I write this post in honour of the smell which is seeping in through my closed window, waiting to pounce and make me gag. As well, for the blessed antihistamines flowing through my body to battle whatever allergic reaction that the smell is carrying with it.
I live in a pulp and paper mill town. It’s awful. Not the town—the smell of the town.
There is no way to accurately describe this smell, which I’ve dubbed as being “beaver farts.” It’s a mash up of wooden pellets—which in theory should smell nice—except that it’s like these wood pellets have slowly rotted away in the intestines of a furry creature.
Others have told me it smells more like someone sliced open a Tauntaun and slept in it.
We need to hold a contest. The “What exactly does this place smell like? Championship.” (WEDTPSLC) I’m totally copyrighting that one. The prize could be a lifetime supply of deodorizer spray.
But I digress.
Most small towns (and I say most because there are always exceptions) at some point will smell. And it will be an awful, awful smell.
Even if you’ve managed to avoid a pulp and paper mill town, that doesn’t mean you’re free of stink.
Small fishing towns will smell of fish. Skunks are going to skunk-it-up.
And then there are the small farming towns.
In my hometown, the local dairy would dump unwanted milk onto a couple of fields. Have you ever smelled dairy as it absorbs into dirt during a hazy-melt-your-face-off-summer day? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe Dante mentioned it somewhere when talking about that whole “inferno” thing.
And being around farms means poop. Lots and lots of animal poop.
This might astound city and suburban folk, but there are actually poop-grades when it comes to smellitude.
Horse poop? Actually not so bad in my opinion. Cow poop is a little worse, but bearable. Pigs? Yeah, that’s starting to get nasty.
But the worst of the worst are chickens.
Chickens are the reason we have to hold our breathe for about half a kilometre when traveling along one stretch of the highway into the city from my original home town. Taking a deep breathe in and turning blue while holding it became part of a Pavlovian response we had when we drew near that tell-tale hill.
You can’t really hate on it either, because what are you going to do about it? You can’t stop animals from doing what they do.
Or you could do something about it, but that would make you one of “those people” aka … the people who move to small towns to escape the big city but then want to change everything around in a small town because it doesn’t suit them—including complaining about the smell of the farms WHICH FEED YOU.
Yeah, don’t be that person.
It’s not like big cities don’t smell. They do. Oh for high heaven they do. It’s just that after a while the smells all mingle together into one gloaming fog and you can’t differentiate one smell from another. Or it’s just smelly in one slight spot, and the solution is to cross the street.
You know you’ve fully adapted to small town living when you no longer are bothered by the smell. It’s a rite of passage when newcomers wrinkles their noses and start to keel over, and your expression stays blank.
My advice? Be proud of that. You’ve earned it.