Pardon the deviation from commentary on political economy, but I have to tell this story – perhaps as a form of catharsis.
As regular readers know, I got back from Europe Thursday afternoon. When I got to my house, I noticed a very unpleasant smell. Given that there was a cat box that hadn’t been changed in 11 days, that wasn’t too much of a surprise, but the smell was beyond that.
Something was rotting. My first instinct was to blame the cats. It is not uncommon for me to smell something terrible and then find a dead mouse or bird that one of the cats dragged into the house. This was a very strong odor, so I was worried that something large – like a rabbit or squirrel, was decomposing under a sofa someplace.
I checked the usual places, but couldn’t find anything. So I shrugged my shoulders and went to sleep.
The next day, Friday, I went to work and stayed late catching up on things that built up during my absence. I came home, noticed the smell again, but couldn’t find anything and went to bed.
I woke up today, greeted by the same foul smell and was beginning to think I would have to take the house apart. But my first order of business was to mow the lawn and handle some other yard work. So I mowed and then decided to open the garage to get some weed killer.
The odor hit me like a freight train, followed by an awareness of hundreds of flies buzzing around, and then followed by the horrifying realization that the freezer door was open.
Nothing I write can capture the scene that greeted me, but let your imagination contemplate the combination of a full freezer and nearly two weeks of warm weather. I won’t provide too many gross details, but I will say that if maggots were worth anything, I’d be a rich man today.
So I spent over one hour pulling various disgusting and putrid things out of the freezer, breathing only with my mouth, and trying not to recycle my lunch. Tomorrow, I’ll have to sop up a disgusting brown liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the freezer. Oh, and to add insult to injury, garbage pickup isn’t until Tuesday, so the smell won’t go away anytime soon (and it will probably linger even after then).
I’ve had some unpleasant experiences in my life, including the discovery of no toilet paper (or paper towels, or anything) after making an emergency bathroom visit in Romania. Nothing, though, comes remotely close to the nightmare I endured today.