What's better than the real thing? In our increasingly virtual world, the fake thing, of course.
There are people in this world who torture others for pleasure. These people, as you know, are called software programmers. But in all the devious schemes they've come up with over the years, none is quite so diabolical as this.

The enticing fragrance of chocolate chips baking in the oven, but no actual cookies. The homey aroma of cheeseburgers sizzling in the frying pan, but no real burgers. The pungent stench of sauerkraut in the pot, but no … well, actually, I haven't read anything about sauerkraut. But I think you catch my drift. I'm talking about all sizzle and no steak. I'm talking about really no there there. I'm talking about virtual scents.

Personally, I wouldn't mind doing something with food other than eating it if that something was throwing it. Nothing beats a good food fight, unless, of course, you've been in a bathtub sometime during your adult life with at least two members of the opposite sex. But we're not talking about food fights, nor, for that matter, about lathering up, beginning at the toes, and continuing slowly up the legs until … well, never mind, because, as I said, we're not talking about that. What we're talking about is ambience.

What possible reason would I have for wanting my house to smell like, say, a pot roast when I am not actually cooking a pot roast? To salivate over something I'm not going to enjoy? That strikes me as akin to a hologram of a lingerie-clad Cameron Diaz appearing in every room I enter. It'd just drive me crazy.

Who would create such a technology? Out-of- work POW camp guards? Unemployed Mafia torturer guys? I'll tell you who. Sadists, that's who, aka college professors.