Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Improper Poll: The Beast

I recently discovered a new recipe by accident. It goes like this.  Heat one trunk to 150°.  Add one pound ground beef and cook in a sealed garage all weekend.  This is a recipe for The Beast. This recipe is the pot-potpourri equivalent of manna...from hell.  Because it will serve everyone within about a 12 foot radius.  Indefinitely.

The ground beef was double wrapped, too, so it's not like anything leaked out.  Still, Holy Cow Guts, does my car stink.  So I sprayed everything thoroughly, first with one product and then the other. Both are anti-bacterial air purifiers that promise to kill the source of the odor. But I guess since my ground beef was already dead, it refused to die all over again. Almost two weeks later, it reminds me of my favorite Seinfeld episode about the B.B.O. But this is G.B.O. Or maybe R.B.O., because it’s rotted. Either way, it really is The Beast.

The R.B.O. has sent out airborne molecules to infuse, like microscopic zombies, into everything in my car. Another car parked next to it in the same garage had its windows rolled down, and now IT smells of R.B.O., as does my garbage can (long since emptied) and the garage itself. Should I be washing my hair in tomato sauce? I keep asking random people to do smell-checks.

I went to a car parts store and asked them what they recommend, and now my car smells like chemically-infused-cardboard-jasmine with strong R.B.O. top notes. Gak.  Left my car outside with the windows down in the hot sun. Threw out the cardboard box that the R.B. had fallen into when it first began this invasion of O. molecules. A neighbor (who obligingly performed The Smell Check, and I don't even know her very well)  suggested baking soda.  It sort of amazes me who will smell you if you ask them.

I admit it—I haven’t had my car steam-cleaned yet because I keep thinking surely The Beast will give up the ghost, as it were. Move on to greener pastures. Something. Should I sage my trunk to clear out evil spirits? Call in an exorcist?

Have you ever done battle with a horrifying odor? If so, do you have any suggestions?  Other than driving my car into the city and walking away?


  1. I think you could write a story about the telltale smell, ala Poe. It could center around what (or who) is the source of the stink, and even though the odor leaves, you still smell it in your own hair--everywhere, in fact--and in the end you run out screaming a confession...

    No, I have no suggestions. Have you asked the Grand Poo-Pah of Wisdom, the internet? Surely you're not the first person to have done this.

  2. I just cruised the internet for a moment and saw that the sun might help. One person suggested (to a previously asked question) to put coffee grounds in the car for several days and leave the windows and doors open, and let the sun and the coffee grounds do their work. (I guess put the grounds in several bowls, in several places.)

    Another person suggested using Lysol liquid, saturating the seats/trunk/carpet and scrubbing, rinsing, and then letting air out for several days in the sun. It's worth a try before you abandon your car somewhere.

  3. Sorry, Tammy, I had to laugh. It's a new take on the old my-dog-met-a-skunk story. Have you bathed your car in tomato juice?
    The exorcist sounds like a good idea, too.

  4. Odd. I'd posted a message here earlier and saw it confirmed that it was posted - now it's gone. Surely nobody would have removed it over an innocent joke about the remains of an ex's body in the car!

    Anyway, in the message I also posted a link to a site with an answer to the specific question of ground beef smell in a car. I want to make sure that Tammy sees the answer as I'm sure it'll be hard to get rid of it in any other way:


  5. I have absolutely no solution for your stinky issue. I had a blog buddy a while back who forgot a turkey in her van, but I don't know how she corrected the smellage.

    All I can recommend is that you toss the keys to a non-residenced male (homeless guy), who will turn up his nose at your selfless gift the moment you walk away.

    I'll vouch for Tom. His was the only comment when I stopped by earlier this morning. Maybe you've been sent to 5PAM limbo, Tom!

  6. Thanks for your suggestions!! I am as we type getting ready to try the coffee grounds (thanks, Sioux) and the apple one (thanks for the link, Tom). How to solve a spoiled food problem? More food!

    You're right, Val, even a homeless guy wouldn't want my car right now.

    I don't know what happened, Tom, but I told Jeff you thought maybe I'd stuffed him in the trunk because my car stinks, and he said he never once took his shoes off in my car, so maybe it's another ex-boyfriend. LOL.

  7. Hmmm. There could be more than one? Better stock up on those apples!

  8. Your post reminds me of my garage in summertime. Those hot temps are not kind to garbage that awaits a once weekly pick up. Ugh, and good luck!

    Critter Alley

  9. If you don't get rid of it, next time you are over, I'll let you spray this stuff that I have that might take care of it.

  10. This is so funny! I can totally picture this happening to me.


Any return "messages" are appreciated!