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Off-Kilter

March 11, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | Times Staff Writer

What About the Smell of Napalm in the Morning?: If we had been thinking clearly, we'd have bought a few thousand shares of Good & Plenty stock before writing today's column, because a new study shows that the candy's aroma is sexually arousing to women. According to the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago (yes, it's real), women who sniffed the candies--in combination with the scent of cucumber--experienced a 13% increase in blood flow to their sex organs.

Other aphrodisiac odors, which will be formally announced today at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society (also not a figment of our imagination), include baby powder, lavender and pumpkin pie. Smells that reduced female sexual arousal were cherries, men's colognes and meat barbecued over charcoal.

Naturally, we had to phone the director of the study, Dr. Alan Hirsch, to ask an important medical question: "What on Earth gave you the idea to test Good & Plenty?" Answer: "We happened to have some in the lab."

Hirsch, who has a book on arousing aromas coming out in April called "Scentsational Sex" (Element Books), cautioned that the results might be different in other cities. In L.A., for example, maybe the smell of salsa would drive women wild. But in the Chicago building that houses his lab, the neighborhood candy stand sold out of Good & Plenty almost as soon as the study was finished.

The Ship Sank Like a (Rolling) Stone: One of the many things that bugged us about the movie "Titanic" was the way Leonardo DiCaprio's dialogue sounded like a 1990s teenager even though the film was set in 1912. Actually, we were off by a few decades. According to Rolling Stone magazine, DiCaprio's lines are straight out of the 1960s, from Bob Dylan. In the role of Jack Dawson, DiCaprio not only described himself as "blowin' in the wind" but played poker while saying, "When you got nothin', you got nothin' to lose," a line lifted from Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."

Weird Polls Department: The nation's social scientists are once again researching questions of supreme moral, political and spiritual import. Their latest findings:

* One in four men won't sleep on airplanes for fear of drooling, according to Men's Health magazine.

* 61% of boys younger than 10 wish they were Catwoman, according to the magazine.

* Sam Donaldson is considered the "the most frightening person" on television by 11% of Americans, according to a reader survey by Total TV magazine.

* The combined total number of yawns by American cats each day is estimated at 544 million.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Vampire Dog Terrorizes City! Blood-Sucking Pooch Kills 22!" (Weekly World News)

A reader who didn't have the spine to sign his/her/its name recently sent a card asking how much the Weekly World News pays us to get mentioned in this column. Although our endorsement contract prevents us from disclosing the exact figure, we can tell you that it's about equal to what Michael Jordan gets from Nike, except that we are thinking about demanding payment in Good & Plenty candy.

* Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at roy.rivenburg@latimes.com.

Contributor: Wireless Flash

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