A Funny Smell

Not too long ago, I wrote about poo. Little did I realise that the topic had a future filled with vulgar humour. I was going to call this Poo Too – Papering Over The Cracks, and then I thought better of it.

So, barely had I written about the challenges of moving sheep poo when I encountered that time-honoured joke – there’s a funny smell and it keeps following me, but no matter how fast I turn around it’s always behind me. Well, I suppose it’s a joke. I struggled to see the humour when I got in from putting the chickens to bed and found there was a funny smell following me around.

Maybe funny is not the right word. Fowl, of course, and perhaps best described as vile with highlights of nausea, faint enough that it might just be my imagination, but strong enough to be annoying. It wasn’t just following me around, but it kept hiding, only to sneak back out when I wasn’t paying attention. The sort of smell that stands to your left, reaches round and taps you on the right shoulder.

I did all the usual things, starting with washing my hands again. Chicken poo comes in all sorts of interesting colours and odours, but there is a particular variety with a shade and texture akin to soft caramel, a stench to turn the stomach and a persistence that defies soap and water. Somehow, it just gets into the skin and lingers. I’ve stood with my hands in hot soapy water for ten minutes just trying to shift the last trace.

Washing my hands did not remove the smell, so maybe it wasn’t coming from my hands. It was that perfectly balanced intensity where one moment it seemed to have gone, and then seconds later it was back. Sniff hands once, fine. Sniff again, and there’s the smell. It was like an itch I couldn’t quite scratch and destined to drive me nuts.

I decided to ignore it, which lasted almost two minutes, but then there it was again. Move, turn, stand still, and eugh. There it was – untraceable, unbearable and unscratchable.

In desperation, I retreated to the bathroom and removed my trousers, just to check them over for the tell-tale smear of soft caramel. As it happened, the trousers were fine, so I took my jacket off. I had been wearing an outer jacket, but you never know – chicken poo appears to be able to magically reach anywhere and everywhere.

The jacket was fine.

I removed my clothes methodically and found no trace of chicken poo, but the smell was still with me. Sudden movements made it go away, but as soon as I stood still, there it was, wafting about my head.

By a process of elimination I found the source – I had chicken poo in my hair. I even worked out how it happened – bending down to stare into a nest box where one of the older hens had decided to snooze for the night. Of course, where exactly in my hair was a trickier question – I have a lot of hair. The thing is, when you go looking for a needle in a haystack, unless the needle is a desperately valuable family heirloom, who cares if you don’t find it? When I have poo in my hair, finding and removing is all I care about.

At least I was in the bathroom. I stepped into the shower and shampooed my hair. And then again. And again. That stinky caramel-texture poo is persistent stuff, so I was taking no chances.

Last time I wrote about poo, I mentioned AA Milne. Sorry about that, but here I go again.

This cycle of wash-rinse-repeat until I felt clean was really winnowing the poo.

3 thoughts on “A Funny Smell”

  1. I haven’t got as much hair as that… but I might have by the time the barbers are all open again!
    Oh well, I guess the chicken poo smell is good hand washing hygiene encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I take after my maternal grandfather on the hair. He kept his trimmed short, but he had a mess of white curls up until he died.

      As for handwashing… my partner is in the “at risk” group and there isn’t enough moisturiser in the world to stop the skin on my hands breaking up.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same deal here, except it’s me with the heightened risk factor with my immune system already messed up with the MS, so Mrs Bryntin being regularly sanitised on her return from scavenging for supplies!

        Liked by 1 person

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