22 December 2005

The Fog

You’ve probably seen that episode of Seinfeld where Jerry has his car valet parked and then there’s a smell of body odor that no force in Heaven or Earth can get rid of. Today I experienced a milder version of that scenario.

I was at Trader Joes doing my grocery shopping this afternoon. I’m looking in one of the freezer cases for some frozen shrimp and then notice a smell. It’s BO … body odor. Bad. My first thought is that maybe it’s me … an obvious first reaction. But it isn’t me. And it’s getting stronger. And stronger.

I move away from the freezer case and spy behind me a little man of some indeterminate age, lets just say over seventy. The further I move from him the easier it is to breathe. Sweet screaming Jeezuz, even at 6 feet away I can still smell him. I swear if I had infrared photography available there’d be a cloud around this little bastard that’d shine like the Aurora Borealis. Only it wouldn’t be cosmic splendor, it’s human foulness.

Hell, equating it to mere vapor doesn’t do it justice. This man stank so bad he emitted a hum; his stench traversed the realm of smell and emitted sound of the kind of frequency that only small animals can hear - to warn them to stay away.

I was reminded of the John Carpenter film: “The Fog.” It was like that. You could almost see the puke-green mist rise off this person and reach out to assail anything within throwing distance.

Now, the scary part was that when I got home I could still smell this guy’s BO on my clothes. He never got closer than a yard to me but his rank vapors attached themselves to the fibers of my clothes like some kind of olfactory tick.

How anyone could go out into public smelling like that is just beyond me. How anyone could live with themselves when smelling like that is just as puzzling.