November 17, 2007

Living a Smelly Sitcom

We are here with my parents for Thanksgiving. We made the trek yesterday, leaving after the kids got out of school, and pulling in around midnight. Traffic was hellish through Orlando, to be generous. It has never been as bad as what we experienced.

But we’re here.

So we got in the car, and the boys immediately started to take off their school uniforms and change into regular clothes and instantly I knew… someone had taken off their shoes. From who the offending odor came, I did not know. It could have been all three. All I know is I thought I might gag.

Nobody else seemed to mind as much. My husband didn’t seem to be near as sick over it as I was and when I said to him, “how in the hell can the boys stand being back there with that stench?” his reply was, “They’re kids. They don’t care…”

Good God. Folks, I cannot tell you how bad it was. I am talking Chemical Warfare bad. It was the likes of which I had never smelled, a combination of stinky feet, spoiled milk and garbage, all stirred in the cauldron that was my mini-van.

The stench was so bad that… you know how over time your nose can acclimate to a certain smell and you don’t even smell it anymore? That never happened. I smelled it non-stop for the entire 9 hour trip. And when we stopped to eat, and I left the van, my senses had some sort of reprieve, and when I opened the doors to the van to re-enter, I was knocked over by the offensiveness of it all.

Everyone else piled in. I had to talk myself into it. I had to mentally say to myself, “You can do this. What’s the goal. What’s the goal. The goal is to go to Mom and Dads. I can do this. Its not that much time… only a few more hours. I can do anything for a few hours.”

Arriving at their home, I think I nearly fell out of my van seeking fresh air.

The next morning, my husband had the doors to the asexual Mom-mobile left open, in an attempt to air it out.

To no avail.

I sprayed Frebreeze in it.

It made a dent.

My Mom and I went to Target and I bought a melon scented air freshener.

Mmm. This would be the equivalent of making a stew. You add the meat, you add the tomatoes, you add the spices… one smell does not knock out or eliminate the others, instead you get the smells swirled together.

Yes. That is like what we did. Except stew smells good. The asexual mini-van now smells like melon swirled with spoiled milk, stinky feet, and garbage.

I told my Mom it reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where the stink of the vehicle would not go away and in fact stays on someone. They had to get rid of the vehicle.

That’s my vehicle now. We cannot get the stench out. It is STUCK. But thankfully not on US. When we get back, I’m going to have the carpets in it washed, but I’m really really afraid… I’m living a Seinfeld episode.

My life plays out like a sitcom half the time anyway.

My druthers would have been NOT that particular Seinfeld episode.


On a sidenote, it is my oldest boys tennis shoes. I've frebreezed them, put odor eaters in them, got him new sock, and put the shoes on the back porch to air out. They are the only pair of shoes he brought. We may end up burning them and buying him new... I see that coming.

Posted by Boudicca at November 17, 2007 05:46 PM | TrackBack

" know how over time your nose can acclimate to a certain smell and you don’t even smell it anymore?..."

When Teresa and I were driving along US Highway 411, I knew when the air became chokingly permeated with cow dung that I could never, ever, EVER become acclimated to that smell, ever.

Gave the thankfully now defunct [de-funked?] Fresh Kills Landfill in Staten Island a *real* run for its money.

Posted by: Erica at November 17, 2007 06:35 PM

Wait til you see happy again. It will peal the eyebrows off your head and it just 'hangs' in the air when he farts. The boys love it, I choke.

Posted by: vw bug at November 17, 2007 08:15 PM

While on a multi-family vacation, Chowhound decided to ride with my sister in her truck. I was following behind and we were communicating with walkie-talkies. All of a sudden, I saw brakes lights and my sister started yelling at me to come get my kid. Chowhound had taken his shoes off. I refused to stop. I didn't want him in my car. She made him put his shoes back on until our next stop.

Posted by: sticks at November 17, 2007 08:35 PM

Our big cat, Groucho, loves stinky shoes. When the boys take their shoes off, he embraces them and shoves his face down inside and b-r-e-a-t-h-e-s and purrs. It's really disgusting!

I don't know about burning those shoes, Bou! It might just add the smell of burning rubber to the potpourri and make for some truly putrid incense!

Posted by: Peggy U at November 17, 2007 09:06 PM

C'mon, Bou!
To paraphrase Seinfeld:

Be the master of your own... minivan!

Posted by: Roses at November 17, 2007 09:32 PM

Offending tennis shoes + washing machine + detergent + bit of Lysol. If that doesn't work, place offending shoes in a trash bag and transport to the curb on garbage day.

The Laundry Guy

Posted by: Jim - PRS at November 17, 2007 10:16 PM

"We may end up burning them and buying him new... I see that coming."

Go for it - it's a small price to pay, really....

Posted by: Richmond at November 17, 2007 10:37 PM

I'm with Richmond on this one. Give the dead a things a Viking funeral. Start anew, and tell the boy to wash his damned feet. Twice, a day. Why you think Jesus washed so many feet... duh... he couldn't stand the stench either.

Maybe some of them Dr. Schol's jobbies will help. Charcoal one's... like what the use to filter fish pee outta the water.

Posted by: RedNeck at November 18, 2007 01:32 PM

Try putting dryer sheets under the seats or if you have time spray white vinegar on the carpet and then leave the doors open, otherwise it will end up smelling like a huge pickle. Use the vinegar on the shoes as well. It is an antibacterial yet natural unlike Febreeze that just covers up smells. Good luck. My son's shoes get like that and I end up soaking them in vinegar then washing in the machine on hot.

Posted by: SHanna at November 19, 2007 10:14 AM

Actually, head to the pet store and buy some of the enzyme cleaner for pet odors... really. It will eat the bacteria that are causing the odor instead of trying to cover it up like Febreeze does (btw - I can't stand the smell of Febreeze - I know everyone else likes it... but - ick!)

And then buy the boy some new tennies... along with foot powder - gold bond should help some.

Young son has that same problem and I know exactly what you're talking about - Erica thought the manure smell was bad... that ain't a patch on this smell! And I believe there is a genetic thing that keeps boys and men from smelling it... really.

Posted by: Teresa at November 19, 2007 11:27 AM

What is it with kids who can't seem to keep their danged shoes and SOCKS on once the vehicle starts off down the road?!!

Mrs. Who can attest to my many fits of rage at opening the back doors to our Suburban only to find the "kid zone" is 6" deep in dirty socks and discarded clothing that they LEAVE IN THE VEHICLE!!

It. Drives. ME. NUTS!!

Posted by: Bitterroot at November 21, 2007 07:47 PM