Saturday, June 25, 2011

Whats that smell???

Ok..this falls under the category of…”so weird you have to see it and smell it in person to believe it”. A couple of weeks ago our garbage man..er.. “refuge technician” asked us to stop putting large plastic bags of grass clippings in our big garbage cans because they made the thing too heavy to lift into the truck. This says something profoundly disturbing about where we have evolved as a nation when trash collectors start demanding better working conditions but I will save that thought for another time. So today when I finished cutting the grass I took two large 45 gallon plastic bags of grass clippings and two weeks worth of Molly’s bowel movements down to the curb as instructed. I placed them five feet or so in front of my daughter’s boyfriend's  car. After a lovely dinner out on the deck I decided to try out my new battery powered weed eater that I had bought earlier in the day but hadn’t used yet because the battery needed 8 hours to charge. When I made it around the corner of the house to the front yard I was met with a bracing stench that I first thought was from the neighbors newly sealed driveway. I ignored it the best I could and instead concentrated on my very cool new weed eater which was doing an awesome job of giving my lawn that finished look. Eventually I made it around to the front curb where I noticed that Jon’s car was gone but oddly, so where the two bags of clippings. At this point the stench became even more foul and overpowering. Suddenly my neighbor Walt pulled up and leaned out the window with his hand over his mouth and said, “Hey Doug. I think you have two bags of grass and dog crap in the middle of Hazeltree Court.” Time stood still as I simultaneously noticed that there was a 6 inch wide slimy green trail leading from the spot where the bags had been, disappearing up Aprilbud Place and then leading around the corner and out of sight. I looked down at Walt with my mouth open, eyes now burning from the toxic mixture of rotting grass and manure. “Yeah, it looks like somebody dragged them or something and they made it all the way to Hazeltree but then the bag busted open so there’s a big pile of dog turds up there. I just followed the trail to you.” Walt felt it necessary to get me fully up to speed on the malodorous affront I had inflicted on the community on this otherwise fine Saturday evening in suburbia. “ I’m really sorry Walt,” I managed to say. “ I cant imagine what happened but I’ll go up right away and clean it up.”

I quickly jumped into the Pacifica and followed the green trail of tears up the street around the corner to the stop sign. There a few small pieces of canine feces that I recognized pointed the way up the hill of Center Ridge drive. When I got to the sweeping left turn on to Hazeltree there it was…two ripped and soggy black bags of shame lay in the middle of the street with large unruly piles of grass in various stages of decay littered around in all directions with small hills of dog crap floating on top like so many brown lily pads on the surface of a dirty pond. An elderly Asian couple out for their nightly constitutional held frilly handkerchiefs over their mouths as they scurried past me trying not to make eye contact. At this point Jon pulled up in his car, looked out the window and won the world championship of stating the obvious with this gem…” I think I might have done that.”

As we worked to clean up the mess I asked him why he didn’t hear something dragging underneath his car as he was driving out of the neighborhood. “We had the radio on I guess”. But my daughter knew something was amiss when she asked the question..”Jon, how come your car smells like a baby’s diaper?”

My abilities as a writer will be sorely tested as I struggle to describe for you the offending fog that has drifted over all of Wythe Trace.

Even now as I bang these words out I can still catch whiffs of it off of my thrice washed hands. The bags were full of two week old dead grass that had been cut wet and then subsequently rained on several times along with large amounts of dog feces. Think of a skunk with a dirty diaper crawling out of a dead skunks behind. Or maybe the smell of a gigantic belch from a biker who just ate a dozen rotten eggs with a side of expired sardines. Maybe its more like 25 bedpans from the diarrhea ward at the old folks home…anyway, you get the picture.

But the problem is more than just the smell because eventually that will fade away. No, long after the smell is but a nauseating memory, there will still be the damning evidence of the long green arrow on the streets of the neighborhood that will point for all to see to 3308 Aprilbud Place as the source of the offence. Like some 21st century scarlet letter, it will remind everyone who was to blame. I had no choice. I mean I like Jon and all but I have to live here. I feel bad about it, but it had to be done. I tacked a brightly painted sign on my mailbox with 4 simple words….”KAITLIN’S BOYFRIEND DID IT”