What that old man smelled like

We left a napping Fuss in Devra's capable hands and peeled out for a quick lunch at Taco Temple, followed by our traditional aperitif, a jaunt through the aisles of Spencer's Fresh Market. I'm not sure why we do this as it always animates dessicated memories of olden days at Young's Giant Food, laboring for the deranged Jung family. Their idea of savvy cost cutting was removing three fourths of the fluorescent bulbs from the overhead fixtures (leaving customers groping for off-brand toilet paper in the resulting murk) and having a lone geriatric alcoholic running their meat and produce counters.


We're in the produce section, and somebody STINKS. Like, shoeless San Fransisco crackhead passed out in a doorway, soaking in a pool their own urine stink. I look around and there's no visual analog to the smell- lots of clean, happy, well adjusted shoppers and one sort of dingy old man, but no way could it be him. So I saunter over to take advantage of their 'five limes for a dollar' deal...and OH YEAH it's the old man. My eyes literally started watering and I had to hold my breath, scrabbling desperately for the appropriate number of limes. The wife, a good 15 yards away, was wrestling to keep her salmon taco down.

We had to hold up checking out because we spotted him in line- the checker's face was priceless.

I thought about the smell on the way home.
The nearest I can come is proposing an elderly man who lives with too many cats and forsaken bathing in lieu of an intense regimen of solar cleansing beneath a bank of heat lamps. The resentful cats have never forgiven him for the divorce and when he sleeps they creep up onto the naked mattress and raise their legs in union. In the morning he hits the heat lamps, bonding each fresh coating of musk with his waxy, yellowing flesh.

I realize grocery stores have to be democratic about customers, margins being what they are, but this cat is going to cost them more lost trade than his purchases can cover.

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