M. SCOTT MORRIS: Smell of ink cuts through stuffed nose

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

The September air is filled with the pollen of plants that just plain don’t like me. With help from my allergist, I’ve been able to keep the sneezin’ and snortin’ to a manageable level.
But I’ve had a few eruptions. On Saturday, I worked up a healthy sweat while trimming a cedar tree in the front yard.
I should’ve hopped straight into the shower, but I lingered in the cool air and watched college football, allowing vengeful cedar tree particles to burrow into my system.
Before long, I was blowin’ and goin’ like a hound dog with a snout full of black pepper.
That was an extreme reaction. Mostly, I’ve had a stuffed nose and the occasional three-round burst of sneezes.
Relief might be in sight because I actually smelled something the other day.
More than 14 years ago, I walked through the Mighty Daily Journal’s front door for the first time and immediately was hit by the smell of ink.
I stopped noticing the ink after a couple of months on the job. My system adapted and decided it was nothing note-, news- or nose-worthy.
In the old days, I could smell it in the front office on the first day back from a week-long vacation. It reminded me the fun was over.
That doesn’t happen any more. I don’t know when the change occurred, but it’s been years since I’ve encountered the aroma at the end of vacation.
To be fair, the longest vacation I’ve taken has been one week. Someday, I’d like to take a six-month sabbatical to sail around the world on a sloop named “9.6-Point Utopia.” It’s possible I’d return to find the familiar scent waiting for me at the front door again.
When I first got into the newspaper business, veteran journalists advised me to find another line of work before newsprint got into my blood.
I thought they were speaking figuratively, but maybe they meant it.
Do you think medical science could devise a test to determine the amount of newsprint in someone’s blood?
Would that cause insurance rates to go up?
Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not completely immune to ink; it just doesn’t register at my cubicle.
If I want to experience the same sensation I used to get from merely walking through the front door, I have to visit the pressroom and take a big ol’ whiff.
It’s potent stuff in close proximity, and it cuts right through my clogged nostrils in late summer and early fall, reminding me that I do, in fact, have a sense of smell.
If they ever let me into heaven, I’d expect to inhale the nostalgic, though overwhelming, fragrance of Granny’s Estampée Lauder perfume, as well as the fulsome fumes from Granddaddy’s backyard trash fires.
The ink should be there, too, along with the aroma of cedar trees and ragweed.
Of course, I’m assuming there’ll be no wheezin’ or snifflin’ in heaven.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@djournal.com.

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