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Dear Sir or Madam...

The John Lennon Series
by Jude Southerland Kessler

Hello, Goodbye

Comment? Question?

Reference Library: This CD Stinks

From: (Harrison Sherwood)
Subject: The Raging Celery Controversy--Not Resolved!
Date: 12 Apr 1996 19:32:47 GMT

It was with something of a skeptical bent and a jaundiced eye that I received the intelligence (published in this august forum) that the Beatles' Anthology 2 smells like celery.

The obvious jokes occurred: "Sure smells like _something_!"; "How's this fit in with the PID mythology?"; and "Vegetarianism run amok!" One thing was for _damn_ sure: I wasn't going to take this news lying down. No way in hell is any two-bit, UFO-believing, JFK-conspiracy-buff, net.kook gonna mother-hubbard soft-soap _me_ with just a pocket full of vegetable matter!

So I finally went out & bought the thing. Yes, yes, I know, I should have been in line at midnight on March whatever-it-was, along with all the other drooling fanboys, but I'm a 35-year-old guy with a wife and kids and a busy professional career and lots of other really good excuses besides. Not only that, but I've already heard more outtakes of "Strawberry Fields Forever" than were actually _made_, and frankly the urgency just wasn't there. I'd get around to it, was my policy.

But this celery thing... Now _there's_ a compelling reason to plunk down 25 simoleons!

So I did.

Brought the copy back here to my office, locked the door (I don't mind that my office mates already find me a tad eccentric, but I absolutely draw the line at letting them see me sniffing Beatles records), and opened the shrinkwrap. Cracked the jewel box. Stuck the hooter in.

Kids, the thing smells like celery.

The source of the aroma is the cover of the booklet. _Open_ the booklet and sniff, and you get the much more standard, fresh-printed smell that we all love so much--and so unaccountably. No, it's the _cover_ of the booklet that smells like celery.

Now, I'm a graphic designer by trade. I am as intimately familiar with the odors of fresh ink and gloss coating as anybody out there, short of printers themselves. Many has been the happy time when I've gotten a box of brochures or newsletters back from the printers' and slammed my honker into the box to catch that delicious aroma that bespeaks another job well done, another satisfied customer, another paycheck.

But in 10 years in this biz-nay, I have _never_ experienced a print job that came back smelling like the salad bar at Sizzler.

I called my print rep, a crusty veteran of 30 years in printing. (The crustiness stems from this unfortunate dermatological condition--and talk about things that _smell_ funny!) I explained the source of my perplexity. Is there any gloss coating or ink, I asked, that smells like celery? After he'd stopped laughing (awfully rude of him, I must say; I'm considering taking my business elsewhere) he said that no, in his experience, all the coatings pretty much smell like what we're used to.

But he _did_ offer up the news that there are companies--he cited one in Baltimore--that specialize in scenting printed matter. It's where we get that nasty purple stationery with the Ziggy figures that pongs like Elizabeth Arden or Cher or some other nasal assault.

So the upshot here, Fab Listeners, is the Anthology 2 CD booklet was, AS FAR AS I CAN TELL, scented _deliberately_ with celery.

Now, just one question arises in my mind. No--actually a _whole lot_ of questions arise in my mind, but this the only one worth actually admitting to:


Can you _picture_ the staff meeting at Apple?

     Senior Vice President: Paul wants to delay the release of
     Anthology 2 because he doesn't like the running order.

Staff: sigh.

SVP: Oh, and he wants the booklet to smell like celery.

This just does *not compute,* Beatlefans. Have the Fabulosities finally gone _totally_ troppo? Back to the egg? Goodnight, Vienna? Playing mind games forever? Are they, in a word, crackers?

(Hmmmm...crackers and celery! Add a little cream cheese.... Num!)

Harrison "I skipped LUNCH for this, I'll have you know!" Sherwood

"If I were on a lifeboat with Fiction Damage and there were
insufficient supplies to sustain all of us, I would gladly sacrifice
myself that they might survive. Their contribution to American
culture is that great."
--Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Z, Beer for Dolphins)

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