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Got common scents?

Posted by Richard on December 7, 2006

Political correctness and hypersensitivity have reached new heights — or depths — in San Francisco. The city famous for its liberal tolerance and celebration of diversity couldn’t tolerate the capitalist distribution of cookie smells, and the opposition was quite a diverse lot. Monday marked the beginning of an innovative new $300,000 four-week ad campaign at some of the city’s bus shelters. Complaints brought the campaign to a halt by Tuesday evening:

Apparently, not everyone enjoys the smell of oven-fresh chocolate chip cookies while waiting for their bus.

Scented adhesive strips, applied to five Muni bus stops to give commuters a smell of homemade cookies as part of a “Got Milk?” ad campaign, were removed after just 36 hours following complaints from residents with health concerns and others, according to the Municipal Transportation Agency.

Representatives from the California Milk Processor Board, which was behind the ads, said complaints were from groups that are trying to ban all public scents, anti-obesity organizations, diabetes organizations and homeless advocates who argued the smell would leave them hungry and unable to purchase food.

So, here are some questions that occurred to me when I read this story:

  • These groups that object to all scents in public places like bus shelters — have they complained to the MTA yet about the presence of the homeless at these shelters?
  • If they do, will the homeless advocates defend their constituents’ right to stink as a freedom of expression issue?
  • What about the "fat advocacy" organizations — why didn’t they come to the defense of the cookie scent? And do they object to the odiferous homeless as appetite killers?
  • If someone gave away fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies to hungry people at the bus stops, how would the anti-scent, pro-homeless, anti-obesity, diabetes (are they anti or pro?), and fat advocacy groups react? Would they all be at each others’ throats?

I’m just wondering.
 

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One Response to “Got common scents?”

  1. T F Stern said

    While working as a police officer in downtown Houston back in the late 70’s my partner and I had to arrest a fellow for Disorderly Conduct – Excessive Odor when he set up his pallet in front of a major department store and refused to leave. We ended up having to take him to the county hospital where his boots were cut off with a knife because they had become part of his feet and ankles. The smell was enough to make a buzzard puke. They hosed him down, disinfected him, pumped him full of antibiotics and gave him a jump suit to replace the rags he’d used for clothing. I don’t think he ever got booked into jail, having been left at the emergency room for care. Maybe they should use that odor on the bus, “Do you use Dial; don’t you wish everybody did?”

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