Sunday, November 3, 2013

It's B.B.O.

I left work and walked through the parking lot toward my van. Since my air conditioning doesn't work and I live in Florida where it gets to be fifteen-million degrees, the instant I reach my car, I open the door, thrust the key in the ignition, and roll down the windows before I ever actually set foot in the vehicle. This day was no exception. The only difference was that on this day, when I opened my door, a wave of vomit-scented heatwaves escaped the confines of my van and assaulted my nostrils. What the heck? What is that smell? Did something DIE in here, I wondered. Unfortunately, I was running late for a meeting and didn't have time to investigate further. I drove to my destination, my head hanging out the window, gasping for a breath of air that didn't reek of puke.

When I arrived, I climbed out of my van and walked to the building. I strode through the parking lot and with every step I took, I got another waft of the noxious stench. Is the aroma so deeply embedded in my nose that I'm continuing to smell it? Or has it attached itself to me? My face contorted with a look of horror. I grabbed a lock of hair and brought it to my face, inhaling. Does my hair smell like barf? Ohmygosh, I think it does! I paused outside the door to my meeting. I can't walk in there smelling like vomit! What to do, what to do? I turned on my heel, trotted back to my car, and opened my door once more as another wave of stink hit me. I rummaged in my purse until I found my perfume, then doused myself from head to toe. I wasn't sure if smelling like a perfumery was actually an improvement over smelling like a bathroom during a bout of gastroenteritis, but I was going with the idea that it was.

I retraced my steps back to the building and entered. It could have been my imagination, but I'm pretty sure the other patrons retreated, leaving me a wide berth. And who could blame them? I smelled like perfume-covered puke! I can't be certain, but I think the gentleman with whom I met, wrinkled his nose with distaste more than once. Since this was the first time I'd met him (and so I didn't know his habits), I conceded that it was possible that he just makes random rabbit-nose faces, but I'm convinced he was turning up his nose at the mixture of barf and Miss Dior.

I sat back as far as possible, so as not to offend too much, and debated between pretending like nothing was amiss and confessing to him that my car had leeched its malodorous funk onto every fiber of my clothing, every strand of my hair, and every cell of my body. I chose a third option: babble like an idiot.

"I don't always smell like this. I sprayed a lot of perfume a couple minutes ago. I mean, I didn't do that on purpose. I mean, actually I did do it on purpose, but not because I thought it was a good idea to bathe in perfume. I smelled like barf. I didn't get sick. But maybe someone did. I'm not sure. Something might have died in my van. I don't kill people. I mean, I don't have any dead bodies in there or anything. (Nervous laughter.) I mean, my van smells really bad and I don't know why. It's possible an animal died in there. I have six kids. They do weird things. They might have put a frog or something in my van. My daughter had a frog in her bag of Halloween candy for some reason. Um, I have BBO. That's Beyond B. O. It's a Seinfeld reference. I reference random TV shows. I'll stop talking now."

I'm not sure when the horrified look replaced his pleasant countenance, but somewhere during my circumlocutory speech, his face definitely took on the look of a person morbidly fascinated, yet completely repulsed. I have that effect on people.

After my meeting, I picked up my little kids who immediately cringed and screamed, "Did someone poop in here?!" I drove home, my head hanging out the window like a Labrador. When I pulled into my driveway and cut the engine, we all evacuated the vehicle and began searching for the source of the foul stench. 

"I think I found it!" Clay exclaimed. He held up a small milk jug from McDonalds, the top off, the contents the texture of thick glue, oozed from it. Jackson's milk jug. I thought for a minute, then said in alarm, "I stopped at McDonalds TWO WEEKS ago on the way to that early football game!" That milk has been cooking in here for TWO WEEKS until it exploded its chunky, nasty, pukey contents in my van!" 

I made Jackson use my little carpet steamer in my van. It made no difference. He used it again the next day and followed it up with a good saturation of Febreeze. It made no difference. He cleaned it again. Simultaneously, I was washing my hair. And washing it again. And yet again. I have a feeling we're all going to need to be "sauced."



Anonymous said...

You might as well burn the car. There is no way to get that milk smell out. We learned that the hard way...! I tried everything, took my car to multiple car places and they couldn't get the smell out either. No more milk allowed in the car... EVER!!!!

Laura G said...

Oh, that was very, very funny. Sorry to laugh at your expense, and stench! The BBO video was great, too.

Kara said...

That happened to us once, the smell was awful! But it did finally dissipate in about a week. I kept the windows rolled down the whole time until it was gone. I can't remember what kind of cleaner we used on it either, but I think we may have used baking soda to absorb some of the smell.

Anonymous said...

Unused coffee grinds! sprinkle them on the carpet over the smelly area, wait until you can't smell the coffee anymore (like a week) and vacuum them up, IT WORKS! (works on everything, even cat pee, don't ask me how i know that please)

Sassy BlackWhiskers said...

Speaking from experience, Nature's Miracle or any enzyme cleaner should remove the rotten milk smell. You can get it at most pet stores. Good Luck!

Vanessa T said...

Ammonia! Put about a cup of ammonia per cup of water and run that through your steam cleaner. :) I once washed out one of those nylon lunch boxes that had week old exploded yogurt in it - similar smell to yours, ha. The ammonia worked like a charm.

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