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Ranking The Five Senses: One Man’s Perspective

Ranking The Five Senses: One Man’s Perspective

(Editor’s note: Okay, “man’s perspective” is probably a bit much, but “stunted adolescent” doesn’t really roll off the tongue.)

I am always surprised at the things I see walking down the streets of my neighborhood.  Sure, the ubiquitous “Do you have a moment to talk about this issue that is very important to the ACLU orPlanned Parenthood?” people are always fucking there, keen to address you 8-12 times daily as you try to make it the two blocks to the gym.  But sometimes there are unexpected delights – today, for example, I saw two different 65+ year old men wearing hoop earrings, daisy dukes and see through shirts.  They weren’t together.  Completely separate events – but maybe that’s the emerging look for that demographic.

As I walked a little further, I got to the intersection of 28th Street and 7th Avenue and saw a blind person crossing the street.  It never ceases to amaze me how people are able to navigate the city without the benefit of sight – it’s frickin dangerous navigating the maze of cycling delivery guys with sight.  This led me to reflect on that age old barroom debate: how would you rank the five senses.  What’s that?  You’ve never had that particular barroom debate?  Perhaps you don’t spend enough time in bars?  Or are you an asshole who take life’s gifts for granted, with little time for contemplation and reflection?  I’ve given it some thought so you don’t have to.


#5.  Smell

Particularly nice aroma in the summer, kind of like a moldy bleu cheese / offensive linemans well-worn jock vinegrette
Particularly nice aroma in the summer, kind of like a moldy bleu cheese / offensive lineman's never-washed jock vinaigrette

Reasoning: Let’s face it, most of the noticable smells are bad ones.  Sure, occasionally you’re walking down the block and smell some heavenly baked bread, suspecting an adorable bakery has emerged in your neighborhood.  But 100% of the time you realize it’s just one of the 1,327 Subway franchises in NYC.  Smell is also too closely linked to taste, what good is smell if you can’t actually eat whatever smells so good?  Not a strong standalone case for taste, it’s the most teasing of senses.  And “stopping to smell the roses”?  Nobody actually does that stuff except in Sandra Bullock vehicles and Lifetime’s tales of redemption.

Sacrifices: Freshly baked bread, new car smell, puppy breath

Benefits: Street-roasted garbage, flatulence, burning metal

Immortalized in Song: “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

#4.  Hearing

I didn not draw this clock
I did not draw this sweet clock

Reasoning: Similar to smell, most of the stuff you hear is stuff you’d prefer not to hear.  Phones ringing, morons talking, cars alarming, whistling – I could go on forever.  I’m sure the music buffs in the reading audience are all afluster, but, let’s be reasonable: there really isn’t any good new music on the horizonl.  So you’ve already heard what’s good, how many times do you need to hear it?  I know everyone’s hoping that ironically-named southern rock hipster group will be the next big thing, but it won’t.  I’m probably a little biased here because I can’t really hear anything anyway.  Turns out listening to “Round and Round” at 187 dBs in my friend’s Supra was not great for the development of my ossicles.

Things You Sacrifice: Music, hearing child’s first words, satisfying sound of well-deserved praise (theoretical)

Benefits: No more cell phones, dickweeds talking in movies, lip reading is cool and great party trick

Immortalized in Song By: “Heard Em Say” (okay I probably overrate Kanye) – “Do You Hear What I Hear?”? (too Christmasy)….”Heard It Through The Grapevine” (maybe too raisiny, just pick one)

#3.  Taste

Anna's Taqueria's chile verde - looks like vomit, tastes like ambrosia
Anna's Taqueria's chile verde - looks like vomit, tastes like ambrosia

Reasoning: Um, give up the joy of burritos?  No thanks.  And for those who’ll suggest that I won’t get the benefit of smell here – that’s an added bonus since my homemade burritos come with a toxic cloud of pepper gas that causes fits of sneezing and coughing before consumption.  Taste makes it all worthwhile.  (However it will be ironic if I get lung cancer from all the carcinogens created in my burritosphere, despite a lifelong nonsmoking policy.)

Things You Sacrifice: Burritolisciousness, srirachasms, dark and storminess

Benefits: Can now drink scotch, won’t vomit if accidentally ingest a green onion particle, can finally try kimchi

Immortalized in Song By: Tough one – there are like 400 songs titled “Taste” and yet none of them stand out in my opinion.  Rick James, Chili Peppers, Phish, no idea….I would probably tweak the format and pick A Taste Of Honey’s “Boogie Oogie Oogie” – that’s a sweet jam.  (They also won a best new artist Grammy that pisses Elvis Costello off to this day – he named even named an album A Taste of Extreme Honey.)

#2.  Touch

Cool picture
Cool picture

Reasoning: Let’s be succinct: man’s two most instinctive and carnal desires are eating and getting some, so touch has got to be way up here.

Things You Sacrifice: This is a PG-13 website, so I will be discrete: boning and such; can’t learn braille; cannot play chess in the dark

Benefits: Can now touch amphibians, bait a hook, can be livid when people call you “touchy”

Immortalized in Song By: “Touch Too Much,” “Invisible Touch,” or “Touch Me (I Want Your Body)”?  Tough call – I guess AC/DC has had a little more lasting impact than Samantha Fox, and Genesis was last relevant as a video game console.

#1.  Sight

The Bar is set high?  She could pass the Bar?  Barring further debate, sight is #1?
The Bar is set high? She could pass the Bar? We met in a Bar? Katy don't Bar the door?

Reasoning: As males are visual creatures, sight plays a bit of a role in the whole pro-touch argument above as well.  And I would be at a complete loss trying to navigate blindly.  On our boat they would put bags over our heads to simulate the lights being out for fire drills – I was rescued from grievous injury many times by the “safety monitors” who prevented me from falling down the stairs in the engineering room that I successfully navigated 100x/day while with sight.

Things You Sacrifice: The athletic majesty of sporting events, pronography, beach experience suffers

Benefits: Cannot see overweight people in ill-fitting clothing, can legitimately wear sunglasses at night

Immortalized in Song By: “Vision of Love,” “Love At First Sight” and like 10,000 others…seeing is pretty important even in song, no wonder hearing finished so low.