I have unintentionally discovered a new way to test my comfort level with what I am consuming. In three separate events, aggressive olfactory triggers suggest that what I am putting into my car (and my home and my life) may be more toxic than I realize.
#1 the guest bed I went to IKEA a few months ago to get a SOLSTA sofa bed. An employee helped me get that giant box into my Honda Element but my 8 year-old, Max, and I could not get it out of the car and into the house, so it stayed in my vehicle. For a week. And my car smelled horrific. Like I had left a to-go container of MDF-laced dinner in there. I began to have serious reservations about putting that piece of funky smelling furniture in my home and inviting my guests to sleep on it.
#2 the luggage I hosted some friends from out of town for the weekend. When they picked me up in my car so I could take them to the airport, I was startled by the olfactory assault of marijuana; a smell that apparently infiltrated their luggage while sitting in my home for a weekend. Thanks to California Proposition 215, marijuana is legal in our state for those who have a prescription and, it turns out, my downstairs neighbors are card-carrying members of a medical marijuana clinic. I hadn’t noticed that scent in my home and then I got a whiff of suitcases that had sat in my car for less than 10 minutes. Thanks to my vehicle, I became aware of what my son and I had been unassumingly consuming. It’s worth noting that since I brought this to my neighbor’s attention they have taken to smoking outside and using an air filter.
#3 the bike I got Max a new bicycle. He’s still learning to ride so it spends most of its time parked in our garage. When we loaded up the car for a road trip to Napa last weekend, I decided to bring the bike. About 30 minutes into the journey, Max started complaining of a headache and we both became aware of the stench of rubbery bicycle toxicity emanating from the back of the car. No matter how many windows we rolled down we could find no relief. The odor was completely overwhelming. When I found a park and finally pulled that bike out of the car he refused to ride it. It’s now back in the garage and I am wondering if Max will ever want to ride it.
Sadly, the car still reeks of bicycle and the garage has become yet another coalmine where the canary of my consumption fights for breath.