Jack Brezina: The Sniff Test
|By Jack Brezina - Contributing Writer | April 12, 2018|
The “sniff test”: is a fluoroscopic exam used to evaluate whether the diaphragm (the muscle that controls breathing) moves in the proper direction during various maneuvers including normal breathing and while rapidly inhaling (sniffing); OR is something university and college students do to determine whether an article of clothing needs laundering or can in fact be worn one more time; OR is a metaphoric expression describing a process to test the veracity of a verbal or written statement or pronouncement.
A friend of mine recently alerted me to this wonderful expression and how it can and should be employed. He suggested, for example, that there is a high likelihood that anything said and tweeted by the current president of the United States will not endure a sniff test. In fact, he suggested that if the president issues any statement no test need be commenced. The statement is considered to be an automatic fail until proven otherwise, simply because of its origin.
As the election season ramps up, the expectation is the test will experience a vigorous work-out. The focus for the moment is on the provincial manoeuvring, but the municipal elections are coming up shortly thereafter as are the midterm elections south of the border. And, when all the dust settles from those events, the Canadian federal election campaign will be moving into third gear.
The provincial race in Ontario has certainly provided ample fodder (if that is indeed the material one would sniff) for the test. The recent provincial budget with programs and millions for everyone over 18 with a pulse,
is a prime example. The sniff test would discount most of the promises as mere vote shopping or window dressing. Oh, they are all worthwhile objectives and ideas, but why haven’t the Liberals, coming up to 15
years in power, implemented some of those in the past?
Newly minted Conservative leader and Trump clone Doug Ford claims he can find $8 billion in efficiencies in the provincial government’s operation. In making the prediction, he spoke vaguely of savings to be unearthed in pencils and foolscap. I am not sure what the province’s budget is for those items, but the sniff test would suggest the magnitude of savings he is looking for isn’t going to be found in the stationery closet.
As for Andrea Horvath … sigh … wherefore art thou Andrea? The sniff test in this case would likely be employed by tracking dogs trying to find the NDP leader. I am sure she will be found soon. In the meantime, there will be plenty of statements, promises and platform planks for those wishing to employ the sniff test.
The test does not require the purchase of expensive equipment or a lengthy instructional manual. No special classes or licence are needed to put it to use. All one needs is a clear head, a heavy dose of skepticism and the liberal application of common sense.
So, set your sniff tester on alert because the fodder will be coming thick and fast and the test will be getting a lot of use in the next few months, if for nothing other than helping you select your wardrobe.
Jack Brezina is a contributing writer for The Highlander.