Remember the old song, Rainy Days and Mondays (Get Me Down)?  Well, I lubs rainy days. Even at my age (which, and I’m not kidding, I truly forget how old I am) I still splash mud puddles.  (You’ve been warned.)

My problem lies with Mondays. They force me back to a mundane 8-5 routine (not exactly those hours, but you get the idea) and I loathe that kind of schedule. I’m a night person. (A vampire could be my best friend, but I’m too in love with the werewolves.) The hubster, aka Professor X, is on a night schedule. Lucky bastard man.

It takes a crane to haul my butt out of bed at 5:30 on Monday mornings.  And fire retardant gear.  Somehow after falling asleep I morph into a dragonness. I snarl and snap and breath fire on anything or anyone foolish brave enough to wake me.

Prof X thought a little Gangnam style would help get me going on Mondays. His efforts garnered him a Gibbs head slap. Twice.

Still, he repeatedly tried to coerce me into accepting this world-wide phenomenon. While he plastered his Facebook page with Gangnam images and wheeled around the house singing and doin’ the dance, I stuck to my phasers, raised my shields, and ignored the antics.

But Shannyn Schroeder and Angela Quarles unearthed my Kryptonite ~


Now I’ve been GANGNAMized.  Have you?

Is that a baby stroller hanging out by itself on the sidewalk?

I roll to a stop at the four-way. Why yes, it is.


The stroller looks brand-new.  At least there are no obvious defects seen from my car window as I nosily cautiously drive past.  Just a perfectly decent, designer stroller stuck in the middle of nowhere.

An eerie sensation crawls my skin.

There are no people around. No houses. No apartments. No bus stop or cars.

It’s like baby and (insert caretaker’s name) were sucked up into the belly of a menacing space ship to have their central nervous system ripped out recycled into some sort of TRANSFORMER hybrid.

No, wait.

That’s kinda the plot of SKYLINE.  


What else could cause someone to leave behind a  baby stroller in such an odd place?

Some time ago, I heard whispering about the “Rapture,” where God whisks his faithful into the heavens for eternity.

Cue bright lights. People flying up into the clouds….


Yeah, in my head, that still looks like a scene from SKYLINE.

A call to mom is in order. She’s my control test. If she’s still here, the “rapture” hasn’t happened yet. All moms go to heaven, right?

No-wait. That’s All Dogs Go to Heaven.


I don’t have a land line at home for Monster Puppy and Brave Little Bassett to answer. Mom will have to do.

And, she f-i-n-a-l-l-y answers her cell phone  fractions of a second before the voicemail kicks in.

My heart can stop pounding now. Crisis of being left out of something important averted.

One-sided conversation goes something like, “Hi mom. Just checking the status of the rapture. Gotta go. Bye.”

She doesn’t bother to call back. Chalk it up to her many years of experience as my mother.

The stroller lingers in the rear-view mirror.  Sad and forsaken.

Like the lone sock sucked from the dryer, dragged through a vortex and deposited on the side of a municipal road. What? How else do you think it got there?

I bet you’ve seen something strange. What was it?


Late one afternoon, Professor X and I went to an early dinner with a certain someone. I volunteered to ride in the backseat of our two-door car so that this certain someone could ride up front with Prof X.  After all, it’s much easier for a 5’4 woman to climb over the passenger seat than a six foot man. Within seconds of us pulling out of the garage, I thought I would have a stroke. Being cramped into a black car that’s absorbed the unrelenting mid-August-in-Florida heat is like being a turkey stuffed in an oven on Thanksgiving. Taking pity on my sweat-induced fanning fit, Prof X (bless his heart) turned on the car’s A/C full blast. What hit me in the face can’t be described by such mambie-pambie words like foul, pungent, or atrocious. I don’t think that a word exists in the English language that would come close to describing a stink worse than a rotting corpse three times over. I squinted against the brutal bombardment of this stench. Tears trickled from the outer corners of my eyes. My stomach somersaulted, violently, and made a desperate attempt to claw through my back in order to squirm into the trunk to hide. I didn’t dare open my mouth to speak. I didn’t want that funk cloyed on my tongue.

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Prof X was oblivious to the smell and to my plight. So was the certain someone riding with us. The certain someone to whom I now refer to as Pepe le Pew. The decrepit odor swirled around Pepe like the dust cloud surrounding Charlie Brown’s friend Pigpen. I realized two crappy truths about two-door cars.

The backseat has no windows to roll down and no doors to jump out of. If we had been in a four-door, I wouldn’t have waited for a stop sign or red light. Road rash was worth the chance to breathe fresh air.

Once we stopped at the restaurant, I might’ve knocked Pepe over in my zeal to get away from him. I say “might have” because I’m not sure if he actually fell to the ground when I linebacked him. I was too oxygen deprived from holding my breath for ten miles and on the fringe of an out of body experience to notice. Even the eternal being within me wanted to get the heck away from that god-awful smell. It’s imprinted in my brain.

Not only the smell, but the nausea associated with it and the feeling of being trapped. All of it comes rushing back at the mere thought of climbing into the backseat of a car.

Some people can’t smell skunks. I wish I was one of them. Maybe Pepe wouldn’t have left such a foul impression on me.

Smell cells renew every twenty-eight days, so basically you get a new nose every month. Thank gawd! I needed a new one after that repulsive experience.

Want to ensure mosquitoes stay away from your outdoor bar-b-que? Decorate with smelly socks. Or have a friend with really stinky feet stand in the back corner of the yard. Researchers have found mosquitoes are four times more attracted to the smell of stinky socks than they are to people.

Scientists also hope to find a way to cheaply mass-produce the stinky sock smell to help fight malaria by using the scent to lure the mosquitoes to their death.

Stressed? Anxious? Blood pressure too high? Before running to the doctor for a handful of prescription meds try eating more beans. A 2008 study suggests that the stink in farts controls blood pressure. I really would’ve hated to have been a volunteer for that study group.

Had an accident in your new car? You could’ve been drunk on the new car scent, according to one study. Apparently the fumes from the upholstery and carpet can be toxic and cause light-headedness and fainting spells. A Colorado man’s defense team claim the “new car smell” may have caused him to hit a cyclist in Vail.

I’m not sure how they explained why the driver left the scene of the accident instead of calling 9-1-1.

Got a stink story? Share the funk at the Peanut Gallery.

The Romance Review