Stink, stank, stunk

August 17, 2006 at 1:44 am (Uncategorized)

A day after viewing the remains of the mystery creature for a final time, as the rest of the region debates the nature of the animal, I am left retrospective and ponderous. Such wonder the beast brought to us. Such a glaring light it cast on the curiosity of man and his driving need for answers. Such an illustration of the beauty of nature, as complex and enigmatic as it is. All of this in the form of a decaying animal beneath the great powerlines and I am left with this one powerful thought: Man, dead stuff really reeks.

I’m not kidding you, people. That thing stank. I’m not gag prone by nature, but I pressed the back of my hand to my nose a few times and pretended to be clearing my throat. When a dead thing gets to smelling rancid, it is like strong fingers at your face. Fingers in your eyes, fingers in your nostrils, fingers in your throat. Some things stink so bad, you can almost hear the rankness. You end up carrying it around on your clothes the rest of the day.

poop.jpgThe smelly things of the world are typically repulsive to us because we need to be warned of their dangers. Dead things carry germs and other threats. Sour food can poison us and so it causes our nostrils to twitch and our throats to clog. Rotting rubbish is comprised of a whole legion of dangers. But let’s not talk about the science of scent. Let’s talk about the things that make us gag.

I know people who can eat green things out of the fridge, but who will retch if they see someone else retching. I know people who can carve the hell out of a newly dead deer, but they will go into gagging convulsions if they have to clean dog poop off the living room carpet. I know people who will both gag and cry if they get even a little bit of sour milk in their mouths.

Me, I’m middle of the road. I could probably eat through an autopsy, but you won’t find me watching a childbirth any time soon. I can clean up puke pretty handily, but my imagination insists on thinking: what if something starts moving from within the steaming heap?

The dead creature next to the powerlines? Appropriately vile smelling. There were five of us there and nobody hurled into the bushes. Yet a young lady back at the office had to cover her ears every time I mentioned the carnage or the way maggots were enjoying the very last of the feast.

From human waste to human remains. Things that make you gag. And if I inserted myself here while you’re eating breakfast, I apologize. Just make sure you remember that every cup of milk contains a certain level of blood and pus as allowed by law.



  1. AO said,

    The energy drinks we “taste tested” last night made me gag. Especially #1. Yet, looking at the piece of paw..didn’t bother me at all.

  2. Linda said,

    Milk usually makes me gag, and after reading the last line of Mark’s post today, it’s a slam dunk. Other than that — not much. I was doing some work in an operating room once and a doctor gave me a plastic bag to hold, then dropped some guts into it. No problem.

    I could look at the paw too. Even if it has maggots.

  3. Bulldog said,

    You know what I want to know is how can those caca sucka guys eat their lunch as they’re sucking out the shit from septic tanks??? huh? how???!! It makes me gag just watching them.

  4. Linda said,

    Jeez Bulldog, that’s easy to fix — don’t watch! ūüôā

  5. Bulldog said,

    No, can’t do that! It’s just like going by the scene of a bad accident. Even though you know you may see something bad or hideous, you still have to look.

  6. Gil said,

    Fortunately, I was born minus the sense of smell (kinda like K2 being born with no sense of taste). So, odor laden nastiness does not affect me. I spent my early adulthood in the military, traveling around the globe, and have eaten things that would make some run and cry rather than look at. Balut comes to mind. I wouldn’t classify it as an iron stomach so much as an indifferent one.

  7. K2 said,

    Putracene and cadavarene are the two ruthlessly malodorus compounds that result from the breakdown of the disulfide bonds that hold the double helix together in DNA. Stinky, stinky stuff.

    My baby puked her guts out when we were driving from the Ozarks to Kansas City on Sunday. The wife cleaned the baby, I got the car seat. Runny, hot, milky vomit in the buckles. I had wretching dry heaves the whole time. And right now, I literally just gagged thinking about it. Although, it’s probably ’cause I have a sour belly from the hundred beers I drank during poker last night. I was down $30, but I ended up winning $15. Then, on the way home, I realized my brake lights were out. Fun. God damn U-Haul fucked up my electrical system when the put a hitch on my Subaru last year. The brake-light fuse has blown a few times, so it’s off to U-Haul later today to complain, even though I know those bastards won’t do a thing about it. Anyone know a good auto electrician before I get pulled over by Johnny Law a la Koren Robinson of my Vikings. (Yoy.)

