September 11, 2008

A Night of Unsolved Mysteries

Have you ever driven around town, minding your own business when suddenly – out of nowhere your nose starts to rise just a centimeter as an unpleasant odor suddenly wafts through your car? So- you sniff the air a few times, testing it, feeling more or less like a St. Bernard, as you begin to categorize the list of possibilities of what the mysterious smell could be.

You begin by thinking: ‘Is that gas? Wow, that hamburger really did not settle well with her!’ then, ‘Are the kids burning something with the cigarette lighter?’
You cringe as you remember feeding the baby prunes, and you begin to suspect that the ‘all-encompassing’ bad smell is directly linked to the baby…and what he’s sitting in.

My family was driving around town doing errands, when we noticed a putrid, stagnant smell throughout the car. It began subtly, but then the smell lingered in the car and lasted for weeks.

Every time we would get into the car, my kids would gag, my husband paled, my baby would cry.
As for myself?
I began strapping a tank of oxygen to my face in order to breathe easier.

We hunted, we scrubbed, we cleaned out the car and used our noses to find the ‘smell’, but to no avail. We found Cheetos, some hair clippies, a box of raisins…and 15 pairs of shoes. Oh, and 7 unused diapers. Okay- and some movies. And…3 dollars in change.

Oh yes, and pliers and a hammer. (Don’t ask. That’s a totally different mystery.)

Okay- so we needed to clean out the car. However, the smell continued to linger. I thought that in our ‘thorough’ search, it must have been the food items we found, and once we cleaned it up, it would get better.
It got worse.

Finally, deciding that oxygen tanks in cars were probably violating some safety hazard, we did a VERY thorough search. Again.

We opened compartments on the side door, lifted up seats, opened the spare tire compartment – I was really anticipating a dead animal at this point…that’s why I had my husband check the car while I watched from the sidelines, grimacing and applauding his efforts. All the while, thinking, “sucker…”

At LaSt! He finally discovered the root of the problem.
A bag of corn.
A bag of corn?
Yes- I know, weird.
Weird isn’t it?
I sound like I’m having a conversation with myself…

I am just as baffled as you are.

Okay- back to the story. How the heck did a bag of corn sneak into the car? Could it be that in all the excitement of strapping four kids into car seats and having to apply WWF force to get them to hold still long enough to buckle the stubborn safety straps – I forgot to bring bribery snacks? Heaven forbid they should starve while we drive the ten minutes to the grocery store…
(we don't call this place 'Mean Mommy University' for nothing…)

I considered countless scenarios and possibilities. Had I been too lazy to walk the five steps back into the house, and turned instead to the outdoor freezer?
A bag of frozen corn could keep hungry kids happy....

Okay- that is SOoOo STuPid.

Why the heck would I grab a bag of frozen corn to feed the kids? They’re not goats – though they get a few good head-butts in when they’re fighting…
“Mom!” they’d all wail- and ALL at the SAME time. “I’m hungry!”
“I’m starved!”
“I want a snack!”
“No need to fear kids,”
I say serenely, driving and beaming a happy, confident grin because I had planned ahead for this. “Mom,” I say proudly, “brought you corn.”

Just take a moment to picture their reaction.

Good mental picture?

So- as I am trying to solve the mystery of how a bag of corn got lost in the car, my husband is shaking his head. (Actually he’s coughing uncontrollably, holding the bag of 4-week-old corn and developing consumption as we speak.)
“So, that’s where it went,” he said, walking the corn carefully to the garbage. They way it smells, it may as well be a dead animal…

Reflecting on what he said, I look at him quizzically and ask, “Oh, were you missing a bag of corn, dear? Because we all know how corn can jump out of the freezer…”

It turns out, he went food shopping a few weeks ago (I know, a man who goes grocery shopping. He’s a keeper…) and on the food list was corn. He bought it- but it never made it into the house.
Now we know where it ended up.
Under the kids’ seat, lodged between the metal casings.

Mystery solved.
The car can now be fumigated.


Bethers Family said...

I'm crying because i'm laughing so hard!!! Camryn you really need to write that book you keep talking about!!! I can smell it now...almost like the soy milk formula bottle we found stuck in exactly the same spot in my car :( YUCK!

Camryn said...

Ew...I am so sorry for you!

Dancin Queen said...

Oh my heck girl! You are HILARIOUS!!! You've been holding out on us! Who knew you were so talented at writing, and STAND UP COMEDY!

Love ya girlfriend! XOXO

Carrie said...

That was great! I'll never look at corn the same way again!

Maggs said...

you are SO hilarious! I have had a similar experience with food being left in the car...can't remember what is was now--but it drove me insane for about a week. I will keep checking out your blog for more hilarious stories. Check out mine if you'd like.

Mertgirl said...

Been there, done that.... not corn, but other nastifying things. Delicious!

AnnieAd said...

I can totally see how this could happen! I recently 'lost' a bag of deli meat and muenster cheese for over over a week. The smell nearly 'drove' us from the car. Keep writing, we love it.

Heather said...

I was laughing so much my 5 year old asked me why I was crying!!!
I don't think I want to know what old moldy corn smells like, I can imagine what it looked like well enough! *shudders* Your great!

Heather said...

I was laughing so much, my 5 yr. asked me why I was crying! I pictured my 4 kids saying "mommy we're hungry" and me holding up frozen corn saying "go for it kids!!! eat all you want!"

I don't think I want to even know what green moldy corn smells like *shudders*

Wellie said...

OH MY GOSH! if i had a dime for every piece of food i "found" on the floor of my car...
I loved it Camyrn! I look forward to more!