Jun 16, 2009

12 Funk (stinky smell) on the streetcar

There are times when there is a bad smell you can/have to bare. If you are on the train there is no escaping it, you simply have to deal. On the bus or streetcar you can open a window (if you are lucky to be seated next to one) and inhale the fresh air. Usually I would stick my nose in my chest and inhale my own scent praying fastidiously for whatever mode of transportation I am on to move more swiftly so I can vacate gloriously into the wonderful fresh air. However some days you are given the opportunity before you are blindsided by some foul odor to choose whether or not you will subject yourself to a little discomfort in order to get to your destination.

One day I was running for the streetcar when this wave of stench hit me with a big wallop that momentarily halted me in my tracks. I was in the middle of the street and had to hurry when I came to the realization of where I was standing. I couldn’t believe it. I kept asking myself ‘where is that smell coming from?’ As I stood waiting for the streetcar just a little way away the smell slapped me again. I bent over and covered my nose searching furiously in my bag for my hand cream, a very potent sweet aromatic smell thinking ‘good Lord’ what is that smell? The streetcar neared and the smell got stronger to my right as a man approached to board. The scent left a bitter vile taste in my mouth. As he made his way in front of me I saw that his clothes was deeply soiled, his pants were falling off his waist and he held it in place with one hand as he stepped onto streetcar packed with people. I was no longer in a hurry to get in the streetcar. I no longer had a desire to get home early to watch SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. I stood rooted in at the stop and allowed the streetcar doors to close leaving me behind. It would be a long wait before the next one came along but I didn’t mind. I felt sorry for all those unsuspecting people packed into the streetcar like sardines locked in for the duration of the ride to the subway station.

I asked God to forgive me for my moment of scorn and thank him for my freedom of choice. I prayed for the man who obviously was disturbed and suffering from mental health issues, that he'd find his way, his center and his balance and I was thankful I did not get on that particular streetcar. I cannot honestly say that I regret the decision because if he was at least 20 people away from me outside in the open air and I could smell him, his scent burning my chest, so much so that I could literally taste the stench. Can you imagine being locked into a small space with him? I could which is why I chose not to board.


  1. Yes, you'd the choice not to board that street car and you exercised it. Nice of you to think about the helplessness of that man.
    No need to regret, I believe. :-)

  2. I have been around unfortunate people like that. They gave up long ago it would seem and no longer love themselves which is usually a prerequsite to loving others. Loving others can include in its simplest sense, personal hygiene.
    There is no telling what he has gone thru either helplessly or purposefully, to cause this end result.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Admiral Hestorb is Rambling On in Live Spaces.

  5. I've known people like this. It can be overpowering. It can overpower choice.

    I went into a woman's house last year. It was my choice to visit. She was very kind and wanted to show me what she was proud of. The smell was overpowering. I bore it. I washed later when I was home, and brushed my teeth. Even now one year later I remember her smell. I kept saying to myself, imagine living it. That helped.

  6. some incdents in life we never understand when they occur ...

    you have very beautifully xpressed this ...

    your page looks really enchating ....

    thanks for those words bak there ..

  7. I was delighted to see you came by my cat's blog. Her face may seem familiar to you..maybe. You have seen and heard of her in my Spaces blog. :-)
    Have a blessed day, dear Fab.

  8. Some people have a more acute sense of smell than others. We had a tanning factory for years here in Phoenix and when you got within a couple of blocks of it a foul smell would hit you, one of the worst I have ever experienced. Well, on day I went into the vicinity with my daughter who has an acute sense of smell. She was about 5 at the time, and she started jumping up and down screaming, "Stop it, Mom, I can't stand that smell, stop it1 Stop it!" I yelled at her I was driving away as fast as I could. I did have to laugh when it was all over with, but those smelly homeless people I see on our buses quite often. Doc, my companion, will raise almost as much fuss as my daughter, in fact I won't sit by him for fear a bad smell will come his way. Compassionate be damned, bad smelly people can cause pain! Doc was homeless for over 5 years, and he said showers were always available to the homeless but some people's mental illness will not allow them to partake.

  9. You are lucky and could afford to miss a street car.If every street car had such men and women passengers, more than one,how do we commute?It is only the perfume soaked hanky that can help us pass through the ordeal

  10. At first I had a good hearty laugh. On reflection i feel this was no laughing matter. What a disgusting experience you had. Fortunately you could locate the source of the stench on time and avoid the street car.How could the guy stand his own stench and not faint ?
    People need to be educated about hygiene.


  11. Hi:)


    I agree it is an awful experience. Sometimes this kind of smell in a packed bus can be overpowering and nauseating.

    What thrilled me was that you would always be smelling sweet because you carry scent with you. The people in the bus must be having a good time when you are next to them.

    The beauty of human beings is that they get used to the stench after sometime and they don't feel it at all. There are people living next to dirty canals in towns and cities. These canals carry sewage water and have a horrible stink. But people living close to them don't feel it at all. What about fishermen? Sewage cleaners? People working in slaughter houses?

    However, we should always ensure that we smell good in public. That is good manners and common sense. We have no right to suffocate others.

    Excellent post. I enjoyed reading it. Very educative also.

    Have a lovely day:)

  12. I don't think I would have taken that one either. Like you said, I hope he finds his way.


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