Monday, January 3, 2011

Scents


Three days before Christmas the street in front of our house flooded. You can read more details about that sweet event here. Once the lake evaporated, we were left with 20 leaky sandbags and a damp station wagon interior.

When I opened the door to my car today, I was slapped with a wall of smell reminiscent of rotting fruit nestled in a pot of burning hair. I brought a strong cinnamon scented (unlit) votive candle into the car to temper the stench and the resulting aroma was a more festive, freshly baked aroma of dead elf.

I attempted to drive with the windows open to air it out but then it began raining again and adding moisture to the problem seemed like a bad idea. After awhile, I realized I could no longer smell the offensive scent. I wondered if the smell was really gone or if I had just become used to the odor or worse yet, the smell had permeated my clothing, my skin, my very soul.

At a stoplight on Olympic Boulevard, I rolled down the window again and stuck my head out into the damp night and took several deep breaths. I held my breath and quickly pulled my head back into the car and rolled up the window. I exhaled slowly and then began vigorously sniffing around the area of the front seat. I couldn't tell the fresh from the foul. My eyes drifted to the car idling on my left. The police officer in the passenger seat stared at me perhaps a beat too long and then nodded once. I smiled and then tried to look casual.

Real casual.

16 comments:

  1. " a more festive, freshly baked aroma of dead elf."
    THAT is a beautiful line.

    If it makes you feel any better at all, I had a friend who was a caterer. She owned this crappy old Pinto she lovingly called "the AntiChrist," and one evening, unbaked rice pudding slopped all over the back seat. For years afterward, the AntiChrist smelled of cinnamon and rotten milk.

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  2. Oh! that picture is horrifying. I am so happy it wasn't much worse.

    What did Bob think of all this?

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  3. Bob thought it was all very exciting in an I'll-just-be-in-here-dry-and-warm-and-watching-Max-and-Ruby sort of way.

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  4. Always take the innocent stance. Then sniff your armpits for dramatic affect.

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  5. haha weirdo! Damp car is a horrible smell. It is strange how quickly you get used to a smell though. Hope you get rid of it soon!

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  6. I know that kind of casual. It's the kind of casual affected by a cat after falling off a table mid-stretch. The one where they look at you as if to say, "What are you looking at? I meant to do that." "That kind of casual.

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  7. "When I opened the door to my car today, I was slapped with a wall of smell reminiscent of rotting fruit nestled in a pot of burning hair. I brought a strong cinnamon scented (unlit) votive candle into the car to temper the stench and the resulting aroma was a more festive, freshly baked aroma of dead elf." Hilarious and perfectly evocative! If anyone ever asks me if I know how dead elf smells, I will say "yes" with confidence!

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  8. Too bad you weren't wearing your tinfoil hat just to complete the picture.

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  9. "...the resulting aroma was a more festive, freshly baked aroma of dead elf." LOL Pleasant.

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  10. VERY funny, thanks for the laugh, though I'm sorry for the stink in your car, which I hope has been resolved! Happy New Year!

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  11. There must be some service near you who caters to cleaning up dead elf smells, Pulp Fiction style. I hope you find it soon.

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  12. we should hire those haz-mat suit guys from down the block, seriously!

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  13. Best line ever: "freshly baked aroma of dead elf."

    Although I do hope it goes away soon.

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  14. I agree with all the dead elf fans. Wabi-sabi. But I hope things are drying out now.

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