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#1
Old 11-24-2004, 01:57 AM
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"I smell bread" when you die cliché?

I know I've heard this in several TV shows and/or films over the years. A character says this right before quietly passing away. Is it supposed to be some kind of euphamism for entering Heaven? If so, what the heck does it mean? Is it from something?
#2
Old 11-24-2004, 02:15 AM
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No, no...you're not hearing the entire thing. It's actually "I smell bread people...sometimes they talk to me."


Actually, I have no idea. Can you remember in which movies you've heard the line?
#3
Old 11-24-2004, 02:30 AM
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I rememer vividly one place that it was used, as far as I recall it's the only one I've seen.

It was an episode of M*A*S*H where Charles almost dies. Struck by his mortality, he goes to a forward aid station against orders to try and understand death. He operates on a bunch of soldiers, but one is beyond saving. As the soldier dies, Charles leans over him and askes "What do you see?". The dying soldier responds "I smell...bread", and then dies, leaving Charles no wiser about life after death. I don't know if there were other instances of this in mass media or weather this was the only one, but it did stick with me as it's a very touching scene, it's not hard to believe that it stuck with others as well.
#4
Old 11-24-2004, 02:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwatch Trailer
No, no...you're not hearing the entire thing. It's actually "I smell bread people...sometimes they talk to me."
I see bread people.
#5
Old 11-24-2004, 02:42 AM
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Yeah, that MASH episode is where I first heard it, but I know I've heard it again. Unfortunately I can't remember where. I know when I have I didn't think anyone would reference a goofy old episode of that show, but maybe that's all it is...
#6
Old 11-24-2004, 05:13 AM
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My feeble brain remembers this as: Some folks, immediately before having a stroke, say they smell bread being toasted. Is this a parallel, or has it just grown in the telling?
#7
Old 11-24-2004, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiltguy154
My feeble brain remembers this as: Some folks, immediately before having a stroke, say they smell bread being toasted. Is this a parallel, or has it just grown in the telling?
Well, I remember a story about a famous nerosurgeon (a Canadian, I believe) who operated on an epileptic patient. His patient had suffered an attack while toast was burning in her toaster. When the doctor opened up her head and pressed this one nerve, and suddenly she could smell burnt toast -- supposedly a big breakthrough in neurosurgery.

I have no idea if this has anything to do with the cliche though -- seems quite a stretch if you ask me.
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Old 11-24-2004, 10:32 AM
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Well, maybe it's because the smell of baking bread means the comfort of home to many so dying -> going to heaven -> going home?


Either that or it means that the Pillsbury dough boy is god.

No wait, that would mean he's Satan and he's baking in hell and those people are going to hell?


Oh, I give up.
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Old 11-24-2004, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthropomorphic Mouse
Well, I remember a story about a famous nerosurgeon (a Canadian, I believe) who operated on an epileptic patient. His patient had suffered an attack while toast was burning in her toaster. When the doctor opened up her head and pressed this one nerve, and suddenly she could smell burnt toast -- supposedly a big breakthrough in neurosurgery.

I have no idea if this has anything to do with the cliche though -- seems quite a stretch if you ask me.
Yeah, the "I smell toast" thing is one of the Canadian Heritage film vignette's that get shown on T.V. here in the Great White North. My favourite is "You know I canna read a word."

I've heard that smelling something burning is a sign of an imminent stroke. That seemed to be what they were playing on in the Sopranos, when Carmine had his stroke, right after saying he could smell burning hair. And they just made a joke about the burning toast thing on the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas a couple of weeks ago. Some guy said he could smell burnt toast, and just when you thought he was going to have a stroke, they cut to a shot of some actual toast, burning nearby.

thwartme
#10
Old 11-24-2004, 02:59 PM
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Never heard the 'bread' line.

Heinlein used to have his dying characters hearing wild geese calling.
#11
Old 11-24-2004, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E
Well, maybe it's because the smell of baking bread means the comfort of home to many so dying -> going to heaven -> going home?


Either that or it means that the Pillsbury dough boy is god.

No wait, that would mean he's Satan and he's baking in hell and those people are going to hell?


Oh, I give up.
Our time on Earth is short so we'd better not loaf around! Instead, rise to the occassion. Don't be crusty, be happy. Or you're toast!
#12
Old 11-24-2004, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wile E
Well, maybe it's because the smell of baking bread means the comfort of home....
When? Eighty years ago?
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