I thought mine eyes would never see
a stench so rank it appeared to me
like a green haze, thick as pea soup,
it choked my lungs, this foul goop.
Whence it came, I could not tell,
but it singed my cilia–
What IS this smell?!
A farmer’s field drenched in manure?
A tire factory set ablaze?
Did someone take a bath in vats of vinegar?
Or shower with eau de skunk spray?
Was it sweat, was it poop?
A combination of the two?
I had to find The Thing that reeked–
–what else was I to do?
So as my nose sniffed out the culprit
and through the house I went,
the funk was growing stronger now,
an ungodly B.O. scent.
Soon I reached my son’s room,
now gagging and gasping for air,
and found him sprawled upon his bed,
his feet exposed and bare.
That was when I suddenly knew
and realized with stark despair,
he’d simply taken off his sneaks–
–an odor beyond compare.
Happy 10th birthday, Baby Boo! I love you! (Even with your stinky feet.)
107 thoughts on “Ode to an Odor”
Singed your cilia huh? Now that’s serious! Happy Birthday to your boy.
It is a serious smell. The worst odor I’ve ever been exposed to in my life. (and I had to throw in one term I learned from my anatomy class to trick myself into thinking this poem was helping me learn medical terms.)
Will lighting candles help? But then perhaps you don’t want to. Only a smell a mom could love.
Oh, no. Believe me, I will light every candle in the house all at once to try to get rid of this smell.
Haha, I loved this ode to his stinky feet! Good God, I can almost smell it. Happy Birthday to him. 😉
What’s really strange, Lily, is his feet smelled just fine a week ago. Suddenly, he turns ten and bam–his feet smell like rotten eggs.
They do get better when they become teenagers though don’t they? Um, what’s with the awkward silence?
Ha! We are in so much trouble, Ape.
In my experience, his foot stank will reach its peak 6.2 years from now. You’ve been warned.
That is what I was afraid of, Dave (good to see you around again! where have you been?)
I’ve been on injured reserve. Couple of discs in my neck like to squeeze out and cause me greart pain, numbness, etc. Computer use, driving and damn near anything make it worse.
Oh, man, that sounds horrible. Rest up, take it easy and I hope you get some relief.
Just wait til he’s a teenager. Buy stock in Febreze.
Or gas masks.
Ha! Happy birthday to your adorable (albeit fragrant) son!!! Hope yesterday’s party went off without a hitch.
And the foot odor thing…it gets better…yeah, uh-huh…
Fragrant? only you could put a positive spin on this, Julesy-Drawers.
yesterday’s party? Well. Let’s just say they should use the tagline:
Jokers: Where A Kid Can Be A Kid and Parents’ Souls Go To Die (I stole that from a friend)
An the stench of boy, know it well. We survived swamp feet/rank football uniforms & such only b.c we could open windows and … run outside!
Happy birthday to your big by – double digits is truly a milestone!
* um BOY not by
And The Smell seems to be getting more powerful by the day, MJ. I picked him up at school, halfway through the drive I nearly drove off the road because he took his shoes off in the car. Rolling down the windows does nothing. It is unreal. This smell is its own entity.
Rolling down the windows is only one-third of the solution. You also need to toss the shoes and have him stick his feet out the window for the rest of the drive.
I thought you were smelling my cooking
so good that you embarrass your kids as much as I do mine on my blog and my column
happy birthday to your long suffering son
Ah, you do the same with your kids in your column? I would LOVE to read some of this!
ha ha — I have been doing it for fourteen years now — they just don’t read it
Happy Birthday Kristian! Long may your stinky feet run.
And please, may they run far far away from me.
The trouble with that is that the kid goes with the feet. Sadly, it is a package deal.
Teehee! You always make me laugh, Elyse. Yes, sadly, that is true. I learned this fact in my class last week.
Way to go U.S. education system!
All together now: “U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A.!
USA! USA! US—ah, the heck with it, I have no energy for this chant.
I know that smell. I was clipping my son’s toenails after his shower one night and nearly dying. After a shower and they smelled so bad? We had a long talk about showering but I don’t think I convinced him. I hope your son has an amazing birthday!
Getting my son to take a shower is almost as easy as getting him to agree to eating any green vegetable. Now he’s taking a shower much more often. And guess what? Still has stinky feet. His feet stink the second he steps out of the shower. I cringe when I imagine his teen years.
Happy Birthday to your boy – stinky feet and all. Enjoyed the poem, but I’m sure he’s saying: “Oh, Mom-om-om-om!
Re: the cilia – Good for you for finding creative ways to remember anatomy terms.
The good thing about my son is he has the same exact sense of humor I do. But I figure if I have to be exposed to his feet, he can endure a little blog embarrassment.
The cilia thing was perfect for this poem. Big exam this week and I’ll know exactly what that term means.
