Friday, May 16, 2008

Chicago Smells like Barf

I post this only because the portion of my non-Chicago-centric audience would demand I do so to balance the nice things I say about The City.
So I park my car, see, behind the post office on 19th and Ashland. And I get out of the car, see, and I am suddenly gagging because there is a smell on the wind like barf, like if you were standing over a paper shopping bag full of barf. But there's no shopping bag.

I remember once in high school some kid had snuck into the ventilator system and barfed in there, and we were in gym class, and the whole gym smelled like that. And until today that's the largest space I could even imagine being filled with that smell.

That actually reminds me of a Chicago are experience I had about 15 years ago. I was living and working in the South Loop area downtown, but business took me that day to Aurora. I don’t think I had ever been to Aurora before. Anyway, I pulled in the parking space at my destination and got out of the car. I was instantly hit with panic as I thought my car was on fire. That is, I smelled something that reminded me all the world of an engine cooking. I looked for telltale smoke or even flame, but found none. Still uneasy, I walked away from the car and noticed the smell didn’t dissipate. Oh, I realized. It wasn't my car, it was the town. I'm still not Aurora-centric because of that.

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