He would have suffered less in a cosmetics lab | House of Horne

He would have suffered less in a cosmetics lab

I’m going to write a post. It needs a witty title, and I’ve come up empty. So I’m having a contest. Suggest a title in the comments, and the best one (well, the one I like best) gets used. I’m guessing I’ll be biased toward something that sounds like it came from the pen of Dr. Seuss, but we shall see. I’ll change the post slug and everything (that’s wordpress-speak for the permanent URL). Okay, here’s the post.

When I opened the door to the garage, I noticed a smell. An evil smell, but I was thinking about other things and hustled the kids into the car so I could get them to school on time. Next I was off to the outplacement office for several hours of solitude and job searching. Then back to the car to drive home for a very late lunch. And when the AC kicked on, there was that evil smell again. “It’s soaked into my car!” I thought to myself, dismayed.

I chatted with Tricia while driving home, and she thought she had smelled something in the laundry room. I figured the smell had come in from the garage, which meant I had probably caught a stray mouse in one of the many traps hidden around the garage (leftover from the war that took place a couple months ago). When I got home, I checked it all out. Nothing. And the smell wasn’t very strong in the garage. Strange.

I ate lunch and then headed to my car, intending to drive to the library to work for a few more hours before dinner. The moment I opened the door to the garage, I was overcome by THE smell. The garage was thick with it. Hmmm… that meant whatever had died had to be… IN MY CAR! I drove to the library, parked in the parking lot, popped the hood, and started looking.

It took a few minutes, but I found it. I could only see the middle part of the body buried deep within the interworkings of a packed in import engine compartment, but I’m thinking rat. Either that, or squirrel, but my money is on rat.

It’s still out there, stinking up my car. I’m in here, trying to work, and thinking that this is one expense we will just have to bear. See, once I use our grill tongs to remove the critter this evening, those tongs are going straight into the garbage. And since we will be grilling for company this weekend, I’ll have to replace them. Some things are not meant to be washed and then used again for food prep.


  1. Mom/Ruth
    Apr 3, 2008

    “I smell a rat close by!”

    (Remember The Three Little Kittens who lost their mittens?)

  2. Jay
    Apr 3, 2008

    Okay, this is a good, though I’d just go with the punchier, “I smell a rat!” I love it when a statement that is almost always metaphorical becomes concrete.

  3. jennifer
    Apr 3, 2008

    The Rat in the Vat

    Ok, it’s not a vat, but car doesn’t rhyme with rat.

    And, BTW, ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!

  4. Jay
    Apr 3, 2008

    Very good! And yes, ewwwwww! And let me tell you, now that I’ve actually disposed of the little guy, it was more ewwwww than even I was expecting. Let’s just say he had probably been hanging out there for several days…

  5. Tricia
    Apr 3, 2008

    “If we had a cat, rodents would cease to plague us and we’d have a sweet, furry, purring thing to cuddle to boot!”

    but maybe that’s a bit more verbiage than you’re looking for? hmmm??

  6. Kimberly
    Apr 3, 2008

    Grilling up something completely unexpected….

  7. Angie
    Apr 3, 2008

    How about “Quell the Smell!”?

    And since I used the “Q”, do I get the extra 10 points? Hm?

    And I second Jennifer’s “Ewwwwww!!”

  8. Peter
    Apr 4, 2008

    Angie, I prefer Stanch the Stench… but of course yours rhymes while mine merely revels in multi-layered alliteration.

    Can you smell what the block is cooking? Probably looking down the barrel of a loaded copyright law there.

    What about He would have suffered less in a cosmetics lab?

    Surely the warranty covers this!

    For a more newsy feel:

    Reeking rodent ruins roadster

    Or, another in the requisite Seussian tradition:

    Search to link impressive stink uncovers rat or mink (I think)

    What amuses me most about all this is that after finding the rat, Jay had to come inside and blog about it before finishing the job.

    Then again, I might have needed a breather as well.

  9. Peter
    Apr 4, 2008

    Dang, forgot to check the email box. I certainly don’t want to miss the end of this.

  10. Tricia
    Apr 4, 2008

    Peter, I told Jay last night that I was holding out for your witty suggestions (no offense to the other very clever titles already submitted, Everyone!)…but I knew you’d have quite a few winners.

  11. Angie
    Apr 4, 2008

    Oooo! If we can vote, I would cast my ballot for Peter’s He would have suffered less in a cosmetics lab. No offense to the other quite worthy entries, of course.

    That Peter always shows me up. But it makes me respect him all the more. ::rolls eyes::

  12. Jay
    Apr 4, 2008

    Kimberly, very good! He wasn’t quite on the grill, but very close.

    And too much Scrabble, Angie. But points for the rhyme!

    Peter, as always, backs up the truck and dumps a load of creativity on us.

    Though I am taken with “I smell a rat”, I really do think “He would have suffered less in a cosmetics lab” deserves the title. And the title. (Let’s see who will get that play on words).

  13. Mom/Ruth
    Apr 4, 2008

    I applaud your choice.

  14. Tricia
    Apr 4, 2008

    (Abigail says,) You should call it the THE EVIL SMELL.

  15. Peter
    Apr 11, 2008

    I never came back for my victory lap, so here I am.

    First of all, you’re all winners.

    Ruth: snappy, concise, and way to take advantage of the modern vernacular.

    Jennifer: He did say Seuss, didn’t he?

    Angie: Witty and rhyme-y as always, and I’m relieved to have your respect (Really! Eye-rolling and all!)

    Tricia, yours made me chuckle.

    Kimberly, somebody had to go there. Thank you for taking the dirty job.

    Abigail maintains the time-honored tradition of taking the title from a line contained in the actual piece (this tradition was almost lost with the release of What About Bob?).

    I’d like to thank my parents, and the Academy, and of cou– what? No, I’m not finished. Just a min– Hey, let go of my microphone! Well, no, technically I don’t own it, but don’t you thi– Get your hands off me! And turn off that music!
    *drowned out by this year’s schmaltzy theme*

  16. Uncle Andrew
    Apr 11, 2008

    I realize that the contest has already been decided, but I never got to submit my entries (busy week away from the computer…)


    “The Great Mouse Detective”

    “Who cooked my cheese?”

    “The Taco Bell Secret”

    “Another Way Home” (HT, John)

    “The Philistines’ Lament”

  17. Peter
    Apr 11, 2008

    So, um… did Dad help with any of those?

  18. Uncle Andrew
    Apr 11, 2008

    Sadly, Peter, those are all mine.

  19. Jay
    Apr 16, 2008

    Andrew, I only regret you waited so long to contribute. Brunone versus Brunone. It would have been fun, and Rat-a-gooey would have been a contender.

  20. Peter
    May 7, 2008

    I know this is way in the past now, but this following news story just showed you up.