There once was a newsroom colleague who liked to smell other people’s food. Not in a get-a-yummy-whiff way, but in the way that she buried her snooty snout in co-workers’ food and uttered pretentious clap-trap about communing with one’s cuisine.
So I wasn’t too annoyed when EJ peered over our cubicle wall and said, “Dude, whatever you’re eating stinks.”
It must have been the pickled radishes on the bahn mi sandwiches I’d brought back to the office. They smelled and tasted a touch funky, but within the limits of edibility and enjoyment.
Self-consciously, I stopped eating. I balled up the sandwich in a plastic bag, looked for a trash can in another part of the newsroom, and threw it away, along with the wrapped but uneaten sandwich that I might have enjoyed if my lunch hadn’t encroached on my colleague’s air space.
Which leads to a simmering question:
What is it about smells and food that turn us on and turn us off?