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Does the Ren and Stimpy scratch and sniff comic retain its stench after twenty years? A SPECIAL BLOG INTO MYSTERY INVESTIGATION… – The Ren & Stimpy Show #1

April 6, 2013


Of the mid-1990s hyper-popular cartoons, Ren & Stimpy — beloved by many, an oddball SpongeBob SquarePants of its day — never registered on my radar. It was too cartoony a cartoon, if that makes any sense, and more “mature” fare like Beavis and Butt-head or the criminally underrated Dr. Katz was preferred stock. But that isn’t to say that R&S‘s popularity went by without notice. John Kricfalusi’s fat cat and scrawny Chihuahua characters struck a nerve, as did Billy West’s latter-day Mel Blanc vocal stylings. I still remember classmates getting their “Hey mon” imitations in.

It’s no surprise that they had a Marvel comic book, though — again, this might be personal preferences coming into play — the Beavis and Butthead book from the House of Ideas was of higher quality. Not much else to say besides that, but there’s actually some scientific value to this post, in a “How many looks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” sort of way. How long do scratch and sniff items last? A year? Two? A decade? Two decades? Until the sun finally burns out? Well, I can’t speak to that last marker, but we can go up to two decades. And, as the giant nose on the plastic bag above attests, there’s a free Air Fouler enclosed with the comic before us today, the premier issue of Ren and Stimpy’s senses-shattering comic. Wonderful! It’s like a box of Cracker Jack!

You may wonder what the secret message also promised by the cover is. Here’s the unbagged cover:


Sorry, Ren. I had to open it. I needed to smell your Air Fouler.

As far as content, the comic gamely ties to replicate the manic pace of the cartoon, though it’s an uphill climb:


We come to the piece de resistance, the promised Air Fouler. No, it’s not (mercifully) based on Stimpy taking a dump in the kitty litter. Behold, Ren Höek in all his aromatic glory:


I’m happy to report that, in a triumph of scratch and sniff technology, the Fouler has retained its twenty-year old odor, surely helped by being sealed for the interim. Thank you, polypropylene. The barest tickle from a fingernail unleashed its smelly wonders. The question remains, though: What does it smell like? There’s no easy answer. If I had to describe the scent, it would be as follows: Imagine putting a wet towel in a plastic bag, putting some dried cranberries in the bag as well, putting that plastic bag in your car and letting that car bake in the hot sun for a week. Then remove the bag, open it and take a big whiff. It’s not that pungent, but it’s a distilled version of what such a nostril blast would be. I actually crinkled my nose and turned my head when I whiffed this thing, like it was smelling salts. So be warned, should you ever want to scratch Ren’s face and do our own evaluation.

I came. I smelled. I blogged.

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