Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Stench

I stepped out into my backyard.  Before I even had a chance to blink, an overpowering, unrelenting stench of previously unknown magnitude surrounded me.

I turned tail and ran back inside, breathing in the safe air of my house, and proving to myself that I am, truly, a coward.  At least, I am when assailed by a stench that just may be exuded by the lowest ring of hell.

My eyes slowly turned to the door.  I knew I had to go back out there.  The knowledge that I didn't have a HazMat suit to protect myself with made that thought unbearable, however, so I fell back on my old habit of procrastination.

Thirty minutes later, I got up the courage to go back outside and locate the stench.

Naturally, I followed the flies.  What better guide could there possibly be when looking for something this malodorous?  Sure enough, I found a huge amount of flies converging on one location:

A large, black plastic bag.

I had discovered another difference between life in the desert, and life in Minnesota.

In the desert southwest, I would cut the grass in my yard, bag it up, then leave the bag open for a few days.  The result?  A perfect dry-grass mulch that you can use whenever you needed it.

This is not a good idea, however, on the opposite side of the country.

See, Minnesota has this strange wet stuff that falls from the sky.  They call it rain.  They also have a moist quality to the air that they call humidity.  The combination of these two things, when added to a large amount of sun, produces... well...

Rotting, putrescent stench.

The grass my husband had cut that week was rotting.  We've been effected by the heat wave stretching all over the country, so it's been hot.  Add to that the fact that we got a small amount of rain on Saturday morning (finally!)... and the bag had been open.  Rain, naturally, ended up inside and stayed there.  Now queue more heat.

I grabbed the bag to move it, and smelled even more of this stench.

Now, the awful stench didn't happen suddenly, of course.  I had started smelling it on Sunday.  It just wasn't a strong scent.  I ignored it, thinking the neighbor's cat had a bad stomach condition, or something.  I wasn't concerned.

That obviously changed rather quickly.

I had to get rid of it.  Of course, throwing rotted grass clipping into your trashcan is frowned upon by the disposal companies, so I couldn't do that.  I ended up hauling that bag of putrefaction up the hill so that I could dump it behind the garage.  The only way to truly get rid of the stench, after all, was to allow it to dry properly.  I upended the bag to dump the grass out.


It didn't cascade out of the bag, as grass normally would.  It thunked.  Not only that, but when I used a gigantic, thick branch to break it apart so that it would dry faster, it had coalesced so much that I BROKE THE BRANCH!!!

So, there I was, poking at a huge green mass of once-grass, flies swarming around me as I tried in vain to cover my nose.  Things just couldn't get any worse.

Until they did.

My daughter came out to see what was going on.  In her curiosity, she tried to get closer to the mass of stench.  I did this really cool move with my leg to block her approach (Remember, I had a branch in my hands)...

and fell.

Right onto the rotted grass.

I think I may have learned a really important lesson this time.  I don't think this mistake will be repeated again.


Have you ever learned such an unfortunate lesson?  If so, I'd love to hear it!!!

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