Friday, July 29, 2011

Top Ten Worst Smells of Summer

We blame the heat. Only a hot, humid, windless day in the city that was built on a swamp can be the reason that smells that would maybe be only mildly offensive have taken on an eye-slamming, almost corporeal form that we can't seem to escape.

10. Thank you, son, for telling me you peed on my lily plants. After I cut the flowers and brought them into the house. And smelled them. 

9. At one point, it was probably something nutritious, yet delicious that I packed for your lunch. When you were still in school. Now I think we need to get it a collar and name it Zool.

8. A wet towel inside a damp pool bag left in the backseat of the car...discovered the next morning.

7. No no no no no no NOOOOOOOOOOO. When I said we'd fertilize the gardens, I meant with stuff you buy at the garden store. What is that on my tomato plants? What dog?

Wow that smell is LOUD.
6. OK. It's awesome that your pre-teen girlfriends all got you different varieties of body sprays and body gels and body lotions and hair fragrance and body fragrance and perfume and gosh even your lipglosses have scents...but the smell is so overpowering that I can hear it.

5. Please. For the love of Maude. Flush. And, what in the name of all that's holy in this world did you eat?

4. McLovin opened his trunk the last Thursday to find the cooler from the previous Sunday still filled with: Strawberries. Prosciutto. Canteloupe. Goat Cheese. It would have been more pleasant to have opened the trunk and found a dead body in there. At least then the authorities would have been called in to handle the mess.

3. Your sneakers + the creek behind our house + "I might have stepped in something squishy" = fire.

2. Children? Who put wet swimsuits, karate uniforms and little league uniforms in the washing machine? Did you also remember to put in soap? No? So, we have Kid Sweat Soup then, do we? Yummy.

1. "A bath? Awwww. But Mom, it's summer."

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Number 10 made me snort. I'm certain I've had peed-on flowers in my house this summer. As far as smells...we took our tiny kids camping this summer for a week and they both refused to bath in the unfamiliar bathroom. By Day 5 they smelled like a combo of chlorine, bug spray, sweat, sunblock, dirt, and marshmallow. It was RANK. Someone should make a deodorant/Febreeze combo that you can spray on your children with a hose.

  2. Also on the list, though you've probably moved past this stage, are the sippy cups you find under the front seat that used to have milk in them but now have a yellow liquid and possibly tofu... *shudder* that is not a pleasant one to open.

  3. Last week I had a near-deadly smell in the minivan, and it took two full days before I figured out the culprit. A layered stack of stank...a floor mat with chocolate milk spilled on it, a sweaty boy sock laying on top of that. A bag of ice was put over it all and melted just enough to get it nice and damp. Crank up the heat and you have rotten milk/sweaty sock/forgotten laundry smell trapped in a minivan.

  4. #3 - my life yesterday. My smallest one needs new sneakers. lol

  5. What about sunscreen?! My van now permanently smells like a combination of Coppertone Kids and chlorine. Ick.

  6. Zool. Oh my god, LOVE.
    I'm naming my next dog Zool.

  7. Only Zool, *snort*

    Law momma stole my addition, those things are epic.




  9. Regarding that days-old cooler: sometimes it's better just to move on and buy a new cooler. Just sayin'!

  10. Ah, but WAIT until your pre-teen gets old enough to emit the teenage boy funk smell and then covers it up with the likes of Axe. And his whole room smells like it. I'm thinking of a controlled burn right about now.

  11. Bottle with formula found (the hard way) under the seat. I simply threw it out. Expensive fancy bottle, but I didn't care...I wasn't going to EVER get it clean enough to use for my kid again.


  12. i'm going to add the laundry pile that has no washing machine. i have to walk down the hall of our apartment building to use the laundry room, so the laundry will sit for a few days until i have enough to make the trip, and the smell of wet sheets/clothes/underwear and pool towels has made me decide never to use ammonia in the house again for cleaning, and when Lola the cat is the LAST cat we'll ever have.

  13. Nothing says teenage angst like Axe in the humidity. It's worse than lax gear mated with nasty ass shin guards. Every car smells like boy parts, and we welcome it over the Axe they choose to freshen up with!

  14. Good list... I'be had that cooler. You forgot going away for a long weekend and forgetting the half cans of garbanzos and kidney beans that were in water in the fridge. Over a week earlier. The poor cats with their sensitive noses. And OMG, what does the neighbor/catsitter think now?

