Friday, February 12, 2010

Onions, You Say?

The Simpsons onion heads

To say it stank is being generous. On a continuum between body odor and something dead, it was closer to dead. My dog and I had been out on our daily walk, hitting just a tad under four miles an hour on an undulating road. Since we beat that on the flat, I'm feeling pretty good, though I'd love to see us crank it up a little more.

We'd just walked in the door when the scent was like a brick wall I'd run into in graduate school, watching a group of Tri-Delta sorority girls instead of where I was going. Though this one was invisible, the "impact," shall we say, was similar. I'm sure my dog wasn't perturbed -- he likes sweaty old socks and cross-trainers. Our tastes do tend to differ from time to time and this was one of them.

Just then the cat sauntered out of the bathroom with a satisfied look on his face -- how cats do that escapes me, but they do. Figuring he was to blame for the rich organic aroma that seemed to perfuse the entire house, I decided to empty his box a day early. Falsely accused -- it was clean. Or at least, there was no evidence of any fresh offerings -- believe me, my cat can clear a room without even trying.

Scratching my head and wondering whether the septic tank had backed up, I decided to check on the status of the furnace repairman in the basement. He'd arrived just as we were leaving, so I left him to his work and promised to return before he finished. Walking down the wooden steps to the basement, the sounds of a tremulous baritone warbling an off-key rendition of Maggie Mae assailed me along with the utter proof that whatever stank was coming from the basement.

Noticing me, he stopped in mid-phrase and said, with a thick, Southern Maine accent, "Ah'll be done in a second, just need to pack up mah tools."

"Sounds good to me -- say, have you seen anything down here that looks dead or rotten? There's one heck of a smell upstairs."

"Oh, uh, that," he said, turning away, "Ah 'pologize for that. Ah had a Philly for lunch. You know, Philly cheese steak sandwiiich? With onions. Lots o' onions."

"Onions, you say?"

"Oh yeah, Ah dearly love onions, but they don't love me, if you know what I mean," he added with a grin and a wink.

He didn't have to say anymore; I knew exactly what he meant.

(Creative Commons image of The Simpsons onionheads by Dangana via Flickr)

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