The moniker "stinker" has been applied to me for nearly as long as I can remember.
It started out as a term of endearment. Back when I was but a wee lad, phrases such as "What has that little stinker gotten himself into now?" and "How did that sinker manage to sneak a baby pig into the house?" were often uttered with an air of amused affection.
This gradually changed as time marched on. Gone was the tone of amusement, replaced by the distinct aroma of annoyance.
"Why do you have to be such a stinker?" was pretty much shouted at me one day when I was twelve and it was discovered that my little sisters' dolls had been kidnapped. A cut-and- pasted ransom note demanding that said sisters' desserts be donated to me in order to secure the dolls' safe release was ascribed to me. Unjustly so, I might add. As I pointed out at the time, all of the so-called "evidence" was circumstantial.
By the time I entered high school "stinker" had taken on a decidedly sinister connotation. I frequently heard the word hooted behind me as I walked down the hall between classes. I often wondered who they were talking about and felt sorry for the poor slob, whomever he or she may have been.
It sure couldn't have been me. It's true, sharing a single bathroom with seven siblings made it impossible to bathe every day. But I always cleaned myself as best I could during the few minutes between the end of milking and the arrival of the school bus.
Besides, I scrupulously adhered to my schedule of taking a bath at least once a week -- whether I needed one or not.
A few years after I began dairy farming on my own, I was fortunate enough to acquire a wife. Unfortunately, she was a city girl and hence unaccustomed to the earthy fragrances associated with bovine waste emissions.
She would often wrinkle her nose at the aromas I drug into the house on my coveralls. "Don't you smell that?" she would exclaim.
Taking a deep breath, I would reply, "I sure do! Smells like money!"
My wife frequently hinted that such odors didn't belong in our house. She suggested that I install a laundry and perhaps even a shower down in the barn. And while I was at it, I could just as well add sleeping and cooking facilities. There would thus be no need for me to ever leave the barn, she said, and she could visit me on special occasions such as Election Day and Leap Year Day.
My dairy farming days are now behind me, but I again recently found myself struggling with a smelly situation.
The car I drive for work purposes was previously used by a dog owner. This in and of itself is not an issue. The problem is that this person thought so much of his or her pooch that he or she couldn't bear to leave the dog at home. Fido must have ridden along on a regular basis.
The net result is the fact that I am exposed to a very potent dose of doggie odor whenever I drive.
This in and of itself is not an issue. I like dogs as much as the next person; the problem is, the next person might not like dogs at all, or might even be allergic.