  15. I have 2 more additions...

    1) the missing cup: you knew you lost a sippy cup, but you couldn't find it. Now you just follow your nose. Maybe it was milk? Now it looks like cheese. Maybe it was apple juice? Now it smells like wine...and I'm not ashamed to admit that I've thought, "this might do".

    2) the missing pull-up: my daughter is thisclose to being potty trained. So when she has an accident, sometimes she takes off her wet pull-up and stashes it in her room and then puts on a clean one so I don't yell/scream at her (lovingly, of course) about using the potty. I've smelled the funk of several day old pee filled training pants in the toy box, under the bed, in the dresser... ugh.

  16. One more to contemplate:
    Teenage boy living outdoors at scout camp, working in kitchen. A/C does not exist and bathing appears to be optional. Heat indices hovering above 100. His zippered duffel bag induced a "What is that smell" from the entire family in less than 12 hours in the kitchen.

  17. Number 4...what is it with husbands and cooler amnesia? My DH did this recently-the last time the cooler was used by either of us was last summer when he used it for sodas while golfing with his buddies. We had a cookout a few weeks ago and he wanted to use it for beers. I went out to the garage, opened it, and found new life spawning from the funk in the bottom that had apparently seeped out from the never-opened soda cans. WHUCK?! Needless to say I pitched a fit and made him clean it. And in case you're thinking we live like pigs, I asked him last summer after the golf outing if he had cleaned it, and he assured me he had. Ick.

  18. My personal favorite is the friggin' washing machine. In this heat I have exactly 44 seconds from buzzer to get it into the dryer before the whole thing is contaminated with "Sour Washer Stank". There was a load that I.WASHED.SIX.TIMES! The last two were to decontaminate after I'd already dried it because "Sour Washer Stank" has the staying power of Mule Deer musk and sometimes cannot be detected until AFTER you pull your "freshly laundered" shirt over your head, enter the humidity and proceed to sweat. Joy.
    Cheers... YankeeMama

  19. As I was reading this, I caught a whiff of spoiled milk. I laughed at myself for being a hypochondriac. Moments later the smell was stronger. I realized it was my 1 1/2 year old's BREATH. He apparently found a rotten sippy cup and took a swig!!! Ewwwwww!!!

  20. Last night my sister had a skunk trapped in her garbage pail. As she tossed and turned in the stink she described as, "So thick I could chew it, like an angel food cake of stink" a skunk was violating leftover lobster bodies in every way, then trapped itself in the can.

  21. We had a recent near-death-by-smell experience with my son's sneakers, after a week at Boy Scout camp. He came home, took them off, and within a minute the whole downstairs smelled of foot funk. I Febreezed the heck out of those shoes, and sent our son upstairs IMMEDIATELY to shower. With lots and lots of soap. I contemplated Febreezing him too.

    The only thing worse that that sneaker odor is not getting the chicken bones out of the house garbage ASAP after a summer BBQ chicken dinner. Blearghhhh, that's an awful smell after a day or so in the heat. . . .

  22. My husband. On summer break. Yes, you still have to shower even though you don't have school for two months. It isn't like you "win" every extra day you make it without showering. We all lose. All of us.


  23. I think I just died reading this. I have experienced each one of these. Just recently my oldest witch decided to forget her lunchbox in my BRAND NEW MURTHERFURKIN CAR THAT I HAD ONLY HAD A MONTH!!!! It wouldn't have been so bad with her normal lunch of a PB and J and random stuff however she really liked the chili lime chicken and green beans that I made the night before and put in one of those oh so wonderful disposable containers (you know the ones that once they contain that undetermined funk you feel no guilt for throwing it away container) that LEAKS! And she let it turn upside down. In her subway reusable bag. We got in the car on Monday morning and I thought I was going to wretch. I later found it under the other junk she left on the floorboard. Needless to say I I did buy that almost $7 bottle of febreeze from the convenience store and used over half a bottle immediately. Am I so ever my Maude thankful that I no longer live in Florida or Arkansas but Washington where it has thankfully not been 85 yet this year. I am also ever grateful for that fact considering that I am the queen of laundry procrastination and am famous for washing a load of laundry 2 or 5 times before it makes it to the dryer, in a state where the first time someone said it was humid I began checking myself for missed sweat in areas that humidity never misses.




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