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Pot Pourri (Brisbane)

April 4, 2005

You know how there are some smells that you would recognise from 20 paces?

Ones so distinctive that you wouldn’t be able to say how old you were when you first identified it, but which are recorded in the memory card of your nasal passages?

Well marijuana is one of those smells for me.

Now before anyone starts mouthing off about illegal substances and their classification, I feel moved to remind you that I come from a culture where we think differently about the leaf.

And on many a balmy night, the elders can be found sitting out on the porch enjoying a pipe or two with their buddies and going on about how the world is not as good as it was when they were younger.
Please Note: This is a standard conversation that people of a certain age hold, and is not the effects of smoking the gange.




So imagine my surprise when I discovered this smell whilst wondering through the streets of Brisbane (Australia).

There we were, walking to some destination or other and suddenly there was “that smell” everywhere.

I spun round expecting to see some young layabout lurking nearby with a hand wrapped surreptitiously around a dodgy-looking roll-up [Insert Your Stereotype Here]; but there was no one about and we were on a busy main road – not the ideal choice for that relaxed smoking experience.

As it turns out, the smell is actually generated by bat shit.

Sorry… Let me go back a few paces and explain.

We spoke to a local about “that smell” we kept picking up and they responded: “Yes, it is rather aromatic isn’t it?”
They then proceeded to explain that the smell comes off the shit of the local bat population.

That’s “bats” as in Dracula’s favourite mode of travel. You know, they sleep during the day and hang upside down? Bats.

And that amazing smell wafting all over Brisbane (and it’s no small city at that), causing people to unconsciously raise their heads and take several slow, deep breaths came off their faeces.




Now ain’t that something? Bat shit!!! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. This world is an amazing place!

Now I’ve never been a pet lover – animals inside my house are either on a plate, or due to end up on a plate.

I can’t be doing with the smell and the molting fur/feathers etc. A sentiment I share with my mother so deeply that I pull the same “face” she does.

And I definitely can’t be having the jumping on furniture and the licking (eeewwgh!).

But now I’m thinking that maybe I should rethink the whole pet thing.

The bat could live in the garden shed = no feeding, no walking, no molting on my furniture.

And it’d be pretty safe because I don’t think there is even one reported incident or urban legend about some bat jumping up and licking someone. Let alone leaving the cold, smelly and copious dribble smeared all over the hand/lap or any other places that dogs like to deposit the produce of their saliva glands.

And then when I feel like a relaxing evening at home, I can quickly nip to the shed and shovel a plateful of bat shit and leave it displayed round the house in pretty porcelain bowls whilst the scent wafts from room to room.

Now there’s aromatherapy! It’d be cheaper than the Body Shop musk oils at any rate. PLUS, it’s organic – so I’d be doing my bit for the environment.

The more I think about it, the harder it is to find any down side to the situation.

So there you have it: no more scented candles for me! I’m on the bat shit…


SO TELL ME: Do you have a smell that you associate with a particular place/destination? Alternatively, share your freaky bat-related story or fact.


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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.

4 thoughts on “Pot Pourri (Brisbane)

  1. It’s “molting”. Birds molt. “Malt” is a powder you put in milkshakes or use in the making of whoppers (candy).

    (of an animal) shed old feathers, hair, or skin, or an old shell, to make way for a new growth.
    “the adult birds were already molting into their winter shades of gray”
    a loss of plumage, skin, or hair, especially as a regular feature of an animal’s life cycle.

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