I had been hunting the stench for over a week. In my gut, i knew what it was, but i had convinced myself that maybe someone was dumping compost behind my property. Compost that consisted of nasty, dirty gym socks and rot. But down in my gut, i knew.
When my son took out the trash and told me it smelled like something had died in the backyard, i told him he was wrong, it was something else. I did go look around the backyard, and, not finding anything, continued telling myself that it was a waft from someplace else: The neighbor’s trash can, someone’s septic tank, the river Styx….
Every day, i was assaulted by the smell as i got in and out of my car in the driveway. And every day, i would walk around a bit, giving a cursory search for the source, never finding anything.
When a friend came over to do some tree work for me, i asked him to come sniff and tell me what he thought. Of course, he knew what it was. And he looked with me. Except he really looked. And under a back corner of my decrepit outbuilding, he pointed out a pelt.
I cannot express how badly i wanted him to offer to deal with it for me.
But he is not that much a glutton for punishment. So with my hands covered with grocery bags, a trash bag beside me, and rake in hand; i set about to get the nauseating fur-pile out from under the shed.
Raking it wasn’t particularly effective. First off, it had been there over a week, so it wasn’t exactly fresh. Second, i was quickly able to isolate cause of death to be electrocution when i realized its mouth was hooked on the electrical supply. And third… Well, there isn’t really a third. I mean, i was trying to rake a long-dead animal from 3 feet inside a foot high space. There was NO way to efficiently remove it.
Later, my cousin told me i should have just spread lime over it. I wish i had thought of that.
So i rake and rake and rake and rake. When it finally gets close enough to the edge, i decide to just pick it up. Gagging like i have never gagged before, i reach over and pick up the maggot-covered rustic bathroom rug.
Halfway across the 2 foot distance to the trash bag, his head fell off.
Plop. Necrotic rodent noggin at my feet.
I suppressed the urge to throw up out of deference to the friend who wouldn’t take on the task.
I get the body in the bag, maggots and all. Pick up the head (How i didn’t puke, i will never know), grabbed the bits of fur and pelt that were stuck to the rake, pushed the hand-bags into the trash bag, and pulled the straps closed. Certain that the stench wasn’t just stuck in my nose hair and was actually permeating the plastic, i triple bagged that son of a bitch before tossing it in the trash. Ha! You nasty dead Davy Crockett souvenir! I win! You are gone and the stench is no more!
Well, not exactly.
I mean the bag is in the trash can and it’s hot enough to smelt iron on the sidewalk these days.
And soon i will have to open it and put the rest of the week’s trash in before bringing it to the curb for pickup. Normally, that would be my son’s job, but unless he forgets what’s already in there, i’d have better luck getting my chihuahua to do it.
I may actually try the clothespin on the nose trick when trash day comes.
Well, i knew there would be critters. I guess it’s just part life at the new caravan. And at least it’s almost gone.
And don’t ya know that the Lowe’s list on my fridge already has, at the top, “Bag of lime”.