And I'm sure there is at least one of you (possibly several of you) out there who would, hands down, no questions asked, give up your ability to see dead people. To you my question is this: What was with that movie "Secondhand Lions?" Was that for real? Do you envision yourself having a career after puberty?
But for those of us who have to give up another sense, is it not a given that it will be between smell or taste? Rather than doing my work this morning, I decided to examine this matter more closely.
Sense of Sight: If you choose to give up sight, you are, for the record, a complete idiot. Without sight you would never again see a sunset or a flower or a severed head flying off the blade of your sword. You would never be able to read a headline off the weekly world news...you would need your butler to read it for you, and if you didn't happen to be one of those blind people with a butler, you'd be pretty much screwed.
You would have to have one of those long canes and wear sunglasses all the time and-- ok, yes, you would be allowed to bring your dog on the subway, but you would be forced to TAKE the subway because you would not be allowed to drive. Also, without sight, your interest in prop comedy would suffer a noticeable drop-off.
Sense of Hearing: Anyone in the house who wants to give up their sense of hearing, make some noise.
Again, I find this ridiculous. I cannot see why anyone who is not a stay-at-home mom with upward of three children would want to lose their hearing. To never again be able to hear a symphony or a new Weird Al-Yankovic album. To sit by in helpless silence while people discuss how unnecessarily high Mariah Carey's voice goes and to miss out on ever being able to play "Marco Polo" at the local swimming pool are not things worth sacrificing. Also, if you have one of those whistling teakettles, it would pretty much just be a regular teakettle to you, so you'd be kicking yourself for spending extra on the whistling one, wouldn't you? You have some serious problems if you picked this.
Sense of Touch: As a young child prone to accidents, I always wanted to give up my sense of touch, using the argument that I wouldn't feel it if I fell down, nor would I feel the tetnis shot afterward. My mother then told me fourteen straight hours of horror stories about people with no sense of touch and how they accidentally cut their arms and legs off or walk around with deadly diseases and shrimp forks sticking out of their forearms, never noticing that anything was wrong.
Also, without a sense of touch, sex, I imagine, would be only mildly more entertaining than unclogging a toilet.
Sense of Humor: Sadly, I know many people who have given this up and have gone on to have long, profitable careers. Still, I find it is not advisable if you would like to get through your life without having fifteen heart attacks and a full head of grey hair by age 30.
Sense of Style: This is not something I have ever had, and am therefore unable to give it away.
Sense and Sensibility: I find that I am not as much a fan of Jane Austen novels as I was 3 or 4 years ago, although I am still an enormous admirer of Emma Thompson.
But I'm going to get back on my topic now...
Sense of Taste: I was not willing to give this up (although I am aware that taste and smell are closely connected) because I cannot imagine going through life, never being able to enjoy my food. It has since been brought to my attention that certain people with weight problems would be happy to forego the pleasure of eating to maintain a comfortable weight, and far be it from me to argue with them, because this post is long enough as it is.
Which finally brings us to:
Sense of Smell
As often as I think over this question, I always wind up giving up my sense of smell. I am not willing to give up viewing art, watching movies, listening to music, human contact, and white chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups to be able to more accurately tell when the cat's litterbox needs to be changed. Especially since I don't have a cat.
A life without a sense of smell is a life without farts, sewage, or cheese-breath. It is a life of being able to ride public transportation without having to breathe out of the sides of your mouth. It is a life in which you may feel free to chase skunks through the meadows, provided you do not plan on being around any people for the next four to six weeks.
In fact, after studying this matter closely, the only disadvantages I could find to not having a sense of smell were the following:
1.) I would no longer be able to enjoy the scent of bacon
2.) I would no longer be able to enjoy the scent of popcorn
3.) When watching WWF specials that ask, "Can you smell what the Rock is cooking?" I would shake my head and say, "No. No, I cannot smell what the Rock is cooking. But I can hear you ask the question, see the sweat dripping off his pectorals, taste the Coca Cola I'm drinking, and feel good about myself for having picked the right sense to give up, since I don't particularly care what the Rock is cooking anyhow. The Rock has never been known for his culinary skills and, just for the record, you can't smell things through a television anyway.