Everyone in Denver is just so f*cking pissed right now that a flower doesn't smell like rotting flesh … Keep Colorado weird?
See that flower up there? That large, bulbous floral specimen on display at the Denver Botanic Gardens?
That's a Corpse Flower, and as you may have heard, it's blooming, something it only does once every eight to 20 years. How nice.
What it also is, is a phenomenal, psychologically shattering disappointment that we all believed in only to be let down, and let down hard.
You see, thousands of people from all over the state traveled in droves, stood in line for hours, and paid hard-earned money to be bathed in the notoriously noxious odor it was supposed to release upon blooming. Corpse Flowers, as it were, release a Satanic smell so awful that it attracts carrion insects which lay their eggs inside dead, rotting animals. The insects that fall for the flower's trick then go on to pollinate the bloom. This process is said to yield a stink that offers notes of what botanist Jonathan Attenbery describes as "day-old roadkill, rotten eggs, dirty diapers and a farm on a hot day where a cow has died."
Drawn by this promise of an overwhelming "stench of rotting flesh,' Coloradans had ditched work, canceled plans, and hired babysitters just so they could go somewhere and smell a bad thing because that makes sense, god damn it.
But no. Upon visitor's arrival, the plant (which groundskeepers lovingly called Stinky) was found to bear no such pungent miasma of death. Instead, it just stood there, and was a plant.
That's when the dismay set in.
Just take a look of some of the heartbreaking reactions Denverites had to being robbed of the smell of rotting flesh.
"I was hoping it would smell like rotten fish," said Joni Klieger, 61. "It wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be."
"I didn't really smell anything, but it's still really cool to see," said Zuza Gaboush, 10, of Colorado Springs.
"Why is anyone writing article about people who were robbed of a smelly smell?" said everyone.
This tear-jerking report from the Denver Post perfectly conveys the intangible dissappointment of not smelling a gross smell:
Like a mother checking on her newborn, Debbie Ackley had been waking at night to sneak a peek — online — at a plant-lover's dream: a flower more than 5 feet tall that has its roots in Denver Botanic Gardens and is said to have an aroma of rotting flesh.
On Wednesday, Ackley was among the thousands of visitors who took the time to stop and smell the flower. They patiently waited as long as five hours to get a whiff of the 15-year-old corpse flower's inaugural bloom.
Although no one seemed to mind the wait, several complained that the flower, endearingly named Stinky by gardens staffers, wasn't as smelly as expected.
Ackley, also of Colorado Springs, is a member of the gardens' illustration program. She had spent the past four days sketching the flower, watching it via live feed and eagerly awaiting bloom's day.
"I feel like I have an intimate relationship with it," she said, sketching it while in line.
So god damn sad.
Nevertheless, the massive facade that is the Corpse Flower continued to draw in smell-seekers. The Denver Post reported that, at 8:30 p.m. yesterday, "The line outside the gardens, along York Street, to get inside the grounds, still stretched from the East 10th Avenue entrance just about all the way to East 9th Avenue, more than 200 people deep."
Wow. Well. We don't know what's possessed Denverites and Coloradans to crave the experience of whiffing awful aromas, but we can only assume it has something to do with the altitude or granola poisoning. There is really no explanation for why people care so deeply that they weren't able to smell the worst smell of their lives, or why they'd pay to to that, but … Colorado is a weird place full of a bunch of high-ass people, and we're not going to attempt to explain their idiosyncrasies.
However, we're pretty sure that anyone craving the brain-melting odor of the Corpse Flower can simply stick their head in our office bathroom after our editor's done dropping bombs, and all order shall be restored.