Thursday, November 3, 2011

No Fire Drill Today.

I wasn’t asked to drive to another country on five minutes notice or anything,  and in addition to that,  there’s not too danged much else going on. 

Rather than throw out the three bananas that were hanging about,  I baked up another banana bread.  

That was exciting. 

I suppose I could use the sailing analogy,  but the Fire Drill seems to work as well.  There’s either long periods of inactivity,  or moments of well,  not exactly “sheer terror”  or anything,  but considerable movement,  shall we say?


It’s been an absolutely crazy busy couple of months for Travelling Companion.   The Company that Cannot be Named has been keeping her occupied.   And that’s about all I can say.  There was the usual “stuff” that happens at this time of the year,  but then there’s also a high mucky muck who is visiting today from the “World Headquarters”,  so of course there was a rather lengthy meeting yesterday to get all their ducks in a row.  Today they’ll be giving him the low down on what next year will look like.   Something like that,  I’m not sure.   And to be honest,  some times I really don’t give a rat’s tiny behind? 

We’re really not too sure what’s going to be in store at the end of this assignment,  but it has been pretty much the biggest challenge of her career up until now.   Seven different currencies to deal with,  not to mention countless legers throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the UK.   Not sure how she keeps it straight.   I married a smart cookie.  Lucky me.


Someone on another blog I follow was talking about comments and whether to answer questions and such.  I have to confess I’m a bit of a dope when it comes to that.  I just don’t go back and answer comments like I should.  Try not to be annoyed or discouraged.   If it’s something I think is (maybe) important,  I might mention it in a later post.  Most times I just move on.

However,  a couple days ago,  Anneke,  from Goldenshoe RV Trip  mentioned something about the smelly man who comes in to church and sits down next to unsuspecting folk who soon discover that he smells bad.

See, here’s the thing.   He likely doesn’t KNOW that he stinks.   And how do I know this? 

Ya Bob,  why do you think you’re some flippin’ expert?


Well, I guess it’s story time.

Once upon a time,  back in my working days,  I used to work with a fellow who had ….well,  how do I put this?   He stunk!   Everything about him.  His clothes,  His breath.  It was just horrid.

He was what we would call a “Relief Caretaker”,  which meant I didn’t have to see the guy every day,  (thankfully)  buy my school was one that he was assigned to if there was a vacation or illness.   Oh joy.

If I knew he would be in my school and covering for me or my afternoon guy,  I would make sure to take my office chair out of my office and hide it.   If I left it behind,  he’d sit in it (of course)  which meant that I would be able to SMELL HIM when I returned to work.   That’s how bad he was.

Bob doesn’t like stinky people.

Oh,  and every retired or active teacher or caretaker that I know,  has a story about this guy,  but I’m getting side tracked…

(He’s also not quite the brightest bulb in the pack…)

There was this one start of the school year when we had to take on several additional classes as a result of a new school not being ready on time,  and the powers that be decided to do me the great service of sending me this guy for the duration.  This lasted right through until Christmas. 

I recall vividly calling up my boss once removed,  and asking him, “What contest in Hell did I win to get this guy?”    I’m not kidding,  those were my exact words.  He really didn’t have a good answer,  and the fact of the matter was,  they just needed a place to put him.  (Since a lot of Head Caretakers and Principals really didn’t want him in their school…)

Now don’t get me wrong,  he was the kind of guy that you could send out to the far reaches of our Region on a cold wintery night to do some job or other that anyone else would never even consider,  so in that respect he was a loyal puppy dog kind of employee.   Always on time,  or early.   Certainly not any kind of “ball of fire”  or anything, but reliable. 

Unfortunately, he stunk.


One day,  I had had enough, and actually said to him,  “You know,  you really need to wear a clean shirt when you come in in the morning.”    Since everyone was trying to hold their breath when he’d walk by,  that sort of thing?

You know what he said?  “Well,  I just took this out of the laundry this morning.”   

See,  he had no idea how badly he stunk.   Just like the guy in church.   Sad but true.

I can JUST IMAGINE how bad his apartment must have been.  The word was he had a pet rabbit.  

Ya,  just think about that one….Gah!



Oh,  and while I’m revved up.  Another little story.   During this couple month period when he would show up each morning to do those extra classrooms,  he had to come back one afternoon for some reason or other. 

This was just before the kids were getting out at the end of the school day,  and my afternoon guy was already in,  and we were just sitting there in my office having a little chat,  waiting for the bell to ring.   Then,  there in the doorway stands “Smelly Man”.  Damn it!  The one day when I didn’t bugger off as soon as my afternoon guy showed up!

Oh,  and I forgot to mention,  he wasn’t exactly a “Small Smelly Man” either?  Kind of like the guy in church.  Just thought I’d point that out.


We just looked at each other,  with the realisation that we were trapped. 

So anyway,  he went on about this or that.  I think he had forgot to do something,  but I really don’t remember.  As with most any traumatic experience,  it’s been blanked from my memory banks,  I’m afraid.

After what seemed like an eternity,  I managed to convince him that it was OK,  and that he’d better get out of the parking lot before it was all blocked off by the parents waiting for their kids.

Hey,  sometimes when you get desperate,  you can come up with some good reasons to get rid of someone.  I really just wanted him to get out of the doorway to my office,  since I couldn’t hold my breath much longer. 

The part I remember the most?  Well,  other than holding by breath for that long?

My afternoon guy saying to me after Smelly Man was out of earshot,  “Did he shit his pants or something?”  

To which I replied,  “Nope,  that’s pretty much the way he smells most days”.   “You’re lucky,  you don’t have to smell it first thing in the morning”.


Oh ya.  Good times.


What I didn’t know at the time,  but found out a bit later on,  was that my younger daughter and her now husband used to live in the same apartment building as him!   Oh yes,  they were well versed in staying clear of Smelly Man! 

Some times you’d get on the elevator,  and you KNEW he had been there.   If the doors opened,  and he was there,  you’d need a quick excuse as to why you weren’t going to be needing the elevator right then.   Something like,  “Ooooh, did you remember to shut off the iron?”   “We’d better go back and check!”

They were on the fifth floor.  Couldn’t hold their breath that long.   Thankfully there was more than one elevator.

They had a few lines already rehearsed,  apparently.


So even though cleanliness might very well be “next to Godliness”,  smelly people don’t usually know they’re smelly.   It’s just the way it goes.  One of life’s little mysteries.


Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure and enjoy the fresh air while you can,  and keep it between the ditches.





  1. Bob I hope you realize that my side still hurts a little when I laugh real hard and after this post I think I need a Tylenol, or maybe a shot of Dahwinie scotch oh heck I am going to have both.

  2. Oh geez, I sure don't want to be responsible for anyone "busting a gut" or anything. I forgot to put a disclaimer at the beginning.
    I can laugh now, but at the time, it was just nasty.

  3. In my previous life pre-retirement, I was in HR (Human Resources). Somehow it was always MY job to counsel our "smelly people". No supervisor wanted to do it. No other manager wanted to do it. Yup, my job. Working in food processing we sure didn't want the stink to blend into the product,you know.

  4. I am so glad I'm back in the land of internet so I can read your blog again. Working at the front counter for IRS we had our share of these "wonderful" souls come in needing help to get their refunds. After they left, the Lysol came out in force. Thanks for a great day.

  5. most days I wish when someone is showing a picture of a delicious dish that they made that there was something like 'smell a blog'..but today I am most thankful that no one has ever invented it!!

  6. I will make sure Anneke reads this funny story:)


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.