Stink of Ages

Waft for me.
And let me hide
myself from thee.


I noticed last week that there was a particularly pungent odor hanging about the office. I’d be sitting at my computer typing away, usually in the late mornings, and slowly come to the awareness that there was a raunch in my office. They take the trash out every day so it wasn’t that, I don’t have any food containers that have wandered themselves out of sight to fester in the dark recesses of under my desk so I was stymied. Then, one fateful day, I bent over to pick up an AWOL pen and was hit full nose with unadulterated stink.

My birks smell like the dead. No, wait, that’s too tame. They smell like the dead left out a season or two in the bayous of Louisiana and heavily peppered with last summer’s garbage. My lord, do they smell. I’m not sure what up and died in them…wait, can sandals have an “in”? Yes? No? Well whatever they have, it just aint pretty long about lunch when my feets have been sitting stewing under my desk. They are so bad that the last time I took them off, Isaak jumped on them and started fiercely attacking the right shoe (sandal). I think he thought they were some sort of evil malevolent creature that had wandered in to the house so he felt he had to defend his territory. Who knows, but I have feline tooth marks along the strap where he tried to bite them to death.

Normally my shoes do not suffer from “excess of personality” so I do not know why the birks have become a legend in olfactory putrescence. I also am a bit stymied as to the timing of their rancid outing as I can think of nothing unusual I have done of late that would result in stench of ages gone by. I’ve had the suckers for two odor free years now and I have worn them almost exclusively all year(s) round so you would think that if they would develop a waft that they might have done so by the end of their first summer. Nope, they have chosen the month of September to start going rotten (in and out of Denmark).

Maybe that’s it. Being cork and full of holes perhaps I got them wet one too many times and now there are little critters living in my sandal cork. Or maybe aliens are using them as a toxic waste dumping ground. Or maybe my feet are rotting off. Well, no, not really. My feets don’t have this particular ripeness when they are out of the birks. I’m not sure how much they have in the birks (No, I aint going to smell my own feet thankyouverymuch) but I definitely know that the source of all that is evil emanates from my innocent looking sandals. Maybe they have gone on to plan two in their eternal struggle to kill me.

My second resident stench lives in the truck I occasionally refer to as “the Beast”. The truck has a stale smell, like an old leaf pile or a room that hasn’t been aired out in years. It’s not as fragrant as the hippy crypt whiff that the sandals have but still, stepping into the truck is a little like going up into an attic or garage or someplace that you don’t get to quite as often as you ought to. It smells unused and forgotten and slightly old, like last year’s summer. The truck raunch isn’t precisely a raunch as it is more of a sad slightly lingering organic smell of yesterday’s dreams. I tried keeping an air freshener in the cab and a pack of Wrigley’s big red gum can usually be found baking in the cup holder but that only leads to cinnamon scented mustiness. I can usually air out the truck on the drive or get used to the smell by the end of the block so it’s not really that much of a bother. Maybe a little fabreeze and a good shaking of the floor mats might lessen the atmosphere in the cab but I always remember too late when we are going somewhere or not at all when I have free time.

Yesterday, when we went to Dirge and Shar’s place we took the truck and for the first time, both stenches met. The birks’ radius is limited by their volume so as long as they have some open air, I don’t notice the festering death that hangs around them. The truck is all enclosed so the prevailing smell was the stale old smell of the cab. Things continued on in this manner until we met Yojimbop (who is another story all together) and his oil burning hulk of a junker, at which point the smell of burning petrochemicals and other things that probably shouldn’t be getting as hot as they were dominated the cab.

I hesitated, I hemmed, I hawed, but in the end I told TheMan how to put the truck’s air system on recirculate. Within moments I could detect the creep of dead shoe reek in the air. I decided that I wished my feet could chew gum. Maybe then the birks might not be as offensive.

Anyone know, short of burning, how to exorcize deamons from the soles of my shoes?

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