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How chemical warfare can save your marriage

The Better Marriage Blanket, using technology developed in chemical warfare, might just allow you to tolerate your spouse's nighttime flatulence.

Odor is a much-underrated facet in relationships. The smells that people give off say so much about them: the places they've been, the food they have eaten, the attention they've paid to fragrance ads, the last time they showered, and the self-control they have mustered.

It is, indeed, a well-accepted scientific fact that odors have affected relationships for centuries adversely or otherwise. It is also a scientific fact that deleterious nighttime gases have destroyed many a family--and, no, not merely during wartime.

So your pajamas may become a little more cozy when I tell you about a wonderful new breakthrough in blanket technology. It's the Better Marriage Blanket.

This marvelous piece of technology claims that it will solve one of the great marriage problems--nighttime flatulence. Please don't turn away, as if you've inadvertently logged on to an inflatable-doll site. Please don't waft your nose in the air, as if an animal or a rock star has just relieved itself on your person at a royal garden party.

This is a very real issue that science, for the sake of a more harmonious society, ought to have confronted years ago. Finally, the folks who make the Better Marriage Blanket have taken the smell by the horns and neutralized it.

According to their very fine and expressive ad, this blanket kills those odors that are, like Russian spies, silent but deadly. You see, it has on its inside not a thin coating of Pepto-Bismol, but rather a layer of "activated carbon fabric."

If you are unfamiliar with activated carbon fabric, this may be because you have never enjoyed an intimate relationship with chemical warfare. Allegedly, this is precisely the technology used to protect human beings against chemical weapons. And, as those who have been in a sort of long-term relationship can surely attest, unexpected nocturnal gaseous emissions are, indeed, both chemical and often needlessly aggressive.

This product, this adorable scientific blanket, offers the uplifting promise that "offending molecules are absorbed before anyone even knows they're there." If that promise held true for more than odors, this is a technology that could surely also be put to work on politicians, raccoons, mosquitoes, and several British novelists I've met at cocktail parties.

If this blanket really does work, what effect might it have on social harmony? How might it contribute to bringing down the cost of public health care? What might it do for the sale of chillies and baked beans?

I am as excited as the first time I kissed a woman who wore Eau Sauvage. I am sure you are too.