Stinky: "Escape" by Rupert Holmes
Shortly after I moved up to Eau Claire, I bought an XM radio. Why? There are roughly 11 mainstream radio stations in this area (after eliminating the Christian rock, NPR, talk, and college stations). Aside: college stations play music that reminds me of that scene in "Animal House" when Otter is picking up dates at the nearby women's college. That song playing in the background while he waits in the lobby of the sorority...yeah, that one...the "I haven't washed in three days, my armpit hair is long and braid-able, I'm hanging out here in the coffee shop with the book "On The Road" sitting on the table (unread), and I'm rambling on about curing the world's hurts, but darn if I don't sound intellectual" song. We get a lot of that up here in Collegeland. Sometimes I like to hang out in the coffee shops with a highfalutin book I actually am reading, and scoff at the pretentious little twits. And who gave permission for white boys to grow dreads?
The eleven radio stations can be boiled down to FOUR genres: Top 40, classic rock, country, rock. Ergo, XM. I have a sort of A.D.D. love of music. Not too much of any one thing, but never enough of everything. Oddly enough, my A.D.D. does not include the above mentioned four genres, other than a few hardly-played numbers.
My employer is a definite late 70's/early 80's child of rock. He naturally chooses the classic rock station. With all the machinery noises in the background at work, I can almost drown out the music with the monotonous clicking of the press and my usual busy-headedness. Unfortunately, the station of choice is an internet no-name that, I've discovered, is fairly limited in scope. I have heard "Escape" at least once a week. Now, I KNOW none of you dear readers can claim that. And how is that "rock" anyway?
Last week, the song finally intruded on my conscience, and I was forced to listen to the lyrics. The story goes like this: couple is bored. Man of couple reads personals and finds intriguing mystery woman. Insists he must meet her. Turns out Man of couple re-meets Woman of couple. They laugh, they like pina coladas. Now, would this happen in real life? If you were bored with your girlfriend, and you go combing the personals, find someone you want to meet and it turns out it's your girlfriend after all, would there really be laughing? Or would there be stabbing? Does this do damage to the trust of a relationship? What kind of strength of will is necessary to overcome that terribly awkward realization that your significant other went sneaking off to look for someone new (or had already posted a personal ad doing same) without the common decency to come clean first? I digress. This song still stinks. Brother can come up with better songs thinking about toilet activities.
Stinky: Lawn clippings
Leave eight bags of last year's lawn clippings out in your backyard. Then move them to your dad's house. Try not to vomit. There is no way to describe the smell of decaying grass cooking in the sun in a black plastic garbage bag. For 12 months. Does it smell like cow manure? Nope. Feet? Not even. Guinness farts? No. More like all three together.
I had returned from my Saturday morning yoga class to find the back patio cleared of all the black bags, but there lingered a frightening odor that I couldn't pin down. Until our newest roommate wandered into the garage and made the barf noise. And described, all the while moving aforementioned bags, the number of times he and Brother made the barf noise. While I was making the barf noise. And when Brother returned from dumping the bags behind my dad's house, he resumed the barf noise. All day, waiting for the patio and garage to air out...the barf noise.
Now, we go bagless. It helps that Roommate finds mowing the lawn to be "therapeutic" if he's not forced to mow the lawn. I find this acceptable, though he, by no means, is required by us to mow. Frankly, I HATE mowing the lawn. I've mowed once this season; Brother may not have at all. Roommate does this regularly; also, mostly naked (yea for me). And darn if he doesn't mow on an angle. Our lot looks like someone dropped a dilapidated (read: scraped of exterior paint) ranch house in the middle of Fenway.
Stinky: Painting a house
Warm weather up here in the Northwoods is slow to appear. It really never hit 70 until early June this year. So when April rolled around and we discovered the exterior paint hanging off the soffit in chunks, and huge bubbles on the siding, guess what took priority while waiting for a suitable temperature to paint? Realistically, we could use new siding and windows, but painting was more financially feasible at this point. The last paint job on our house is crappy at best. No prep at all, it appears. So, perfectionists that Brother and I are, we've been pressure-washing, scraping, filling, and slopping on primer for the last, oh, 2 months. Mind you, I'm inherently lazy. If there's labor to be done, I can come up with all manner of seemly reasons to not labor. My cells are busier than I am.
Brother works two jobs and when he's not at either of those, he's working on the house. I feel bad, but...labor. The last couple of weekends and a couple of weekdays after work, when I'm done eating dinner, and it's not hot, and the sun isn't beating down on me, and I'm properly hydrated, and the hammock in the 3-season porch is not calling me, and I get to use the non-rickety ladder...I've done some work. Mostly because I can't stand looking at our awful Alabama swamp hut anymore. So we've been working in shifts. Brother sands during the day, I primer in the evening. We might get done before we start piling up bags of grass clippings again. Barf noise.
The house-painting highlight so far was last night. I was in the backyard, slapping primer on the bare wood spots when Roommate returns from his "run" (he doesn't, much), grabs a lawn chair and parks it in the grass (mostly naked again; yea for me) to watch me paint. Granted, this was to have a conversation while I was (ech) laboring, but in my head it was totally amusing to watch a woman up on a ladder painting and a mostly naked man in a lawn chair watching. I'm surprised men walking in the neighborhood didn't come up and congratulate Roommate on his achievement.
Stinky (but infinitely funny): Farts
Now that there are two dudes living in this humble abode, the farting has increased exponentially. I'm sure you can imagine the giggle factory I've become. Yes, farting is disgusting. Yes, it's socially unacceptable. However, if you constantly laugh at every toot, fweep, and BLAAAAT, you are unconsciously allowing the behavior to continue. It could be worse. We could have cats...and hairballs. Besides, I like to laugh. And now, I do a lot of it.
Brother, as I have stated, will drop a single BRAP and the deadly cloud spreads. Without warning. The rotting gas bag. He has convinced me that he likes the smell of them, even while making the barf noise. "Sniiiiff.
Roommate, on the other hand, makes me laugh, every time. Damn him. Melodic and tonal with a definite longevity. Not a hint of odor (not that you would catch me within 10 feet of him post-symphonic outburst. But, while Brother's has a way of filling the room, Roommate? Non-stinky.) We've determined he's made up of "sunshine and farts." Last night, while we were enjoying our non-cable TV (Public Television, I heart you) in the 3-season porch, I sat curled up in a chair and Roommate was sprawled out (mostly naked) in the hammock. At first I thought a random animal had passed by the 3-season and left a distinct "GTFOOH" mark on the air...then I realized it was the poo-lecules of my fellow human being.
Me: "Hey, you're not supposed to stink."
A pair of eyes peek out over the hammock.
Roommate: "I think I might be lactose-intolerant."
Me: "Why do you think that?"
Roommate: "My dinner of cheese and crackers, chips and dip, followed by cheese and crackers?"
Me: "I suspect it was your 'run'. That's why I don't."
Roommate: "Anyway, it's starting to hurt."
Me: "Want some ice cream?"
Roommate: "Does your pillow smell funny?"
Roommate and I went out on a ride Sunday night after our usual sportbike club ride. He has years of experience at riding (and a few more experiences than me at crashing) and I've improved much piloting my own bike while following him. But, I couldn't help but think as I watched him crest a hill into the sunset and lean out of sight into a left turn, "Is he farting right now? Would I be able to smell it back here? What does he mean 'Does your pillow smell funny?'"