  8. K2 said,

    No taste? No that hurts, Gil. At least I can acknowledge when I’m wrong, which you simply can’t do. Just like the Bush Adminstration.

    And if you can’t smell, then you can only taste sweet, sour, salty, bitter and unami., since smell is an integral part of taste.

  9. hedonisticpleasureseeker said,

    Toothpaste in the morning makes me gag. Other than that, I have a steel stomach, even when around vomit. The SOUND of gagging, however, is enough to set me off.

  10. Linda said,

    It’s so rewarding to have a scientific writer among us (besides Mark of course — Mark, you have to admit that your science is more than a bit twisted, right?). K2, we know we can count on you. Sometimes this blog is a cross between “Mad” and “Scientific American” that’s it’s charm.

    Oh wait, maybe a touch of “Hustler” and “The National Enquirer” too

  11. AO said,

    K2, maybe you just need to refill your blinker fluid. I’ve heard it works on brake lights too.

  12. Oopsy said,

    I think it is built in to most mothers to be OK with baby puke and baby shit – I was OK with it and didnt gag. BUT, I have an awful time cleaning up after a dog – dog doodoo is one thing I really dont care to get too close to. I remember when I was a kid, my father used to raise German Shepards, and whenever we had a litter of puppies, they would occupy a certain kennel space, full of straw, for a few weeks, and it was MY JOB (age maybe 11 or so) to clean out the shitty straw. Oh how I hated that and how I gagged, and how I complained. To no avail. YUCK!

  13. K2 said,

    Any Mathletes in the house? (Tell me somebody knows ‘mathletes’ from high school?) Math was never my bag. Especially calculus. I mean, who the fuck needs to figure out the area under a curve? Shit like that kept me out of med school. Along with boozing and heavy dope usage. But I truly was a victim. Still am.

  14. Brenda said,

    What math problem are you trying to solve, K2?

  15. K2 said,

    It was more of an admission that I suck at math, which is a big part of science, which Linda complimented me (and Mark) on.

    And AO, remind me to check my blinker fluid (and brake lights) BEFORE I drive home. I’ve got to run down to NAPA and get fuses before I head anywhere else.

    But first, my Jehovah piano tuner, who’ll be here any minute. Always an interesting discussion.

  16. Linda said,

    My math’s wicked rusty, but I used to rule. Until I went to college and had a calculus class 3 days a week at 8 freakin a.m. Can you believe it? I dropped math like a hot potato after the first week.

    One of my sons is a mathematician though, he teaches at a university in Sydney. When I have a problem I email him. Last time, I wanted to know what was the rate of additional daylight from the winter solstice to the equinox, you can tell it’s not the same amount each day. He emailed me the relevant sine curve, I’ve got it around here somewhere. Not that anyone wants to think about it now when the daylight is DECREASING instead of the opposite. Sorry Mark, I wasn’t being cruel on purpose.

  17. AO said,

    Am I the only one having a problem with the Sun Urinal web site? It’s running sooo slow.

  18. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, I have that toothbrush problem, too. What’s up with that?

  19. LaFlamme said,

    Totally true about the pus in milk thing, too. I was just reading up on it last night. Got pus?

  20. AO said,

    Nope, no pus. I’m never drinking milk again.

  21. LaFlamme said,

    Oh, don’t like AO. I saw you licking your chops when I unveiled the paw.

  22. LaFlamme said,

    I happen to know that one of the bloggers gets queasy at the site of human mucoid matter. Boogers, that is.

  23. AO said,

    And, who would that be?

