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Friday, February 28, 2014

Og Laugh at Your Societal Expectations

Like many in the urban jungle, I regularly seek the counsel of my inner caveman. 

The caveman: multi-family housing dweller, a man/woman who shared spaces, no doubt turning a blind eye to Grok’s all-night coughing, to Bork’s slovenly habits, to Phoebe’s telling that same lousy joke for what? the 10th time today???

The bus is full, full of people wearing, individually, clothing enough for several more people.  Packed in our clothing, packed in our seats, we settle in.  There’s little to be done about how close we must be, and there’s no sense in fighting.  We’re just people, after all, and no one here wants anything more than to get home.  It is, as the clever among us like to say, what it is.  Best to turn your attention to your book, your iPod…

…  or your inner caveman, because Holy Hannah, what is that smell?

My caveman – Og, I think his name is – shakes his great, wooly head.  He lifts his flared nostrils, sniffing mightily.  What is that?  Goat?  Is that goat?  Wait – no.  Stagnant water.  No – wait!  Cat, feral cat, perhaps having had an encounter with a goat, next to a pool of stagnant water…

My seatmate, a smallish woman in a very nice coat glances at me, tries to determine if the smell is coming from me.  Satisfying herself that I do not appear to be the salty source, she leans forward, tries to sniff the man in front of us. 

She leans back with both a gratified and disturbed air.  She has found the source.

You’d think she’d be happy.

Deep within the smooth, cavernous expanse of the cave in my brain, Og gives a bemused grunt, picks at his teeth with the corner of a matchbook. 


We may know who here needs to wash that old coat, but there’s not much we can do about it.  

31 comments:

Ms Sparrow said...

Hmmm, I wonder if my coat needs washing...

Shelly said...

I love how most of the folks in your head are men. And Og sounds like a pretty decent dude. He appreciates a fellow who has gone feral.

Pearl said...

Ms. Sparrow, if anyone passes you with flared nostrils, the answer is "yes". :-)

Shelly, Hmm. Good point. Why ARE the folks in my head men??
That's gonna bum me out for a while...

jenny_o said...

"You’d think she’d be happy."

I certainly would be. It would allow me to move that miniscule fraction of an inch further away from it. That's important, you know!

Shelly said...

It just means you have strong inner voices (and in the case of Og, one that is a little smelly...).

Pearl said...

jenny_o, there's precious little moving on a winter-bound bus. All those coats...

Shelly, LOL. I've always said, when you don't know what to do, ask the Little Man. The Little Man knows. :-)

jenny_o said...

The miniscule fraction of an inch may only be a re-alignment of my neck, but it counts!!

Pearl said...

jenny_o, you have passed the test, grasshopper. You may join us on the 17W any time. :-)

jenny_o said...

If you think that's good, wait 'til you see my northern version of your pursed lip look of disapproval :)

Have a good weekend, Pearl!

Delores said...

Hmm...now I need to go check out the coat closet..just in case you know.

Steve said...

I wonder what the man in front was thinking?

Daisy said...

Hahaha! You'd think she'd be happy that she solved the mystery. :-)

Geo. said...

Excellent description of an odor, Pearl! Being a caveman myself, I have often marveled at how wet wool discloses its entire history through effluvium.

Mandy_Fish said...

My three-year-old daughter has this habit of saying, "What's that smell?" and then pinching her nose and glaring at you accusingly.

It's very charming. SIGH.

Daisy said...

UGH!

Jayne Martin said...

Ah, yes. The mass of humanity. How is it you can make even body odor sound adorable. :)

bill lisleman said...

Great odor to the bus.
Oh I mean ode to the bus.

vanilla said...

Resignation. It is called "resignation."

Silliyak said...

Apparently Og hasn't evolved enough to use the scoff. Darned lucky for you all I say.

Elephant's Child said...

My wandering mind wonders just what produced that smell. And is sorry for the thought.

Launna said...

There are always so many interesting people on the bus Pearl... yes, let's call them interesting... I wonder what that says about me... lol

Have a great weekend :)

Joanne Noragon said...

And just recently I looked at my winter coat and said to myself "I like this coat so much I'm going to have it professionally laundered this year." Apparently one year too late.

Rose L said...

Kids will always speak their mind. One time my little niece was seated on Santa's lap and she hollered, "Can I get off? Santa stinks!" I imagine all those Santa;s do not wash the costumes very often!

River said...

The bus I ride is frequently filled with people whose clothes need washing, usually they reek of old cigarette smoke. It's as if they've worn the clothes all winter, day and night and smoked a pack a day in them. I shudder to think what their homes smell like. Then there are the ones who don't know what deodorant is....and don't wash their clothes if there are no marks on them, no spills or splashes etc.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Pearl, you've answered the age-old question: What is that smell?

Kymbo Whitford said...

'Such is life' were the last words of Bushranger Ned Kelly before being executed in prison.
I cant think of a better statement to describe your encounter..

Linda O'Connell said...

Often you smell them before you can locate them. But what can you do about them except hold a hanky to your nose.

Diane Tolley said...

Yep. Just wrestled the coat off my Husby Og and *gasp* washed it. Good to go for another five years . . .

Ian Lidster said...

Nothing worse than old coat smell. Well, actually a few things are worse but I am not going to outline them here.

Chicken said...

Can't wait for spring when we can all get a nice airing out, whether we need it or not!

HermanTurnip said...

To be fair, Og just got off of a heavy shift at the quarry, he stubbed his toe while sliding down the neck of his brontosaurs, and then than damned Mr. Slate told him off for clocking out two minutes early.