Wonderful Husband and I went to the beach this past weekend with Party On and The Funny Man (does that sort of remind you of Chico and the Man?). Anyone familiar with the drive from D.C. to Rehoboth knows that it's often a treat for the senses. For the uninitiated, you drive past a lot of chicken farms and through rural landscapes. It's not beyond the pale to smell some form of stink (often lingering) as you drive down the two-lane roads.
This is as good a time as any to point out that Party On is averse to any mention of poop (she also does not tolerate "fart" or "douchebag"). And while I'm not particularly an embracer of the scatalogical, it does make it difficult to make certain allusions from time to time. (On a side note, I will say I have my doubts about her aversion. This is the same woman who once passed around a photo of her cat's dingleberry during happy hour, so grossing out the Gay Lawyer, that he refused to open picture messages from her for months after.) So you can imagine the dismay when, as we were driving down Route 404, we were hit with what might be one of the foulest stenches in recent memory. But first we encountered skunk stink (or at least I was told we did . . . I was stuffed up from a cold/bronchitis, so I couldn't smell anything), perhaps as an omen of what lie ahead.
Just as everyone was recovering from the skunk stink, we hit what WH referred to as "a rainbow of stink." It started out fairly mild (from what I'm told), and grew as we drove deeper into what I can only imagine was a cloud of green steam. Party On was beside herself. To his credit, TFM was able to maintain control of the car as we barrelled down the road, deeper and deeper into the smell. As Party On contorted herself in the front seat, moaning from the horror of it all, WH shifted into comic mode. He declared that the growing smell was "like bad wine tasting, it starts out weaker and grows stronger as you go on." It was about this time that my sinuses opened up (thanks for nothing, Mucinex!) and the smell hit me too. And it was as bad as they said. My own take on it was that it smelled like we were hauling a dead body in 100-degree heat after it had been sitting in the trunk for six days. It was seriously gag-worthy.
Party On had her head stuffed inside her shirt. WH's eyes were watering. And I was wishing for my cold to return with a vengeance. All the while, TFM kept on driving (probably in the hopes that the faster he went, the faster we'd exit the danger zone). WH declared, "Jesus! If you gave a cow three bottles of tequila this is the smell you would get!" And on we drove. He then announced, "If anyone has to fart, now would be the time. Nobody will be able to tell and blame you for it." Party On writhed and wretched up front. What felt like 20 minutes was probably closer to seven. It was bad. And poor Party On had to listen to the rest of us discussing poop for at least the ensuing half hour (and the rest of the weekend).
We went into the dark that night, my friends, and came out different on the other side. We smelled the "spectrum" (as WH put it) of stink and miraculously survived. But perhaps the most telling was that skunk we met at the outset. WH observed, "That skunk came through that green cloud and died on the other side to warn us of what was ahead. We just didn't listen." No, we didn't.