Eww... What's That Smell?
When I was 9 years old, there was a blizzard that kept us from school. YAY! My mother, however, was a postal worker and blizzards did not concern the USPS. "Come to work or federal charges of purposely delaying the mail will be brought against you. The governor who declared a state of emergency is in control of the STATE. This is a FEDERAL building. Get to work."
Left at home with me were my 8 year old brother and my 20 year old sister, Lee. She made us sandwiches and did some laundry. After a couple of hours, there was this horrible smell that filled the house. It was so bad, my brother and I pulled our shirts over our noses to try to filter out the stench. Negative--- didn't work. Lee ran around the house spraying Lysol --- not just any Lysol, but a huge can of industrial strength professional Lysol bought from one of those warehouse price clubs.
This just made things worse. Now we were breathing chemicals along with this stench of something that smelled like Lee's cooking.... and if you had any idea had bad that was, you would understand the extend of the putrid odors that engulfed the house. I could not take it any longer.
"Lee, I think there is something dead under the house. You have to go take a look," I demanded.
"No way. I'm not going under there. That crawlspace is creepy... besides.. there is a foot of snow on the ground already. I would have to dig that out just to look under the house." She then picked up a second can of Lysol. With both hands she sprayed the house.
In order to save my life and the life of my brother, I decided to explore the crawlspace. My options were to die in the snow under the house, or suffocate from fumes inside the house. I put a coat over my pajamas and hiked across the yard in my snow boots. The fresh cold air filled my nostrils and lungs, reminding me of just how close to suffocation and poisoning I might have come.
When I removed the siding that opened to the crawlspace, I immediately saw the problem.... a dead cat was located under the dryer vent and it was literally cooking! Never before had Lee attempted to do laundry, and now because of it, she was cooking a cat. I knew that smell was familiar!
You would think she would have helped me, but instead she just screamed in horror from the kitchen door. The poodle ran out from under her legs and started barking at the dead cat. He was big and bad with animals that could not respond. Now the issue was what to do with the cat.
The ground was covered with snow, the creek out back was frozen over .. and the dog was trying to attack the corpse at the end of my shovel. I decided to start digging. About 10 minutes into it, my neighbor trekked out into the inch per hour snowfall. The dog would not shut up, and I raised the shovel out of frustration, "Shut up before I kill you, too!" The neighbor then looked at me and ran to his truck.
To this day, I wonder what or who the guy thought I was burying. Also, I never allowed Lee to do laundry in my presence ever again. When my mother returned from work, I told her that providing us with Lee as a babysitter was useless. Whenever I see a Law & Order type of show where there is a "cooked" victim, I automatically have flashbacks to that day... in the snow.. with .. ewwww what's that smell????
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