Placing a strange smell!

They say the sense of smell is, of all the senses, the strongest evoker of memories. Today mine was jogged as I filed down the bridge of a guitar. Since Friday I’ve set up five guitars in as many days. To the uninitiated this might seem like unnecessary fiddling but, while the results may not always be visible to the untrained eye, it can be the difference between and playable and an unplayable instrument. So this morning as I was vigorously scraping the bridge of an acoustic guitar across my rasp, working towards a much comfortable playing action, I caught a whiff of something I knew I’d smelt before.

It was not a pleasant smell. The bridge is, or certainly was in this case, made of some sort of dense plastic. As I shaved away, little flakes were sticking all over more hands; static, and stubbornly refusing to be shifted. It was the rasping that was releasing the odour. Was it an industrial or biological connection? I called Ben over – was it a farm yard smell? He couldn’t place it. Then it came to me, along with a mental picture I will refrain from elaborating upon. It was the smell of significant quantities of duck poo in the rain!


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