Here’s a depressing factoid I learned recently:
Old people smell.
And it’s not from poor hygiene or failure to do laundry often enough.
Like wrinkly skin, gray hair and creaking joints, “old people smell” is a sign that Mother Nature is ready for us to jump on that iceberg and float out to sea.
According to the book “Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells,” by Harold McGee, “old people smell” is caused by a chemical compound called nonenal.
Humans begin to emit nonenal in their mid-40s and the smell keeps getting stronger until we shuffle off this mortal coil.
Nonenal is the reason nursing homes have a distinctive odor. Supposedly, it collects on shirt collars and pillow cases.
Nonenal is described as a “greasy and grassy” smell, although Swedish researchers called it one of the least offensive odors emitted by people. Compared to a teenage boy’s gym bag, it’s Chanel No. 5.
In Japan, where old people are revered, old people smell is called “Kareishu.” Still, Japanese cosmetics companies have developed special soaps to get rid of it.
There you go: Just another in a long string of indignities that await you in your Golden Years.
In case you were wondering: Monona has 67 lane miles of roadway, and it takes the Public Works Department about six hours to plow every mile of it for storms that deposit four inches or less snow.
Monona recently posted its job opening for police chief.
Former Chief Walter Ostrenga let city officials know last April he’d be retiring as of Jan. 1, then made the announcement official in June. His last day was in November, as he had some accumulated leave to use up.