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A 10 Foot High Pile of Burning Diapers

Aromatic is most certainly not how I would describe the worst smell my olfactory system has ever had to endure. Recently, I wrote about cleaning out an old fridge that had had a container of lunch meat rotting in it for months. Yes, that smelled bad. But this smell, from many years earlier, is the worst smell I’ve ever encountered…

The first job I had as a young teenager was working for my uncle who owned a construction company. I had absolutely no construction skills (not much has changed) so I was pretty much the site clean up guy and “go-fer” for clearing out debris, fetching various tools and loading a trailer full of scrap for trips to the dump.

It is the dump where the rest of this foul tale unfolds. I rode to the dump with two construction guys to offload a trailer full of scrap and junk from a build. When we arrived, there was a remarkable development there I’d not witnessed in prior trips to the dump. They were, I swear this is true although I’ve yet figure out how or why such a situation would occur, burning a huge – like 10 foot high – pile of used baby diapers. I’ve tried to work out in my mind how such a huge pile of baby diapers would exist, but still don’t know.

We stood on the rim of the pit where the diapers were burning – where we also had to offload our scrap – as a meaty, fetid black cloud of smoke washed over us from the diaper pile. The smell was something to be reckoned with. Our gag reflexes kicked into overdrive. I looked to my left and there was some other unfortunate soul who’d come to throw trash in the dump. He was not handling things so well. He puked mightily over the edge.

That was it for me. I stumbled my way back to the back door of the truck, climbed in, rolled up all the windows and curled up on the back seat fighting not to heave my guts all over the interior until other guys, much older of great constitutions, finished unloading the trailer and we left.

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Featured image: Dreamstime.

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75% of Conversations with My Son

I’ve worked up this scientific representation of 75% of the conversations I have with my 7- year-old son.

SON: Dad, can I ask you a question but pay absolutely no attention to the answer?

ME: Why, of course you can, son!

SON: What?

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The Dream of the Malevolent Sky Skeleton

I’m prone to having very vivid, detailed dreams. This is a very entertaining thing. Even when my dreams are rather mundane and boring they are so vividly rendered that they are fun to watch unfold. And most of my dreams are, indeed, pretty mundane and boring, though some approach comical. It’s not uncommon I will wake up laughing. Not last night, though. Oh no. Last night my dreams spun out a damn near Lovcraftian tale of psychological torment. It was awesome!

In the dream myself, my wife and our kid are in a large house with many other families. The house is not a “haunted house” by any measure but a typical, though large, modern house. I’m unclear as to the exact reasons why so many families were in the same house, but I had the sense that it was some sort of private school or day care center. It was mid afternoon and all of the kids were lying down for a nap.

I stepped outside for some fresh air and noticed many people looking up at the sky, all in the same direction. Many of them were pointing their smartphones skyward. I looked up to see what was going on and there it was: the most detailed cloud formation I’ve ever seen…in the form of a slightly demonic looking human skeleton torso with skull. Either this was the most incredible natural occurrence ever witnessed, or part of some elaborate marketing scheme I thought. Perhaps a skilled sky writer had created it. Then its head moved.

The skull turned slowly side to side scanning the lay of the land before it. Suddenly the energy among the witnesses shifted from curiosity to dread. The skull eventually stopped, staring directly at me…or at least in my vicinity. Then, slowly, out came a long, white arm reaching down toward the ground. This was no skeleton arm, though. It was a gigantic praying mantis arm. The moment the pointed end of the arm made contact with the ground the sky turned black and it began to rain and the children, who had been napping inside, suddenly materialized outside, still lying on their mats but now in the rain. They each quickly came to, confused and crying. We hurried to shuffle them all back inside.

Once the kids were all back inside I went back outside. The giant, malevolent cloud skeleton was now surveying other areas of the town, slowly tapping down his praying mantis arm in distant areas.

Back inside the house again the dream sort of fizzles away, which is typical. No matter how vivid my dreams are, they don’t last long in memory after waking. I don’t recall exactly how the rest of the story evolved but I do recall that…

The skeleton was not only here to torment us, but the entire universe. We were just one stop on his journey do whatever weird shit it was up to.

We stayed in the house for days while the outside remained the same…a dark, raining, wasteland.

