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.