Sunday, March 12, 2017

Jarring Fun

I had finished my news shift Sunday morning and, once home, was chillaxing contentedly on the couch, watching sports on the television.

At one point, I happened to hear my wife in the kitchen, marveling at how the smell of freshly-made strawberry jam had remained in the mason jar she dug out from under the kitchen counter.

Listening, I thought to myself, I love the smell of fresh strawberry jam!

When my wife returns from a shopping trip to Bath and Body Works, I usually manage to mooch a bottle of strawberry-scented hand sanitizer to stash in the car!

Much as I enjoy the smell of strawberries, I confess I was too lazy to get up and go to the kitchen to smell the inside of the mason jar.


Moments later, lo and behold, the mason jar was making its way toward me!

My son, having chimed in his own endorsement of the allegedly intense strawberry smell, offered to let me sniff the fruit-scented jar.

Jar containing intense strawberry scent
It occurred to me that my son’s willingness to bring the jar to me was generous, if not slightly unusual.

He helpfully twisted the top off and held the jar under my nose. I didn’t take a huge sniff, but I didn’t take a cautious one either. The whiff I took was, admittedly, unguarded.

My brain immediately and unmistakably labeled the smell “sewer”, so I was puzzled.

In the milliseconds that flowed past, I was also disappointed I didn’t smell the sweet strawberries I had expected.

Not my wife, my son, nor his girlfriend, could explain the drastic olfactory discrepancy, because one of them had slipped to the floor in hysterics, the other was standing but keeled over, and my wife was sitting at the table, trying to keep from falling on to the floor.

They call themselves "family". Hmph.

The devious, nauseating nature of their scheme had yet to be revealed.

Oh well, they duped me, I concluded. They told me the jar would smell like strawberries and it smelled like soaked socks that had sat forgotten for far too long.

I wasn’t sure the gag was worth the tears streaming from their eyes, but their uncontrolled laughing and gasping continued.

I went back to watching ski cross on the television, deciding, with some indignation, their laughter was strangely intense for a prank that, on the surface, seemed fairly lame.

The laughter continued.

I eventually looked back at the collection of clowns, when one of them, probably my son, managed to explain, rather proudly I might add, that he had cut the cheese earlier in the day and bottled it.

My brain quickly recalled the odor and, for a moment, I had to suppress mild revulsion. Then, I pragmatically decided it was already over and done, and it was time to allow my nose to move on.

I gave the group the stinkeye and, I cannot lie, I longed to make their eyes water in the passing wind!

Alas, it appears my destiny is to carry this twisted experience along with the rest of my baggage.

Unfortunately, what the prank lacked in sophistication, it more than made up for in outrageous inanity and silliness.

Still, for me, the world has changed radically.

Now when I hear Jim Croce sing about “Time in a Bottle”, I think about a far less mystical feat; flatulence in a bottle. Christina Perri may be singing the words, “Jar of Hearts”, but, trust me, that’s not what I’m hearing.

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