Bad Smells

June 24, 2011

In the current NY mag there is an article “The Smelliest  Block In Yew York”…meaning Manhattan…

which made me think of the “bad” smells at work this week…
guess it started when someone burnt toast in the VERY  early AM….and she has been bitched at before so I noticed the back door all of a sudden open…( this is on the second floor)…
Eric came in   with his over the shoulder always weighted down bag…not a “messenger” size bag..more like a bag Serena could put 3 or 4 racquets in  …..this was  about an hour later……….
he  noticed the back door open and asked me…”Well did Mila  burn toast or is the AC NOT working….”
I said “Mila”…
he sighed and went on to his pod….
then the Head of Code Enforcement tried a  Citrus aerosol that he had been given…which after 2 spritzes  drove him out of his office…
the back door was opened again…
then there was a scent of burning rubbery like Citrus….and it obviously did NOT  come form the Code Enforcement’s office after he came back from lunch he said “Where is that shiitty smell coming from…”
the back door was opened again…..
the smelliest block in New York is “the stretch between Broome Street between Allen and Eldridge (I do not know this area)…a quiet little block that smells like high meat and old squeegees (do they STILL make those??)…..It gets bad in the spring and worse in the summer, when the smell of decay is overpowering. ‘Everyone around knows that block is the stinkiest block in all of Manhattan’ a resident Kate told me.  Elie Z. Perler, a neighbor who edits the website Bowery Boogie, agrees.  ‘Not EVEN the most disgusting subway smell compares’ he says.  ‘I try not to eat while walking there, since I’d probably throw up.’ “
I had started reading this article at home….and then decided since I had saved money at the grocery store today compared to last week…and since I was going to an uber expensive restaurant tomorrow eve to celebrate one of my gay family members bday (there are 7 of us who have been doing this for at least 20 years)…the WP-24 is like  200 – 300 smackers per person …WAY beyond my usual allowance of $30….(you got to realize I am on a Secretary’s salary)
my rational  to spend 43 smackers was that since I was going to suffer financial angst tomorrow…I should allow myself psychological/mental  pleasure tonight… which WAS REALIZED!!!!
I ALWAYS love going to Angeli…as I know the staff and the food is Excellent….
and that is WHY I spent MORE tonight than I should have or normally would have…
but back to Bad Smells…
I frankly do not seem  to remember them  I do GOOD smells..which bring back delicious memories….
but there is a smell I have NOT EVER  encountered  as I  DID …many  years ago….
..the WORSE smell of my life…was when I worked on  the Gt Northern Railroad…with a crew of 125 men …laying quarter mile ribbon rail which could only be done in the early otherwise it would expand….we were stationed in North Dakota….and would get up at 3:00 AM…start work on the rails at 4AM ..lunch was 8AM…dinner was at noon back on the siding where all the railroad cars were… where  we all slept in   HOT bunks in the  July and August eves..the sun baking  the was a bitch sleeping at like 9 PM…but you were SO exhausted that you just did…
…..the railroad cars contained everything…our bunk beds, Showers, Dining (ha!!!) cars ….
the first night after I had joined the group….I dined (more like tried to eat) with the 124 others…and one was seated according to seniority…
which meant I and another  new guy were stuck at the very end of the tables that ran through the middle of the  cars…the benches were set on the back of the wall…the chef (?) and his minions came down the train and threw all of the food in the middle of the tables and when the Head of the Team  reached for his food..well the rest of us were allowed to pull our benches to the table and make the Darwinian grab for sustenance….
WELL…there was a guy who was like two up   from Peter and myself…shit he STANK…don’t think he EVER had been introduced to a shower or water…..well Peter after taking his second bite….fled from the table….ran outside and dry heaved…..finally threw up the lunch he had had at his grandparents  house  in St Paul …..
I went out on the pretense to help Peter….as I COULD NOT eat with that smell…but was labelled a “sissy” for going out to help Peter….
it was funny the next day  but as I was driving spikes into a tie…(we had machines that did it ..but they often I was responsible for driving the missing spike into the plate that held it  onto  the tie)….n yes I DID develop Wonderful physical arms that I did not appreciate back then …..
WELL all of a sudden this next morning ..well like 7 AM…after we had been working 3 hours in the flat  wheat fields that rolled nonstop to the horizon …..I was surprised … the smelly guy of the night (well noon before) …popped  his drunken body up to stare at us…..
I laughed at myself and went back to hammering the spike in………………

2 Responses to “Bad Smells”

  1. Donn said

    Oh my something smelled like wet shit at lunch time today. I thought perhaps someone was cooking an egg for lunch. I couldn’t take it anymore so I opened the back door today. What pissed me off is that no one closes the back door later. On Monday I was like ok, it happens. Someone burnt something. But then the very next day? I didn’t close the door on purpose on Tuesday in protest. Resident nice guy Eric closed the door even though I am positive that he didn’t cause what ever was the reason for the door to be open. Today was just awful and I chuckled when I saw the title of your story.

  2. daidie said

    Rob love – this is such wonderful writing. I love the railroad story – didnt realize half of what went on there. And adore the way you started – that’s a perfect little short story in itself. You must expand each of these! Love you daidie

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