Okay, I WAS gonna send my WW1 gas mask to my buddy in Afghanistan, to deal with the crap in the air (literally), but it’s OBVIOUS you need it more. And like I said to him – a little mustard gas has GOT to be better than the agony of da feet! 😉
It really is amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled anything worse and I’ve been dealing with poopy diapers for about 10 years. The smell of his feet, literally overcomes you, you can’t breathe, you can talk…your eyes water. We are currently on the hunt for some odor-eaters for his shoes but I think they’ll just dissolve on contact.
Kudos for making smelly feet poetic! I hope he has a wonderful birthday!
I love your writing, so I hope you won’t mind me pointing out that ‘whence’ already means ‘from where’!
Oh, no. I totally meant to do that. This smell is so overpowering, it made me stutter.
(I’ll have to edit it now….and .I don’t mind at all. I need to brush up on my vocab anyway)
Haha! That’s one clever comeback!
hehe…well…I tried anyway. This being clever thing is hard for me these days.
I’ve smelled that smell around my house too… I have to say though, there’s not a stench in the world that rivals when they spray the fields with liquid pig manure. Oh my freakin’ god, you can’t even go out of the house! Happy B-day to the boy with the smelly feet though! 🙂
Steve, I hear you as I know a bit about manure. (I’m sorry, that line is making me crack up)
I live in the middle of two giant farms and our yard meets up with a cow pasture. Still, it doesn’t compare to my son’s feet. I think he should be in the Guinness Book of World Records.
I imagine he is very proud of that accomplishment. 🙂
he loves it! He chases his sister around the house and threatens to take off his socks. It’s a lethal weapon.
Nice poem. Did not know you wrote poems! When I was a kid, I loved unleashing smells from dirty socks and shoes upon my family. It’s such an important part of growing up with the Y chromosome!
Thanks, Bharat. I don’t write poems. This is probably the third or fourth I’ve ever written in my life. I basically avoid poems like I avoid my son’s swamp feet.
And it is a Y chromosome thing, so true. I had to deal with five pairs of those stinky feet growing up (my brothers).
When Senior year book time comes around, you’ll have submit this poem for him…He’ll be so proud of his mom! NOT!
And that’s quite the baby belly…I’d be drinking, too! 😉
When my son gets married, I’m going to raise a glass and toast him with this poem.
Ha! Yes. We have one those too. Same age, same gender. Lovely poem, Dar. I can actually smell the description. No wait…I think those are John’s shoes are under me…
PS – Happy day-of-birth celebration! Savor each one.
Oh, so you know of The Stink that I speak of…that of which I wrote about above. Oh, hell. I can’t even form complete sentences now. I am in the middle of medical terminology hell, Shannon. Your email and video came at the right time to give me a big release of laughter. Then I cried and sobbed into my textbook.
This bday was awesome, really. We had a blast yesterday and he was happy so that’s all that matters to this mama. Still can’t believe he’ll be a TEEN in three years. Good lord help me.
Oh, my older son’s feet smelled so bad…all the time…no matter what we did.
I love this poem, and you know I know a grand poem when I see one.
Happy birthday to your boy.
Katy, I am beginning to think he might have an issue with this odor. He takes showers. I’ve even scrubbed his feet clean for him once! What is it about boys?
And thank you for that compliment. I thought of you while I wrote it. Because you’re so good at writing poems, not that you have ungodly smelly feet. I swear.
If my son ever took his shoes off in the car – we all had to vacate the vehicle!!
I haven’t written a poem in a while, but am working on one or two.
Ooh, I can’t wait to read your poems. I’m working on another one right now.
Love that you wrote your son a poem for his birthday! Happy birthday to him!
Oh, thanks! I was going to go all sappy but decided funny and icky would be better this year.
I think he’ll look back on that and laugh. 🙂
He is a pretty funny kid, he gets my sense of humor and can dish it out as well.
Only surpassed by the death of the hermit crab that we thought was just hibernating. Yikes!!
Yikes is right!
Time to toss those sneakers! Wow. Kind of pungent for a little kid – I didn’t know that was possible. Boys – what a handful? Can you smell DeFeat? Yuk yuk.
These are brand new sneaks, just bought them for school, Jean. After he took them off last week I hosed them down, sprayed them full of Febreeze, threw then in the washer. It’s hopeless.
This totally brings me back to when my brother was going through puberty. Thanks?
Happy birthday to your boy! Hope he has an awesome day!
You’re welcome and I am so sorry. I don’t really remember my brothers’ puberty days, I think it was all blocked out for a reason.
I was not expecting that ending. Heaven help you when he’s a full-blown teenager…
I’m not sure anything will help other than baths in Axe Body Spray and in that case, I’d prefer the swamp feet scent.
I hate to say it, but if my nephew is any indication, the smell only gets worse when the boys get to be teenagers.
Gah…that’s what I’ve been told. Sigh.
so sweet! happy birthday to a cute young man.
He is pretty sweet and he had a great birthday (he really struck gold with the gifts, loads of Legos…)
You always make birthdays of your dear ones memorable & special with your poems.
