And for out next act we bring you…

… an incredible stench!

It never ends with this family, and I mean that as literally as literal can be, in case you haven’t noticed our peculiar tendency to be peculiar.

Our latest catastrophe involves a nearly unbearable stench in our van, caused by a gallon of milk that rolled underneath some stuff in the back, leaking away unbeknownst to us. It was fine during the really cold weather. You can’t smell a darn thing when it’s below freezing. So all that time milk was slowly leaking out, saturating the carpet and – worse still – seeping under a plastic thing connected to the body of the van, under which it’s pretty much impossible to reach. By the time I found it the gallon was about a third empty, which may not sound so bad, but believe me IT IS.

As a family we are a stench magnet. Every vacation, by about day three, the van reeks in a rich, varied, multi-layered way. It is a cacophony of intense scents, none of which can be blamed on the dogs. And no matter how much half-eaten food, how many sweaty boy socks I clean out, it only gets worse. No air freshener has yet been created to combat so much odor. Having tried them all, I should know.

The current smell crisis is ongoing; the battle is joined. I first attacked with two applications of Resolve carpet cleaner, only to take heavy casualties with no ground gained. I believe President Bush referred to this sort of attack as “Shock and Awe,” which we have revised to “Shock and Retch.”

Stench: 2, People: 0

Collateral damage includes the embarrassment of enduring the shocked, then repelled, reactions of drivers unlucky enough to be stopped in traffic next to us. No doubt they suspect we’re murderers, carrying our victim’s corpse around with us in our family minivan.

“But they seemed like such nice people…”

I went into battle again last evening, bringing out the next biggest gun: the Oxiclean Ballistic Missile (OBM). Unmanned drones also dropped a load of baking soda, that infamous enemy of undesirable smells.

If I don’t return from this mission, just know I was facing a formidable foe and was not cowed. I am opening the whey for those who will come after, helping to provide greener pastures through which they may pass, so that one day the world will be safe from the evils of lactose attack.

Thank you, and may God Bless America.

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