  24. K2 said,

    AO, I haven’t been able to load eSJ all day. And yesterday was slow. Thank the Lord Jesus that they’re getting rid of having to pay for an e-subscription. I was not going to renew, regardless. Just too slow too much of the time. And today is ridiculous.

  25. AO said,

    Hmm..a blogger booger hater.

  26. AO said,

    I know, K2. I thought it was just my computer. I finally had my husband go out and buy one. Must be a conspiracy.

  27. D said,

    I want to invite you to my next child birth – come on Mark be brave

  28. Linda said,

    AO, I’m done with drinking milk too. I’m feeling a bit queasy just thinking about that pus.

  29. K2 said,

    Cripes, between witnessiing two child births (with corresponding episiotomies) and changing poopy diapers on a one-year-old girl, the female genitalia ain’t as attractive as it once was, I’ll tell you that much. Ain’t quittin’ it for cocks, but these days, I gotta have a few beers in me before I’ll eat at the Y.

  30. Mainetarr said,


  31. AO said,

    MT, you’re the booger hating blogger. Well, I just got one thing to say: booger, booger, booger, booger, booger…more than one…he-he.

  32. Mainetarr said,

    And I got one thing to say to you, bite me!!!

  33. AO said,

    Sorry, MT. No can do. I had a bagel for breakfast this morning and I’m still stuffed. ūüôā

  34. Linda said,

    MT, boogers are a natural thing, how can you look at maggots, pus and dog poop but object to boogers?

  35. AO said,

    I guess it depends on whose nose the boogers are coming out of. I don’t mind my kids boogers, vomit, anything. I’ve seen it all and, had it all spewed on me more times than I can count. But, if I saw a stranger with a big boog hanging out of his nose, I might look the other way. I DID see a guy last Friday stopped in traffic digging away…what a hoot!

  36. jarheaddoc said,

    Was not me, though it is a favorite pass time in traffic. Or the yard. Or wherever the urge strikes.

  37. AO said,

    I know it wasn’t you, JD. Funny part was, I knew the guy.

  38. AO said,

    Anybody see this post in the Shruken Heads blog today? We should invite this guy to come blog with us!

    Posted By: Wendell at August 17, 2006 10:06 AM (Suggest Removal)
    That was no “mutant hybrid” or deformed chow dog. it was satan. Evil radiated from the carcass. And when this canine incarnate of the prince of darkness was struck by a vehicle, the black soul left the mutt and has most certainly, by now, found a new vessel from which it (he), the monarch of hell, can carry out his destructive will. May God have mercy on the soul of the reporter who defaced this Hades creature by removing its maggot-infested paw.

  39. Linda said,

    Wow, Wendell sounds like our kind of guy!

    Gidday jd, nice to see you around. And for the record, I’d be none the wiser if you were the driver mining his nostril behind ME yesterday. But I am assuming you weren’t in Farmington so probably not you.

  40. jarheaddoc said,

    Were I able to access the damn site, I would certainly have looked for that. Invite the guy over, give him a bag of beer. Let’s just hope he’s not an escapee from a place with a lot of people in white and jackets with arms that goes backwards

  41. jarheaddoc said,

    Wa’nt me, Linda.

  42. Linda said,

    I’m dialling up, and there’s nowhere near enough processing power over here to load the SJ page. (WTF is up with that anyhow?) So AO, please keep me in the loop if there’s anything else I need to know from over there. I’ll have to catch up tomorrow night or Saturday.

  43. AO said,

    Jeesh, JD, everytime a I see someone “mining for gold” at a red light, I’m gonna look to see if it’s you.

  44. AO said,

    I’ll be sure to email you if there’s any big going on’s, Linda. Can you get your email from dial up land?

  45. Linda said,

    Yes. But, you know, one session at a time, and I AM here to visit, and there’s the ten hours a week on the account — so don’t expect the usual quick repartee from me. HA!

    jd, bag of beer, good one, that makes me laugh out loud every time. I’m not usually so easily entertained either, don’t know what’s up with that one.

    Whos going to Snakes on a Plane tomorrow? I’m dying to see it, maybe next week. for me. I saw SL Jackson on the Daily Show and laughed myass off.

