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I have to say, I disagree with The Mom when she says it’s only the rest of us that make her car messy. I have seen Crazy D’s car and L’il Sis’ and while they are sometimes used as auxiliary storage areas, they have not a patch on the disaster that one sometimes finds lurking in The Mom’s car.

Years ago, I believe we were in high school, we noticed a funny smell in The Mom’s car, which at the time was a white Taurus which had gained something of a reputation amongst our friends as being reliable, and also far, far larger than it looked.

“There is a funny smell in this car,” one of us noted.

The Mom, no doubt driving us home with a ridiculous pair of massive sunglasses and fighting off migraine, replied, “No there’s not, and anyhow even if there was, I suspect it’s one of you.”

From the back seat (which often felt like it was in a different post code) someone piped up, “No, seriously, very funny smell. New funny, not usual funny.”

Upon arriving home, we clambered out and The Mom had a good sniff. Her nose takes its cue from the police dogs she so adores.

“Hmmm, maybe You People are right.” (You People being the collective noun for teenagers.)

She rummaged through the bags and other assorted whats-its and what-nots but no source of the smell was found, though she did agree it was quite strong.

“Trunk! Trunk!” we screeched, because this was now an amusing game of hide and seek.

She popped the trunk and we all put our heads in, smelled the smell, and recoiled in disgust.

“Something in there is dead,” one of us said.

“That’s funny, there’s nothing in there that I can remember,” The Mom said before bravely sticking her hand in to rummage through the blankets and other assorted whatevers. It did not take much time for her to find a large and poorly refrigerated piece of salmon.

“Oh that’s where that is! I thought they’d lost it when I went to the store the other day.”

Non-plussed as ever, The Mom just tossed it in the bin as she strode confidently into the house.

I believe we stayed outside for a while, to consider what had just happened.

All of which is to point out that she is in fact the worst culprit.

And yes, it is true that people leave bags of things behind sometimes with every intention of retrieving them, but it’s difficult to remember, especially when The Mom insists on throwing her innumerable cloth shopping bags on top of them, thus obscuring the original bag, and then also not phoning to say: “You left your shit in my car.”

The other key point to make here is that if you’re a dog, you can essentially make whatever kind of mess you want wherever you like. The Mom cares not a bit. She will overlook this or as has become quite clear, reassign blame to whatever human is attached to the dog.

I make a concerted point to not leave anything in her car for longer than I am inside of it because things have a tendency to disappear. And anyhow, what’s to stop her from harbouring another piece of salmon? As I recall, it took some time for that smell to dissipate. Maybe I’ll just borrow the neighbour’s bike when next I’m home and need to go out.

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