scary hair and lethal smellsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : ordinary ups + downs : One Thread
Share your hair horror stories (and I know you have them) or describe an odour that can make you gag just thinking about it.
-- Christine (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 29, 1999
It was a few days before grade eight graduation. I had fairly long hair, and I wanted the hairdresser to cut it so short that it would stick up on the top as was the style at the time. This was like a Supercuts okay, and you really do get what you pay for. My hair was short all right. Really, really scary crewcut hair short, and it did NOT stand up. In fact, it parted in the middle and then feathered. I was a freak. I have a picture buried somewhere of me standing in the hallway of Courtland Senior Public School dressed in a pink dress adorned with large gray polkadots, frowning, no doubt thinking about my super short scary hair and looking about as miserable as you'd expect.
-- Christine (email@example.com), September 29, 1999.
I was 14. It was my first summer job, and I was really pissed off because my brother who was 13 had the summer off and I was stuck in the broken window dirt floor basement of a woolen mill 4 days a week (Friday was "take it all to the dump" day) dunging out years of refuse that had been indiscriminantly abandoned by generations of disgruntled employees. One morning we came across a soggy, moldy burlap bag about the size of Elvis after too many Eskimo bars that was falling apart and refused to move...anyway, we weren't getting anywhere near it because of the defensive stench that created an impassable force field of odour. It took a phone call to our supervisor, who had lost his sense of smell "in the war" to get inside the barrier and identify the alien. In attempting to turn it over, the burlap gave way, the contents spilled out and the super was on his duff, laughing at himself. Then the wave hit us. Palpable. My eyes began to water as it forced me back. "Hooo whee!", said the super as he fingered a tag on a disintegrated piece of burlap. "Moose hair...what the hell is that doing down here...well, there you go boys, good luck getting it out!"
-- Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 1999.
I remember it was the fall of '83 and I was just a struggling writer trying to make it in New Orleans and I had been to visit my parents up in Shreveport and I didn't have much money then so I was trying to conserve what I had and I had left my old beat up chevy and had taken the bus up to see them and now I was on my way back on another bus, all full of my Mom's good southern cooking and my suitcase, which I had tied up with a cord because it was so full, too stuffed with clothes, now starchy clean, that I had left behind on previous visits and food that my mom put in there to make sure I didn't starve in the city, was up in the rack opposite where I was sitting. It was hot, its what they call down there an indian summer and the bus's air conditioning wasn't working and everybody was trying to get their windows open, but you know the way those bus windows work, they are so afraid someone like a kid might fall out, so they just open a tiny couple of inches and you can only get just a whiff a air. But I was just fine, I like the warm southern air and I was happy, besides I had on shorts and a t-shirt and a pair of sandals and I was just starting to read one of those Saroyan novels when the bus made one of its stops, and when it stopped it wasn't any kind of a gentle easy you don't notice it kind of thing, but this driver made a production out it, he had called out every damn little town we had pulled into three or four times, miles before we actually got there and then with hissing of air brakes and a stop so abrupt you had to brace yourself, he would bring that monsterous contraption to a screeching halt. So there was no way you weren't fully aware of each new tiny town bus stop cafe. I think it was right around Shongaloo where we picked up that girl. It had been another production stop and I was alert and watching the new passengers struggle on with all their suitcases and cardboard boxes and maybe a guitar and a jar of jam and then she came up those stairs at the front of the bus holding her little plastic suitcase out in front of her and she looked like a vision of lovliness, a picture of sweetness and gentleness and grace with the smoothest creamiest skin and raven black hair coursing all the way down to her waist. I was sitting about half way back, but I could see those piercing, azure blue eyes all the way from where I was sitting and I could feel my heart just thump right then and my throat tighten just a bit, she was just so darned beautiful. She made it up to the top of the stairs and began looking around like she was trying to find someone she knew glancing from one side to another from the front down the length of the bus and then she looked my way, she looked me right dead in the eyes and with a kind of toss of her head, like she had found an acquaintance, she came down the aisle and stood right by my seat and began to put her suitcase in the rack over the seat and I look up at her and her head was looking up putting up the suitcase with arms upstretched, and I just stared at her amazing form. She had the most beautiful body like something I had seen in magazines or maybe dancing somewhere and she was dressed in one of those summer calico dresses that just seems to cling in all the right places and there was not one part of her that didn't seem wonderfully luscious and succulent, and then she sat right down by me like this was where she was supposed to be. And right then I smelled the most phenomenal fragrance, the most wonderul aroma, it wasn't just a smell it was like a whiff of heaven itself and it filled my nose and my lungs and my head and it was like the most wonderful perfume I had ever known, she radiated it, I wanted to just breathe it in again and again I couldn't get enough. The only smell I could compare it to that I had absolutely gone crazy for before this was the smell of fresh baked bread when ever I had passed by the Mrs. Bairds bakery late at night and they filled the air with that marvelous golden aroma of bread baking in those ovens, I used to stop and just breathe it in and imagine those beautiful loaves and what it would taste like. Of course the bread never tasted that good but oh that smell was the most delightful experience that my sense of smell had ever known until now. And now this little beautiful southern gal who sat down beside me, who picked me to sit down beside, was radiating the perfume from heaven, and it was every bit as wonderful and luscious and delicious as that baking bread but it was sensuous and sexy and I looked and her and breathed her in and I wanted her more than anything in the whole world. And I suddenly realized that I was just staring at her full on and she was looking back at me right into my eyes like this made perfect sense like that was the way people would normally greet each other and so I kind of stammered out some words and I said the only thing I could think of which was, "That is the most amazing perfume you are wearing. What is that?" and she just responded to me slowly like something else was going on in her mind while she looked right into my eyes like she was looking for something, something she could read inside my brain maybe inside my soul. "I'm not wearing any perfume. I jes been workin' outside all mornin'. I guess Im a little sweaty." And my body just trembled, Im serious it trembled, because I knew that I was in the presence of one of God's perfect creations, I knew I was experiencing the real stuff, the manna, the ambrosia, the essence of heaven itself. Oh my goodness, I was smelling her, I was breathing her sweat, her body odor was like the most exciting sensuous perfume any swiss or french chemist working away twelve hours a day in some cramped laboratory with tubes and bottles and bubbling retort condensers could come up in five lifetimes. And her voice triggered something inside me like an old, old memory, maybe like when I was a tiny baby and I heard my mother cooing me to sleep, gently rocking me against her breast in that great big rocking chair, or maybe like some kind of past heavenly existence where only gentle angels talked to me in kind assuring voices, but in any event it was a voice I loved, and I knew and I wanted to hear again and again. I wanted her to just keep talking, i wanted that voice to bathe me with its wonderful dulcent tones. And then...
-- Sam Redman (email@example.com), September 30, 1999.
As a student I worked every vacation to make it through college - factory, bar, kitchen, all over. One place was an old insane asylum which had been converted to a chest hospital where TB patients went to die. I worked as a hospital porter, and one of the jobs was taking the bodies from the wards and wheeling them down to the morgue.
But the worst job of all was the pig swill. Each ward threw its waste food into steel trash cans, and each week we would collect them together, a truck would take the contents, and the empty cans would be hosed out with near-boiling water from the hospital heating system, vaporising that fragrance to unbelievable levels. How can so many different foods combine to make such a distinct, disgusting, unique smell? A few times since then, I have caught that very same odour emanating from a truck, and instantly known exactly its destination.
-- Phil Mayes (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 01, 1999.