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What’s That Smell?

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It’s funny how one thing leads to another…
Remember how the other day I did a post on 5 Things? (Like Five Things that You Don’t Know About Me; and Five Things That I Know Nothing About; and Five Things I’m Knowledgeable About; and Five Things I Believe.) That topic came from Mama Kat‘s Pretty Much World Famous Writing Prompts, and the button below will take you right over there if you’re interested in reading some more EXCELLENT samples of writing, on a variety of topics. Or if you’re interested in being challenged by her weekly writing prompts. I’ve done two so far: 5 Things (which I already mentioned) and 7 Wonders of My World, which some kind soul “stumbled” (Thanks, Anne!) and which got me a LOT of traffic. 

I’ve discovered that I really enjoy the challenge of being given a topic that is intriguing to me, and then just taking off, and seeing what comes out! If you think you might like that as well, you ought to give Mama Kat’s writing prompts a try.
Well, this morning I went over there myself to do some more reading by other bloggers, and I came across  Rachael Heiner’s “5 Things” post on her blog, “Scientific Nature of the Whammy”. Among the things she mentioned that we didn’t know about her, was the time she had worked a temp job in a fish filet processing factory, and how that experience had caused her to gain a huge respect for people who do such jobs. Her post triggered a memory for me that I thought was worth re-telling here, so here goes.

When my husband and I were newlyweds, he didn’t have a steady job.

That’s kind of funny, because we’ve been married for almost 25 years, and he STILL doesn’t have a steady job.


Anywho, he did a lot of different jobs to support his music habit, and at one point, he was working for a friend of ours who does professional video shoots, and it was my hubby’s job to run sound. This means he had to hold the boom mic, and wear headphones, and keep an eye on the sound levels, to make sure they were getting what they wanted on tape. One week, our friend informed him that they had a gig to shoot video at a pig breeding farm, in Iowa. They were going to fly there, and apparently the job would pay well: it was a BIG PIG place, you know what I’m saying? Whole lot of potential bacon was being brought into this world at this place.

When they arrived at the pig farm,  HE had to shower to be allowed to go in and see the pigs!

Think about THAT!

He had to pause for a moment, in order to not  take offense! (Imagine being told you’re too nasty to be with the pigs!)

The idea, of course,  was that if a visitor carried in a contaminant that it could spread like WILDFIRE through the entire pig population. And let me tell you, it was an extremely populated porcine palace, if you catch my drift. (Which, since we’re talking about pigs, you might not want to do.)

 When he left the pigs, he showered again, because, well, the aroma was UNBELIEVABLE, according to him. (And this is a man with a frequently stopped up nose.)

So, when he got home late that night, I was already in bed, but I hadn’t fallen asleep yet. I was eagerly waiting for his return. We were newlyweds, and I couldn’t wait to snuggle up to him: I’d missed him so much! He decided to shower AGAIN, just to be safe, to be sure he had gotten all the pig perfume off, since it was so pervasive. So when he finally came to bed, I spooned up behind him, and wrapped my arm around him, to hold him close.

A nose by any other name would smell a whole lot sweeter. Picture from here. 

As I lay my head next to his, ready to whisper sweet nothings into his ear, my nose, which happened to be right next to his ear, went to RED ALERT/DEFCON 1/COCKED PISTOL/NUCLEAR WAR IS IMMINENT status.  While the rest of his skin smelled sweetly of soapy cleanness, from his inner ear there came an odor so noxious, so permeating, so searing, that I squealed (piggy reference) aloud, “Oh, my GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is that STENCH????”. One whiff emanating from his INNER EAR (not the outer part, which he had washed. Twice.) caused my eyes to begin pouring water. How to describe it? The smell was somewhere in between death and pig poo and the sulfurous fires of hell, and it was wafting from out of his ear tube. If I were braver, I’d tell you the words that popped into my mind, and then, perhaps, out of my mouth that night. “Holy ____!!!!!!” But it was UNholy. I can assure you of that. Ungodly and unholy and MOST DEFINITELY UNfit to be in my bed that night.

He FLEW out of the bed, and RAN for the shower, and washed and washed again. And I wish that I could tell you that the smell was completely eradicated, and it was, mostly…but a little bit of THAT smell goes a long way, and it was nauseating to me.

And people work at their jobs at that huge pig breeding farm, every day, all day long. 
And their poor wives….

I’ve asked a similar question before, (in my post about the horrors of the mixture Axe and Turkey Poo) but people seem to enjoy answering it: What horrifying smell have you endured?