Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I dropped my lipstick while in my husband’s van the other day and when I searched for it underneath the seat, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were enough empty fast-food bags under there to wallpaper an airline hangar.

“Don’t you ever throw out any of your bags?” I asked him. “What are you saving them for – a paper shortage?”

“Oh, I’ll toss them when I get around to it,” he said. “They’re not hurting anything.”

“You could attract mice...or roaches!” I said.

“There’s no food in them. I never leave any scraps. It’s just paper.”

“Paper that smells like burgers and fries,” I pointed out. “Your van smells like a lunch wagon!”

“At least it smells like something good,” he said. “Your car smells like a dog!”

His words took the wind right out of my sails. He was fully aware of how sensitive I am about the doggy odor in my car, yet he mercilessly used that fact against me.

In my defense, my dogs love to go for rides, so I often take them with me on errands. The end result is happy dogs...and a car that smells like a kennel.

It’s not that I haven’t tried to get rid of the odor. I’ve purchased enough air fresheners to deodorize a locker room. There are pine-tree fresheners hanging on the radio knobs, solid fresheners under the seats, and even some fresheners that clip onto the vents so when the heat or air-conditioning is on, the scent gets blown throughout the car.

Still, the car smells like a combination of pine, cinnamon, Hawaiian flowers...and dog.

One day I got fed up and scrubbed every inch of the car, vacuumed it and sprayed it with half a can of Febreze. I thought it smelled wonderful afterwards, fresh and clean. I vowed to keep it that way for at least at week, so I declared the car off limits to the dogs.

Immediately afterwards, I went grocery shopping at Bi-Wise market, where the baggers still carry your bags out to the car for you. After I finished shopping, the bagger followed me out to my car. I opened the door and he shoved my bags into the back seat. “You must have dogs,” he said, wrinkling his nose.

Had he told me my car was on fire, I couldn’t have been more devastated.

Even more embarrassing is when I have to leave my car with my mechanic. He always rolls down all of the windows in it, even in the middle of winter. I have the sneaking suspicion he also keeps a face mask handy, solely for the purpose of working on my car.

One time, just before I took my car to the garage, I sprayed the interior with Lysol and hung up two brand new air fresheners.

My mechanic thanked me.

I can’t figure out how two dogs that smell just fine in person, can make my car smell so terrible. I suspect that something in my car causes dog odors to breed and multiply. All it takes is one small odor and by the time it’s through reproducing, it turns into a giant, nose-torturing stench.

The thought has crossed my mind that if I spend enough time in my car, especially during hot weather, I might smell like a dog, too.

With my luck, I’ll end up attracting fleas.

At least the roaches my husband’s fast-food bags attract will have company.

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