  46. AO said,

    I’ll probably wait to see it when it comes out on DVD. Bag of beer. One of my favorite things. Hey, didn’t Julie Andrews sing a song about that?

  47. Arby said,

    Got a quick question for Mark. I came across this article about the beast on the internet:

    In that article, Loren Coleman is quoted as saying, “In the end, wildlife officials got a DNA analysis that showed the animal was a rare wolf-dog hybrid.” Is that the truth, a misquote or what?

  48. Linda said,

    I read that too Arby — haven’t got it in front of me but if you read it again, don’t you think they were referring to a different beast found in Maine a while ago? I was under-caffeinated at the time but on the second read-through that’s what I decided they meant.

  49. Linda said,

    Yeah, I just read it again, thats what it says. A few years ago in NORTHER MAINE. I’m very suspicious now … exactly WHAT do you know about THAT, Mark???? Come clean, you know we wont tell a soul. Are you the loup garou?

  50. Linda said,

    Freakin drunken keyboard, must have had a bag of beer. NORTHERN Maine.

  51. Arby said,

    Ok, thanks for setting me straight on that one Linda. I suppose it would have been a crying shame if the mystery had been that easy to solve.

  52. K2 said,

    Arby, great sandwiches, man. Love the cheddar melt.

  53. Gil said,

    K2, speak not of that which you know not. If (that’s right – IF) I were wrong, I would admit it. However, since I haven’t been proven wrong by your ridiculous use of Slate and the SF Gate as your “sources”, I stand by what I said.
    As to taste, that is a fallacy also. I was born without a sense of smell, yet I can taste everything put in front of me. Granted it may taste a bit different if I could also smell it, but I’m not lacking in that sense. Common sense, well now, that’s a different story sometimes.
    In other news, I don’t think the yahoo in Thailand actually killed Jon Benet. Too many inconsistencies already.
    I also believe that Wendell may have been right and right now that evil spirit has found a new body. I’m guessing somewhere in the vicinity of the 700 block of Main St. We’ll know when HWWNBN starts blogging again.

  54. AO said,

    That was my take on the story too, Arby.

  55. AO said,

    I don’t think the yahoo in Thailand killed Jon Benet either. I think he was just looking for a quick way out. Hmmm…makes one wonder. WHAT did he do in Thailand? Something bad I’m sure.

    K2, You’re such a bonehead! How’s the blinker fluid working?

  56. AO said,

    Gawd!! Every time I see that big pile of poop at the top of this…it makes me not want to eat soft serve ice cream EVER again.

  57. Linda said,

    Ah Gil, I saw your name on the Recent Comments list and thought, yay, haiku about stinky stuff, can’t wait to read it. C’mon, bring it on. Please? I’m in awe of your gift. Don’t hold it back from us.

  58. Linda said,

    No – I cleaned up the hard drive, defragged, turboed everything I could — still can’t get the SJ to load any faster than grass growing. Had to give up. What have they done over there, are they sinking under the weight of their own bloated turgidity? (There’s a word I don’t get to use QUITE as often as I’d like to.)

  59. AO said,

    Don’t you mean turD-idity? It’s just…down. I’m thinking of giving them back my free subscription. We’ll see how they like that!

  60. Linda said,

    cheap at twice the price AO

  61. AO said,


  62. LaFlamme said,

    Weird. That quote actually applies to a case back in 1993. Not sure why they applied it to this one. And the SJ was slow today because the server was overloaded with hits to the creature stories. 25,000 of them last I heard.

  63. K2 said,

    Gil, wrong again. I gave you the steadfastly conservative Wall Street Journal as my source. Nice try, though.

    If you can’t smell, you can’t taste but the five things I mentioned. Unless, of course, all the science is wrong. Let me guess, it is.

    AO, with the headache I have today, no blinker fluid for me. Just a spot of tea. Yes, with honey and cream *pinky extended*

  64. Nadine said,

    What did I miss? What is the deal with milk and pus??????

