October 21, 2009

The Smell of the Great Outdoors

The Boy has been a veritable bottomless pit of entertainment, amusement, and frustration. He has provided endless opportunities for me to practice the art of tolerance. Today, I've used Simon and Peabody's Way Back Machine to offer up a single nugget of ingenuity dreamed up by a six-year old Boy.

We moved to the city when The Boy was five. Public transportation. Postage stamp lawns. People milling about. Civilization, if you will.

At that time, I was working fulltime. Housework and erra
nds were done mainly on weekends. I discovered it was most helpful to The Boy to maintain a stress-free weekday evening schedule to enhance his chance for a calm day in school.

In fact, I still follow this same schedule for The Boy. We don't do a lot of running out and about after school.

Anyway, back to The Boy as a first grader (but before the Bipolar diagnosis)
. Excitable. Hyper, even. Curious. Fun to be around. He loved books and cartoons and Legos (some things never change).

The kid was a Cartoon Network junkie. He even wanted to be Johnny Bravo at one point...or Dexter, Boy Genius.

Do you remember Johnny Bravo? The beefy, black t-shirt and jeans clad layabout who cared more about his hairstyle than just about anything? The character who had great pecs but mush for b
rains - who thought that all the women loved him? The Boy wanted to BE Johnny Bravo, "but do better with the women".

The Boy had many favorite shows, the TV blared on and on and on (I think I honed my selective hearing powers during this period of time).

Back to one weekend filled with domestic responsibilities and overall productivity.

Picture a Saturday morning in Fall. Sunny, a
bit chilly. The day held such promise. I started an enthusiastic round of vacuuming in the dining room when, suddenly, it hit me. An odor of such hideousness that it made me screw my face up into itself to avoid the stench in the air.

A smell that was remin
iscent of family camping trips...yes, that was it! It smelled just like a state park outhouse!

Casting the vacuum aside, I began my investigati
on. I sniffed kitchen and bathroom drains for that eggy sulfur odor; I examined the contents of kitchen and outside trash cans. I looked high and low for decomposing rodent bodies and frozen food containers that were slid under beds or crammed under the couch. I checked the toilet and the tub and the laundry hamper.

Nothing. Not.a.thing.

Puzzled, yet satisfied, I returned to my vacuuming. Again, instantly - that SMELL! I even remember asking, aloud, "What the HELL is that smell?"

Cue The Boy from the living room.

"Mom, I have something to tell you. I peed in the vacuum...several times."

Sure enough, I took the cover off the bag compartment (this was in the day when vacuums still had bags), and gosh darn it, the bag was damp and discolored. I never knew vacuuming dirt could be so absorbent.

Apparently, The Boy used the vacuum hose attachment and allowed his "hose" to do the rest.

Why, you might ask? Why would a child p
urposely pee in the vacuum?

"But mom, Cartoon Network was on, and I didn't want to miss anything."

By the way, there is NO good way to clean a urine-scented vacuum. I hoped that some other family didn't pick it up from my trash and decide to give it a whirl.

Maybe I should have consulted the experts at Cartoon Network. I bet Dexter, Boy Genius would have figured out a way to make it smell like the outdoors after a nice, Spring rain.


  1. Now that is funny...gross but funny!

  2. Ingenious child! Find the need and fill it!! Served the purpose!! So last night on Shark Tank, a guy was looking for money to launch his "ugo golf club". The golf club that a man (haven't developed one for a woman) could use while on the course with no restroom in sight. No one took him up on his invention! Maybe the vacuum idea would have been a better situation, used inside, more discreet!!!

  3. Ug! Plech! Ick! But...necessity is the mother of invention.

  4. He was being very creative now wasn't he?

  5. Now that's something I've never heard before. It's funny that it became a routine!

  6. Well at least he told you ... it would have taken you forever to figure it out on your own ... because who would think to do that!!!??? Too funny.

  7. Ewwww....hahaha...yes let's hope that is not what's going on in this case. So gross...and SO glad he told you!!


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