Shouting "Gas" in a Crowded Library—or Whatever Is Equivalent to "Shouting" for Smell

It was a rotten durian, and "the waste will be dealt with by Environment Protection Authority officers."

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

That's the news from (Caitlin Guilfoyle); the durian ("a tropical fruit known for its strong smell," which "is commonly banned from hotel rooms and public transport in southeast Asia") led to the library being evacuated, because some thought there was a gas leak.


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  1. “strong smell” is a fairly weak way to describe the odor of durian. That’s akin to saying that Trump has been “mildly disruptive” in our society.

    1. So, what you’re saying is: “Mildly disruptive”=”strong smell”=”truthful statements”?

      Odd way to put it, but ok.

  2. In Singapore, on the metros, there were warning signs about various verboten activities, along with their respective fines. A $50 file for bringing a gun or explosive aboard. A $100 fine for bringing along a durian. And an impressive $150 fine for chewing gum. (Not for disposing of the gum under a seat…that’s for merely chewing it.)

    I was impressed at the relative lack of concern about bringing a bomb (!!!) onto a subway car, as compared to a durian. 2nd Amendment fans should take heart.

    I also remember my hotel in Nha Trang, Viet Nam, which had a big sign near the check-in counter, announcing, in 4 languages:
    1. No durian
    2. No prostitutes
    3. No durian.

    (If the staff had had a sense of humor, they would have included a #4: No prostitutes with durian.)

    1. What about a gum-chewing prostitute?

  3. I’ve eaten durian. It’s not really that bad, if you ask me.

    Smells kind of like rotten garlic.Tasty, though.

    1. Mmmmm, rotten garlic….

      1. Durian is one of those cases where the relationship between taste and smell is rather deceiving. It’s actually quite good, as long as you’re careful not to smell what you’re eating.

  4. Ooooh that smell
    Can’t you smell that smell
    Ooooh that smell
    The smell of death surrounds you

    (h/t Lynyrd Skynyrd)

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