Happy Birth Day to your Son. But I was not aware that he is older than me. 🙂
thanks, Arindam. He is pretty mature for his age. This cancels out the stinky feet thing–almost.
A frightening tale of woe and warning. An epic poem the likes of which would turn Edgar Allen Poe green with envy. Happy birthday to you boy!!
Aw, thanks, Audrey. He had a GREAT bday. Oh, how I wish my birthdays could be fun again…
I like your fair ode to the foul. My friends and I still talk about the stench that comes with boys in puberty. I had two who played football and it was nasty. I heard recently that the house that we had lived in at that time has burned down. Perhaps the odor was still too much 🙂
haha! I’m sure that was the reason. My son plays soccer and basketball. Thankfully no football…yet. But I’d love to set a match to his cleats most days.
He already has the stink-o-rama going at 10? I thought that didn’t happen for another couple of years. I’m so sorry for your loss (of sweet-smelledness). Happy double digits to your baby!
(hey, you’ve got the preggo Jennifer Aniston ad, too!)
I thought I had at least two more years of fresh/clean scent from the boy. But no. He’s gotta be ahead of everything in life, why not stinky feet?
I do have the preggo Jennifer ad and I’m still wondering why not the three column ads that some other people have? they don’t like me? is that it??
Me neither. I’ve been stuck with only the one ad since I signed up for this. I guess I don’t rate the full deal. Le sigh.
Me neither. What’s wrong with us, Peg? sniff…sniff…
We’re the toadies at the cool kids table, only tolerated to make them look so good by comparison.
I knew it! That is it. Next time I see Angie and Jules, I’m slappin’ their lunch trays to the floor.
They’ll just make you lick-up the tuna noodle casserole. And you’ll do it.
and I would! I would do it, Peg! Why???!! WHY?
We need to be loved, Darlotta. That’s why we blog.
It’s true. Sad, but true. I just wanna be loved, is that so wrong?
Also–I just wanna make money blogging, is that so wrong?
Well, I do love both you and Darla, but me, I started blogging so people would quit yelling at me to do so! (I’m lookin’ at you, Darliciousness! :p )
What? who me?
by the way, I am ‘following’ you, but don’t see any of your posts in my reader so I will ‘unfollow’ you now and ‘re-follow’ you. You following me? 😉
Loved the poem and happy birthday to your tween.
I remember my brother’s restaurant work shoes, way back when. They reeked of feet and grease and lord knows what. And he kept them in the first floor bathroom for a few years. Gad help us!
Ewww!! I think my mom used to make my brothers leave their shoes at the door. I do the same, but unfortunately, my son still has his feet attached to his legs once he comes inside.
This is hilarious! Hahaha! still laughing. Hahahahaha!
It gets better when they get into the “looooooooong shower stage!”
Does it? Are you sure, Susie? I’m thinking the world’s longest shower wouldn’t touch his foot odor.
Nothing like teenage feet…ought to come with hazardous warning labels…
Awwww, happy birthday to Junior! I hope he had a great one. I can sort of smell his feet from here.
Yeah, if the wind shifts just right, it can even overtake the cow pasture smell down the road. Junior has that power.
Ah gosh! My congratulations. And (sort of) sympathies. I know you have a good time with him, though.
I do, Priya, and for that I am thankful. Otherwise I would tell him to go get a job and an apartment.
Brilliant poem. I had no idea that you’d lead us to your birthday boy’s feet!
I have a feeling that your son won’t allow you to speak at his wedding because he’ll know you’re going to embarrass him with the stinky feet poem, or something worse that you still have to come up with.
Ooh, yessss—and I’ve no doubt I can come up with someone much worse at his wedding. I’m already scheming.
Hey Darla! I’m only here because I like to do 100th comment posts. I reserve the right to be weird. The number 99 was just calling for me. ONE HUNDRED. There. I feel better. 🙂
Haha! I can’t thank you enough. Y’know, that brings up a really great idea. Why don’t you add another comment to my Momglish post? It’s currently at 99. While you’re at it, just go through every single post on here and make them all 100! That would make me feel sooooo much better.
LOL Okay, so we’re both dorks. On my way! Sipping coffee, tripping through blog comments, righting the two-digit numbers to three-…
Am I that obvious?
I think I’ll write a post now on dorks. How to embrace your inner dork.
Oh, how fun that was! I wish I had more time to blow. Drat. I DID manage to find some goodies. Even found my way to your very first post!! CuhRAZY going back that far (it wouldn’t let me comment on the widgets – no fair). Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.
You are A-MA-ZING. My first post? And you couldn’t comment? Damn!! That post was my finest.
Yeah, the not being able to comment was making me mad. I was afraid that if I commented the third time, it might come out as sounding angry, and then with my luck, all THREE comments would just suddenly appear. I thought better of it…
It was pretty awesome. So…what the heck IS a widget anyway? My question remains unanswered.
PS – by the way, I am in LOVE with my widgets. It’s one of the things that keeps me from changing my current theme. I think it’s stuck with me. 🙂
my little guy has stinky feet too 🙂