For days on end things would be normal in the house, then without warning all hell would break loose as the skeleton would start screwing with us. One guy in the house, his wits and patience worn thin, challenged the skeleton and was killed.

At one point I was following my son into another room but as I entered the door began to close. It did not slam or close quickly, but slowly and crushingly. I managed to wedge my body between the door and the doorjamb and hold it open for my kid to get out, but it was painful and difficult. The door pressed shut with the force of a trash compactor.

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Is Santa Claus Real?

My 7-year-old son keeps asking me if Santa Claus is real. I want to tell him, no, Santa Claus is just a mythical character created by parents to blame when they end up buying the wrong Christmas presents, but I’m afraid he’ll blab this to all the other kids in school who perhaps aren’t prepared for the hard truth…and their parents will get mad at me.

But he persists…

“Is Santa Claus real?” he asks one more damn time.

“Yes. Santa Claus is real!”

“I want to see him. I’m going to stay up late and see him.”

“You can’t. He’s…uh…er…allergic to children. That’s why he only comes at night while kids are asleep.”

“Whaaaat?! What happens to him?”

“He breaks out in uncontrollable farts…”

“COOL!”

Honestly, I think he’s very aware that Santa Claus isn’t real but just likes watching me squirm. He’ll make a good police interrogator one day.

Featured image: Dreamstime Stock Photos

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I Cleaned a Toxic Waste Dump Out of My Fridge

Maybe it wasn’t that bad, but it was pretty damn bad. Here’s the story…

Several months ago we destroyed our house. We had built a new house on the same property and the other house was just taking up too much room. Before destroying the old house we took the fridge out of it. We didn’t really need it, since our new house came with a fridge, but I wasn’t just about to let a perfectly good fridge get crushed, burned, and buried with our old house! It sat outside for five months.

The other day I figured I might as well do something with it. Sell it or use it, basically. Well, turns out we’d left a few things in that old fridge, most notably an entire pack of turkey lunchmeat, and somehow critters had gotten in there. They were all dead now, their weird, crusty black bodies littering the shelves, but I could see in the black mold and filthy funk clinging to the walls where their maggot children had scooted around.

The pack of lunchmeat was…interesting. It had never been opened and, surprisingly, whatever toxic gasses it must have generated while rotting in the Arkansas summer had expanded its container but not ruptured it. The mass inside no longer resembled turkey lunchmeat. Or any other kind of lunchmeat. It looked more like a diseased, gelatinous human brain. And it stunk. Bad. Like really bad. I can’t imagine an actual diseased, gelatinous human brain would come close to the foul, meaty smell of this glistening, rotten wad of offensive mucus.

After several hours of blasting the fridge out with a water hose and scrubbing it and gagging…lots of gagging…I finally got it clean.

In retrospect, I should have just had it crushed, burned, and buried with our old house.

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Planning the Strike

I got an itch to tinker around with composing something orchestral so I fired up GarageBand and came up with this short piece. It’s pretty rough around the edges but I plan to re-do it from scratch when I purchase better quality orchestral instrument samples for my more robust audio workstation, although I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that GarageBand’s little ol’ box of orchestral instrument samples aren’t half bad!

It’s inspired by John Williams’ movie scores for Star Wars and I’ve called it Planning the Strike, because it made think of the interim between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back wherein Darth Vader would be, you know, planning the strike…

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I Quit Facebook

At least for a while. After the Presidential election I discovered that a lot of my friends are either extreme left wing nuts or extreme right wing nuts and like to whine or gloat about stuff A LOT. Typically in the form of very divisive, poorly (i.e. not) researched posts, or terribly uncreative yet smug and condescending memes. Well, I’ve had enough of that shit.

However, I soon realized that thanks to Facebook my brain has been re-wired with a near uncontrollable urge to “share” stuff. I suppose it comes from my generally being a creative guy, and like most creative guys, I really want people to absorb, accept, and praise me for my creative things, be those formations of words, compositions of music, or whatever meal my creative ass is enjoying (or not) at the moment so I can feel good about myself for a little while. We creative people are insufferable in this way.

Long story short, I’m back on my blog! No guarantees for how long. And certainly no guarantees on quality of content. Hey, just because I’m creative doesn’t mean I’m good at it!

On a totally unrelated note, here’s a picture of me in a Kylo Ren mask…

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