This morning I drove to work in a hurry. I still had damp hair when I got in the car but it was the best I could do given the time constraint. Now that school is back in, it never fails that I either get stuck behind a bus or have to screech on the brakes just as the flashing, school-crossing lights flip on (which is 7:45 a.m. sharp.) To be clear, I am not a reckless driver. However, I took a couple of turns this morning with a little speed.
As I rounded one of the corners, I heard a weird noise. It was a long rolling sound followed by a short clunk sound. This “roll-clunk” sound happened again, but this time I was turning left instead of right. I turned down the radio. Nothing. After that, I sort of dismissed the whole thing and got to work in one piece.
Fast forward to lunch time. I head out to the lot where I parked my car thinking, “today is a nice day to go out for lunch.” Actually, I take that back. I was really thinking, “today I need to go to my husband’s restaurant so I can eat for free.” (After all, there are two more days until pay day.) As I approached the vehicle, I hit the door button on my keyless-entry remote for my oh-so-fabulous minivan. Just as it opened, the most heinous smell of barf and cheese (and possibly death) hit me like a Mack truck. What in the name of all things evil was THAT? I tried to poke my head in and look around but the stench was disgusting. I immediately began hitting all the buttons on my remote to make the doors and even the trunk fly open simultaneously and let the smell waft out. I expected to see something like the “Lost” smoke-cloud monster roll out and attack me but it didn’t. After about three minutes, I figured I was good. Opening every window and door didn’t totally help, but it was enough for me to get in and take a closer look.
I don’t normally leave poopy diapers in the car but I wondered if somehow we’d missed one from a pit stop during the vacation road trip last week. That wasn’t realistic though because I am so anal (no pun intended). After I thought more about it, I remembered that I had also just been to the car wash last weekend. So, the poopy diaper theory wasn’t plausible.
Then the light bulb went off. It’s milk — the smell of rotten milk.
You may remember that I said it was a nice day. I should’ve added that the temperature reader inside the car showed 80-degrees. That created cooked, rotten milk.
Still standing outside the car, I bent over trying to feel my way with my hand underneath the front seats. There was nothing. Then, I tried the second row of seats and my hand hit a plastic object. After turning it at a 45-degree angle, I was able to wedge the blue sippy cup out from under the seat. The mystery was solved, but now what do I do about the smell in my car? Driving with the windows down to my destination seemed like a logical choice. I just had to dispose of the cup carcass. Carrying it with my arm outstretched and trying to only handle it with my index finger and thumb (less surface area), I found the nearest dumpster and the deed was done.
I had slightly lost my appetite, but I didn’t really notice the smell while driving to the restaurant because fresh tar and construction dust clouds on I-75 North were enough to overpower a little curdled milk smell.
After all this had happened, I began to wonder. Am I the only one who throws stuff away when it seems too much to clean? I realized that just this past Monday I threw away a Tupperware container because it had been left at daycare over the weekend in a lunch pack. I really did have plans to wash the container (of whatever it was) but the thing had seriously started to grow mold and it looked like a little eco-system of its own. Maybe I shouldn’t have. What if it was like the Dr. Seuss story, “When Horton Hears a Who?” I may have thrown away an entire little world of Whos from Whoville living in four-day-old Mac n’ Cheese filth. Nah.
I don’t condone waste but sometimes the cost of my time and effort just outweighs the street value of a particular item. Would I throw away muddy jeans? No — poopy ones, maybe. Would I throw away a stained piece of furniture? No—I’d try to fix it. I consider myself to be frugal and I always strive to be appreciative of the things I have. But as the saying goes, sometimes it’s just no use crying over spilled (or curdled) milk. I have decided some Febreeze should have the car smelling like new in no time. That item, I will keep.
P.S. The photo is a reenacted scene of the car. I did not have the presence of mind to get my camera with the stink in the car.
P.P.S. While writing this I was interrupted twice by my daughter who has clogged up the toilet with so much toilet paper it’s not even funny. The girl loves to plunge. That’s your “sneak peek” into tomorrow’s blog.
- The Clotted Cream Diet (balancing-meals.suite101.com)