest of us who have are out the back quietly dry-heaving at the memory of that smell)
posted by scruss at 1:55 AM on July 11 [22 favorites]


So you're saying it would be a bad idea to use this as a fragrance

Maybe on a date with a pathologist?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:04 AM on July 11


I'm here to tell you that there is a smell that is "ass" and there is a smell that is "horrible feces" and they are not the same.

As a nurse I am well versed in the smells of both ass and pooh. And the different kinds of pooh. I can smell cdiff from another room. I can smell a GI bleed from across a corridor. I have smelled thrush, tongue cancer, fungal infections in various crevices, purulent wounds, urinary tract infections, colostomy bags that have overflowed, cauterized flesh, and every kind of puke, body odor, or booty smell there is. I...I have smelled some shit you guys. Things that can never be unsmelled.

And yet I have never smelled liquid ass. One for the bucket list I guess.
posted by supercrayon at 3:26 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Humans are disgusting.

(...he says, as he cleans the cats' litter box.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:00 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


the arena of fisting

Finally a taxpayer funded sports venue we can all get behind.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:40 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Bet it doesn't smell as bad as rotting potatoes.

I forgot a bag of potatoes at the back of a cabinet once. Once.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:54 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Obligatory Swamps of Dagobah (from reddit)
posted by um at 5:58 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


> Bet it doesn't smell as bad as rotting potatoes.

I have cats, so by default when a room is suspiciously smelly I assume a stealth poop lurking behind or under something. I once spent several days sniffing around in my kitchen, trying to figure out where the eff the stealth poop which I was surely missing could possibly be -- and eventually discovered a very, very runny potato in a bag I had forgotten about.

I try to use my potatoes a lot more promptly now.
posted by confluency at 6:22 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


As a resident, GI fellow, and attending, I used to make lightning rounds on the wards at the county hospital very early in the AM, picking up by smell those patients with GI bleeding, C. difficile, various anaerobic infections, etc. Ischemic colitis and amebiasis also have a distinctive odor, at least to me. In addition, I have noted, over the years of practice, that certain patients had a peculiar smell on their breath that heralded a diagnosis of cancer. Unfortunately, too many false negatives for this to be clinically useful, unlike what has been reported when certain animals have been trained to sniff cancer out.

After >30 years and >30,000 colonoscopies, I can say with authority that the smell of shit is infinitely varied.
posted by sudogeek at 6:42 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


So many interesting smells in medicine

And this is why I shouldn't eat breakfast while reading the comments on a KeepMeFiClassy post.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:01 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Obligatory Swamps of Dagobah

Oh. Oh, my.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:16 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Bet it doesn't smell as bad as rotting potatoes.

I used to pick up donations to Food Gatherers from the delivery docks of supermarkets, so I think I know this odor. It turns out that supermarkets, like people, can smell a lot better or worse depending on which end you approach.
posted by aws17576 at 7:40 AM on July 11


Wait -- am I on reddit?
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 8:37 AM on July 11


necrosis (the odor of dead tissue from say for instance cancer or an occluded artery which is a culture media for a host of bacteria), and finally, the worst, gangrene (similar to necrosis but actively spreading, liquefying infection.

I am a legal services lawyer, so I have experience tolerating some pretty severe body odor and occasional poop or pee. But a couple of months ago a client was complaining of foot pain in court, took her shoe off, and, well. I don't know if it was necrosis or gangrene, but she had three toes amputated later that week. Big respect to medical professionals; that was an incredible smell.
posted by Mavri at 9:55 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I have not smelled a colon, but I bet a liquefied cucumber would prove surprisingly fair competition. I could never have imagined that a cucumber could produce a smell like that.
posted by swerve at 10:00 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Thirty five years ago, I worked for KFC. Fast food grease barrels, where we put old frying grease, chicken fat, and wing tips, make a charming aroma, especially when boiling with maggots. The grease barrel guys were not allowed in the building, but I always offered to bring them food. Jesus. I'm hoping they had decon showers back at the garage.
posted by corvikate at 11:43 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Yet another Solution for a Problem I Did Not Know I had.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 12:26 PM on July 11


I thought the denizens of this thread would like to know that I just pinched a loaf.
posted by thelonius at 12:44 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Is there a Yankee Candle? Asking for a friend.
posted by lagomorphius at 12:44 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Fast food grease barrels

I worked for Roy Rogers, which also sold KFC, and the grease traps on the sink drain lines smelled godawful. And that gunk went into the barrels.

Fun fact: the contents of those barrels end up in cosmetics. Mmm, lipstick.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:07 PM on July 11


I just pinched a loaf

You can't just drop that in here without rating the odor. Like the cat tax, but for poop.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:08 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Why did I keep reading this thread
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:37 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Amniotic fluid and placenta has a really unique, not entirely unpleasant odor

...until it gets infected. The smell of chorioamnionitis can be so intense that it requires a terminal cleaning of the room and replacing anything fabric like privacy curtains.

If a fetus been marinating in a uterus with chorio for long enough, the newborn itself will smell so bad that even the most besotted of new parents will willingly hand over their baby to the nearest nurse for a bath.

Electrocautery is ... only disturbing if it’s just before lunch and you’re really hungry

Can confirm, even having been a vegetarian for 20+ years.
posted by jesourie at 2:46 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I thought the denizens of this thread would like to know that I just pinched a loaf.

look, i know it's warm out and we're all tired, but to wander in here and just copy/paste stuff from that post about bakery inspectors is just lazy
posted by cortex at 3:41 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


During med school, my wife regularly rounded on a guy who was dying of cancer of the perineum (yes, taint cancer). She said the smell would hit her as soon as the elevator doors opened, halfway down the hall from his room.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:58 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Once a dermatologist was using electrocautery while removing a cyst from my face. I remarked how strange it was to smell burning me, and that it smelled good.
posted by traveler_ at 10:21 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


oh that's what that thing is called! i just had it used after having a piece of a mole removed for biopsy (it's benign! phew) and i thought it was neat! i just smelled burning, but i'm a very weak smeller so never thought if it smelled like burned flesh or not.

i do well with bad smells mostly because i have a weak sense of smell, but the one thing that for some reason i'm sensitive to and cannot stand is BO, and also vomit when i'm also drunk enough to vomit.

i remember Liquid Ass in a Boing Boing post way back when, and i was really tempted to get some, but i thought it might end some friendships so i never got any.
posted by numaner at 10:30 PM on July 11


Bet it doesn't smell as bad as rotting potatoes.

(cue everyone who has never worked with produce piping up with “Well actually they can't smell that bad”, while the rest of us who have are out the back quietly dry-heaving at the memory of that smell)


Can confirm (self-link).

The worst human-based smell I have been lucky/unlucky enough to encounter, however, was when my minor anal fissure became infected. When wiping, after crying on the toilet for a half hour with nothing coming out because even though you really need to go it's absolutely the worst pain you've ever experienced, and so the paper comes away saturated with fluid on it but it's not the bum-fluid one would typically encounter, it's...yeah.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:58 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


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