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sniffing down the grease barrel of love

March 23, 2010

Life Lesson Learned: Parking behind a restaurant with windows rolled down will give a whiff of vile gaseous meaty fart a million times over

4:34 PM Mar 17th via twidroid

My papa is a truck driver. The significance is that he used to be a restaurant grease transporter during a period of my childhood, picking up barrels from various McDonald’ses and the like. One fine day in Seattle we were walking the waterfront before a baseball game when he pointed to a seafood restaurant down on a pier and explained how he drove down it to pick up a barrel. I know he drove all over King and Pierce County in the PNW picking up these stinkbuckets. Olfactory systems are crazy; one small whiff and you’re immediately reminded of a moment in time you smelled that exact same thing. In my case, I remember a whole era of uck.

I’d make a beeline to my father when he came home from work but during his grease days I’d hold him at arms-length and simply say “I’m glad you’re home, now please take a bath.”  Well, in reality, it was me doing a major Ernest  P. Worrell impression.

It smells exactly like how I tweeted it and worse. A meaty, charred, greasy fart a million times over and throw in a few dead roadkill carcasses festering in the sun for good measure. Whiffing that kind of glory reminds me of my dad’s arrival from work and that’s not really a bad thing.

The other memory to resurface is the time my dad rescued a tiny kitten from the grease dump yard. It was a surprise because he was always the type that never wanted to bring in any more pets but once we got them he couldn’t resist these squeezy fur-balls. In fact, the animals we brought into the house always ended up loving him the most. I mean, I was the kid that put a bib on the family cat, Buddy, shoved him into a highchair, and piled the cat food high in front of him. Dad was the sweetheart default by comparison.

Charlie, the kitten, was a darling. He grew and grew and turned into my first pet heartbreak. One day, I can’t remember if it was nice or not, I was running around my large backyard. My aunt brought her golden retrievers. While her and my mother were by the garden in the back, I ran around to the driveway area and below the acorn tree was Charlie laying on the ground stretched in a permanent run and his stomach torn out.  One of the dogs got to him. My first heartbreak. We buried him below the porch where it became the cemetery of the rats- Fatty and Skinny, the rabbit- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie, the oldest cat we ever had- Saavik, the hedgehogs- Hannah (1) and Hannah (2), the kittens- Spidey (he disappeared and we buried him with no body) and Latte, the sweetest dog- Molly, and the most recent as of last year, our cat the beloved grouch, Buddy.

Sitting behind restaurants on barrel pick up days gives me heartache and reminders of all these little beating hearts that had so much love.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kerri permalink
    March 23, 2010 12:14 pm

    Olfactory memory triggers have always been a mystical wonderment to me.. This story reminds me of one summer in the late 90s when my 70 Chevelle lay in wait in our circular driveway for my dad to fix one of the many problems it had. I kept telling him to get on it, as I was sick of not having my car. One hot, steamy day I passed by it and a rank odor was wafting from under the engine. I knew that dead, awful smell from the many dead possum’s that found their way under the house to die throughout the years. I opened the hood and didn’t find anything except the awful smell. A few days later, I had my dad help me look and we finally found two dead kittens stowed away up above the headlights… We had seen the fat mama cat sluggishly dragging her pregnant belly around the neighborhood for weeks. Not sure why she decided to put her little babies in my car, maybe they were already dead when she put them there. The next year, when we arrived at Buena Vista Lake for our annual mother’s day camping trip, we launched our boat and found four live kittens under the bow. Thankfully mama cat found a better place to put the little stowaways that time around..

    I’ve always been personally paranoid about kittens or tiny animals in my car engine. Especially escaped Boa Constrictors!

  2. March 24, 2010 11:50 am

    LOL, love the Ernest thing!! P.S. it’s tweeted not twittered. 🙂

    I remember you showing me your cemetery. You had so many animals! Your dad is such a caring and kind man who will do anything for anyone especially the furries! ❤

    Whops- fixed. I always mix my jargon up.

    I emailed my dad telling him that I talked about him on the internets. His response, “The grease foulness can’t be an internets interest story, can it?”

    Heh. I love my papa.

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