pink carI spend a lot of time in my car.  Not as much as the guy who “lives in a van down by the river,” but a lot, although if I keep going through drive thrus, I will soon have a belly the size of that guy.

I drive a lot for my job and sometimes my car feels like my home away from home, only my car lacks the ever-present sound of dogs barking that my regular home possesses.

Over the last few days, I’ve noticed a strong smell in my car.  It’s difficult to describe and not easily identifiable.  No, it wasn’t the smell of stale farts…that’s a smell I am familiar with.

At first I took the approach I take with my credit card bill, and ignored it in the hopes it would go away.  But, just like Citibank and their quest for my money, the smell persisted.  It actually got worse.

I found myself getting into my car and subconsciously singing the Rolling Stones and “Ooh that smell…”  I knew something needed to be done about it.  A girl can only belt out Mick Jagger lyrics for so long.

This morning I got in the car and I felt like I was punched in the face by the atrocious smell. In an effort to air it out, I drove to work with the windows down.  It resulted in a wind tunnel in my car that was most likely an F2 on the tornado scale.

winding traffic signMy hair also paid the price, although let’s face it, I didn’t put much effort into my Monday morning hair style, so it wasn’t a huge loss.

Before I exited the car, I sprayed Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea perfume in the car to hide the smell.  I was confident that would do the trick, as it served me well in college when I  used it to cover up the smell of Virginia Slims and bottom shelf vodka.

I was sure I would return to a good smelling vehicle after the work day.  I had a long day at the office and headed to my car, certain the smell had diffused, and Elizabeth Arden had done her magic.  Instead, the smell was worse than ever.

Once again, I drove home with the windows open, although this time I opened all four windows in an effort to air it out.

Since it was the end of the day, I didn’t care about the effect it had on my hair, although I didn’t care so much about it in the morning either.

I was more than a little embarrassed when I pulled into my subdivision and the neighbor on the corner looked at me quizzically when he heard Michael McDonald pumping through my stereo at full blast. I was rocking out to “Sweet Freedom” and I’m not sorry.

cow's noseI pulled in my driveway and decided to get to the bottom of the smell, as I was starting to suspect the stench was permeating my leather seats.  I got out of the car and knelt down to look under the driver seat.

Immediately, I had a flashback to the last time I did this, which resulted in an unfortunate library discovery.

I found a Fiber One bar, paper clips, a bobby pin, and a rubber band.  Although I’m sure Mcgyver would have made something amazing out of these items while regulating his bowels with the Fiber One bar, these items were useless to me and not the culprit of the foul odor.  I forged ahead.

I went to the back seat, which is typically reserved for things I need to take to the dog shelter where I volunteer.  At any given time I have a variety of blankets, towels, sheets and dog bones, and today was no exception.

If I’m ever trapped somewhere in a storm, I could survive for days from the warmth of old towels and nutrients from rawhide bones.  I’d also keep minty fresh breath from the dog treats.

Not that I’ve ever tried the dog treats.  That would be gross…

dog sniffing flowerI also had a banner from the shelter that was marked by every dog who came through its doors.  But I knew the smell of dog pee wasn’t stinking up my car.  My rug in my living room?  Yes.  But my car?  No.

I didn’t find the smell in the back seat, but I did find my favorite pair of black flats and the dreaded Spanx that I tore off in a fit of rage a few weeks back.  I cursed the Spanx, threw them to the other side of the back seat and moved on.

The only option left was the front seat, but all that was on the floor there was more paper clips, a used napkin, and a spare dog leash.

I bent down and sniffed the floor and was immediately repulsed by the smell.  I moved closer and looked under the passenger seat and discovered the culprit…an empty Slimfast can.

My attempt at dieting once again failed me, and caused me days of pain and grief, only this time it wasn’t constant hunger pains and feelings of irritability, it was a foul odor in my vehicle.

Apparently I finished the Slimfast one morning (and was undoubtedly still hungry) and before I could throw it away, it fell under the passenger seat where it became lodged.

As I have the attention span of a 3 year old hyped up on sugar (or on…well…a Slimfast drink), I probably forgot about the can, and there it sat, starting to smell.  If only Slimfast could hold off hunger as long as the smell lasted, it might actually be an effective weight loss technique.

I removed the offender and once again sprayed the car with Elizabeth Arden, although her scent was most likely not meant to cover up the smell of foul milk and a failed diet.

Hopefully after a day or two the smell will go away, and my car will return to its normal smell of Diet Coke spills and Starbucks scones.

Until then, I will chalk this up to yet another way dieting causes me nothing but trouble.

One Thought on “What’s that smell?

  1. Anonymous on August 15, 2011 at 10:35 pm said:

    Really? I thought surely the smell of bs & trash dump was still lingering from St. Peters. I know I’ve still got a bad taste in my mouth from it. Well… I did have garlic cheese bread not too long ago. And garlic chicken. I have a healthy fear of vampires. Team Jacob all the way. I think the sleep meds have kicked in 🙂 happy slimfast-free driving tomorrow 🙂 may your commute be blessed with hashbrowns from a drive through.

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