    Sounds super-yucky, but maybe something I should be aware of?

  65. Linda said,

    If the SJ is busy because of 25K hits, I’ll stop complaining. THats not a bad thing at all.

  66. AO said,

    Wow! 25K. who would have thunk it?

  67. AO said,

    The Sun Urinal should just redirect any comments, posts …letters…to..The Lost Sole.

  68. Gil said,

    Ok K2, you’re right. I’m not saying that I’m wrong, only mistaken. JD sent the links that I referred to.

  69. LaFlamme said,

    Wow. Mainetarr really did not dig that booger talk.

  70. AO said,


  71. AO said,

    GAK! What’s wrong with booger talk?

  72. Gil said,

    K2, once again, you have wondered into territories that you know nothing about. Anyone can google “smell & taste”, but unless you live it, you can’t know anything about it. The condition is called anosmia and mine is congenital. Having no sense of smell doesn’t mean I can’t taste, it just means it works differently.
    You are right on one count, well almost. The sense of taste is a combination of Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty and Umami (different from Umani – which is an Indian dialect). There may be other subtle nuances that go alng with these 5, but they should really be defined as flavor, not taste. Food flavor is a combination of taste, texture, aroma, and temperature. For anosmiacs, only aroma is missing. I can still taste my food, and appreciate a well-seasoned steak, or a good wine. The only thing that sucks is not being able to smell important things like gas leaks, or smoke. And I have to have others smell milk and food for me to see if it’s still good. Believe me, you drink sour milk once or twice because you can’t smell it, you’ll be ready to hire a smeller.

  73. Gil said,

    Just for Linda

    Sour milk, poo, dead dog
    Pus, rotten food, so what
    I cannot smell it

  74. Gil said,

    Just for Linda

    Bad milk, poo, dead dog
    Pus, puke, rotten food, so what
    I cannot smell it

    Sorry, broke haiku rules

  75. AO said,

    Gil, my daughter has no sense of smell. She can still taste things, she has a love for only a few food,. cheeseburgers are her favorites. I always wondered if her sense of smell was “off”. I have tested her a few times and, it always seemed like she could smell what I put under her nose. The REAL test came the other night when she cut the smelliest fart I ever had the non-pleasure of smelling. She couldn’t smell it. So, I now know that..she really has no sense of smell.

  76. AO said,

    Gil, you ARE good!

    Umm…I mean at Haiku’s…that …is.

  77. LaFlamme said,

    Wow. What’s going on here, AO? Anything you’d like to talk about?

  78. Mongo said,

  79. Gil said,

  80. K2 said,

    GIl, I like how you skirted the Wall Street Journal article. Is it wrong or are you?

    And for the record, I didn’t google anything. I have a bio degree. I learned about the senses in college. I also just read an article about artificial sweetenters, in *gasp* The New Yorker, that examined the science of taste. (It was apolitical. Although cannibals will tell you conservatives taste awful.) And if you read what I wrote I never said you couldn’t taste. (Reread my posts.) You have 5 taste receptors on your tongue. A simple calculation means you have 120 combinations of flavor, and, of course, that is an oversimplification, since different concentrations of each taste would extrapolate that number signifigantly.

    Again, nice try.

  81. Linda said,

    Gil, I’m in awe. Thanks. Really.

  82. LaFlamme said,

    My dentist told me yesterday I should buy a tongue scraper. Now I’m afraid to fug with my receptors. Thanks, man.

  83. K2 said,

    Screw tongue scrapers. They’re gross. Just brush your tongue lightly with your toothbrush. Totally works.

  84. Linda said,

    This is great stuff. We hadn’t covered hygiene tips before, had we?

  85. K2 said,

    Don’t get me started on Vagisil application. There’s just so much to it.

  86. AO said,

    Are you speaking from experiance, K2?

  87. K2 said,

    I wasn’t part of the infamous Monistat 7 for nothing, AO.

  88. Linda said,

    I thought you guys all went under cover.

  89. AO said,

    Monistat sucks. Vagisil is sooo much better.

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