We have five or six main senses, so I’m told. I’ll skip some that one might think of like ‘common sense’ which your parents tried to instill in you. Or maybe ‘sense of time’ which goes much faster when you’re having fun for some reason. There’s ‘sense of pain’ which can really hurt on your body or just in your heart. And then, ‘sense of direction’ which is more irrelevant in these days of gps units. There are a lot more, but I’ll cover them in a later article.
Some are easy to imagine and understand real easily. Like seeing, for instance. It’s easy to understand seeing. We use our eyes in this case, and we get certain perceptions from the size, color, and shape of those images. Seeing can be motivational, too. Whenever I see a fully chromed out bike, I want to get out on mine on the highway and go fast enough to get bugs in my teeth. But then what about seeing with our eyes closed? Are we seeing when our eyes are closed and we can imagine what it is there in front of us? Or what if we know someone is behind us and we know what they look like even though they aren’t in our direct vision? How do we know what size of person is there? If the thought of what they look like is present, and it’s just in our mind that we know something, then are we seeing with our brain, or our heart, or our imagination? Is that still seeing? I wonder. Sometimes we see things that make us cry even when they’re not really right there in view. Like when someone talks about the bravery or tragedy they have been involved in. Or imagining the sacrifice of our servicemen in some current foreign war. I cry when I think about that.
The next sense might be our hearing. Sometimes we can’t hear something that happened. If we didn’t hear it, was there still a sound? If the sound was in some range that our ears don’t pick up, did we hear it but not process it in our brain as a sound? Sound is a mechanical vibration in the air. How can vibrations in the air be recognized as anything but noise? And then they would just be a sound of soft or some degree of loud. When I’m driving along in traffic sometimes, some nice person might be playing his rap music at about 140 decibels and have all his windows open. When my whole car is shaking, is it hearing the music and trying to vibrate in time with the beat, or what? What if someone comes up behind and you can hear the rustle of their clothing, or striking of leather shoe on ground. That makes a wave length of some kind-so maybe different items make different wave lengths of noise. How do we know what it is if we’ve never heard that sound before? How does the frog in the desert know the sound of water? Very strange.
Tasting would be next. We can taste with our tongues, right? Can we taste with anything else? How about the rest of our mouth? Suppose you take a big gulp of a vanilla shake you got at the diner in one of those big silver tumblers they put under the mixing machine. Now if you swallow it right down, you get throat freeze and you can’t breathe, let alone taste anything. But if you slosh it around in your mouth, you can taste if fully and the vanilla flavor envelopes your whole body and makes you like the sensation so much you pour a little of your neighbor’s stash from their tumbler into yours when they’re not looking. You can do that by pointing out one of the posters on a wall to the right rear and keep talking about certain features to keep their head turned long enough to get away with it. So we’ve established that taste buds are throughout one’s mouth. Oh, I went to a party once where we were comparing the taste of different beers. We would go down the line and sample some of each beer. Some fools would spit theirs out into a bucket after tasting it, but that sounds stupid to any college student, so I swallowed mine. For some reason, the host had put all the worst tasting ones at the end of the line. All of them tasted pretty great. Which goes to show how a long line of something can enhance receptive taste buds.
What’s next, touching? Feeling? One or the other. Are they the same thing? I know if my favorite body of the opposite sex is sitting next to me, and she is touching me slightly, I have a certain kind of feeling. Most of the time we use our fingers to touch. If you’re playing touch football, it’s okay to touch the opponent with any part of your hand or body; so then that must mean that our whole body is a touch zone. Sort of like Auto Zone except you can’t get your battery charged the same way. When in the fall and you’re out in the yard after raking up all the leaves, you can stand under any tree and another leaf will fall down on you. This will happen for several weeks as fall lasts for that whole period of time. And when that leaf falls on you, you can feel it as it “touched” the skin on your head. On my head anyway since there isn’t much hair between the leaf and my scalp. Since the leaf is inanimate, and we’re not talking about inanimation at this time, then you could say you touched, or felt, the leaf. So we know that leaf touching is a sense if you don’t have much hair on your head. Come to think of it, people do say things about having sense in one’s head, but I digress. I know you can touch snow and your hand will feel cold; or you can have a cold and your mom will give you chicken soup and your nose will run and your cold will feel better. I’m not sure what that last part means, but it works.
I’m not sure what the next one is, oh, wait, maybe it’s smelling. Yes, smelling. Some of us smell more than others. As a former elementary school teacher, I can tell you that kids smell pretty bad sometimes. We often send them out to run around on the playground when it’s sunny and warm and they are wearing their classroom clothes. Many of them wear the same clothes all week, too. Some things smell pretty good. Chocolate comes to mind, as does baking zucchini bread. Dirty oil that’s just come out of your pickup’s transmission and smells burnt does not smell good. Sometimes the sense of smell gets mixed up with taste. Milk that’s been too warm and smells funny will always taste sour. Women who’ve just taken a shower but not put on any perfume or anything smell really good. Almost as good as chocolate. Their hair, too. Men don’t like all the add-on smells as much as clean. They like to breathe in the smell of a woman.
I can’t remember for sure what else. Maybe it’s french fries. French fries smell good, taste good, feel good, and even look good. Except for the scrawny ones that look like burnt up chicken feet-they’re not so good. They’re best when they come from Idaho. I don’t know why that is. (Most of the citizens of Idaho look like Mr. Potato Head, I understand. Can somebody confirm that?) Some people call french fries by the name of freedom fries. Then there’s your country fries and home fries. They’re the plumpest of all and come best when they’ve got some skin left on them. To have a good sense of french fries, you have to have the proper surroundings. Drive-in burger places are the best, especially if you are in a convertible. Restaurants that feature old 50s posters of movie stars that were popular then have pretty good fries, too. Most of the young women waitresses in those places don’t really know how to dress, however. You hardly ever see them with authentic poodle skirts and loafers with a penny in the front. And the guys don’t know you have to have black shoes with white socks, high water pants and your t-shirt should be rolled up with a pack of cigarettes in the sleeve. Of course, nowadays with the cost of a pack at about what a week’s pay was back then, maybe they should skip that. Fries that are real juicy are the best so you don’t need to break open so many of those little packs of ketchup of which half ends up on your hands. Then you smell like ketchup for the rest of the evening. That’s why it’s best to experience the sense of french fries last thing in the day so you can go home and take a shower.
And that’s that.
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