Smart or mean?

Mitch4 asks:

Is the waiter making a smart or a nasty suggestion?  
(Even granting the presupposition that people would love to have some Limburger but normally refrain from concern about offensive breath.)
1) Now is the chance, as customers are masked and will be protected from others noticing their bad breath the rest of the day.  So the waiter is making a good suggestion.
OR 2) But actually he is leading them on, knowing that a masked person will be smelling their own breath all day.  So he is nasty and taking out some revenge on customers.


  1. I didn’t think it had anything to do with bad breath, but the smell of the cheese itself. If you’re wearing a mask, you can’t be offended by it’s notoriously bad odour. I thought this was quite funny in that light.

  2. I’m for “smart” rather than smart-alec. What better time for limburger, durian, surströmming, or anything else delicious that smells like gym socks?

  3. I’m a little late to the party, but I just clicked on this site for the first time in several days, and tears came to my eyes when I realized that people were continuing it. Thank you all so much.

  4. ignatzz, are you sure the tears were emotional? Were you wearing a mask at the time?

    I used to never eat garlic, because you really don’t want to have garlic breath when sitting next to a paying student for an hour. But now I can have all I want, because all sessions are on Skype, and they’re free.

  5. Why not both?

    The waiter could be suggesting the cheese in good faith. The customers, based on the wide eyes, could be thinking ahead to what it will be like to have the mask on after eating the cheese.

  6. People can’t notice their own bad breath, at least for garlic, once the receptors are saturated. So the advice is to serve something spiced with a little garlic to every member of a group if someone loves loads of garlic (and doesn’t refrain from eating it out of courtesy for the others). Having a mask wouldn’t make matters worse for a person eating garlic.
    On the other hand, the smelly stuff in garlic doesn’t just leave you via bad breath, your whole body stinks. A mask wouldn’t protect others from your stench.

  7. I think it’s either #2 in WW’s post, or more likely Stan’s idea. I don’t see #1 working since Limburger jokes tend not to involve bad breath.

  8. Unlikely that a woven mask would block the aromatics from any source. Molecules are just too tiny.

  9. Well, masks have their own smells, and they make it impossible for me to find the best produce in supermarkets any more (looks are deceptive, so I go by smells).

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