Thursday, July 17, 2008

DIS. Gusting

So, about a week ago, I started noticing a funky smell in my van. NORMALLY when that happens it means one of two things: either a sippy cup or bottle of milk has been left under a seat, to go sour in the high temperatures, or a wet towel or article of clothing has been left inside, either of which can fester and rot and stink to high heaven in the warm, moist summer air.

{Parents all over know just what I’m talking about, right? Right??? Come on, any parent out there who tells me they have NEVER found a disgusting sippy cup of congealed milk under the sofa or behind the TV is a flat-out liar and I’ll call you that to your face.}

Since my kids no longer drink out of bottles, I searched inside the van for some offending Sonic cup with left-over milkshake in it, or anything that might be the cause of the stench. Came up empty-handed. Although I found pencils and notebooks and empty candy wrappers and toys and trash and straw wrappers and flip flops and juice boxes and dvd’s and all kinds of OTHER crap in the van, I couldn’t find anything that might be the cause of the putrid, rancid smell. I looked under seats, and even in the glove box, thinking surely, somewhere, I would find a wet bathing suit, or even wet socks.

Good heavens, what stunk so bad???

Blaine finally convinced me it was just that the inside of the van had probably gotten wet from our various days at the pool, and since I park in the garage with the windows rolled up, the van simply needed a good airing out. Hmmm, I wasn’t so sure, but since I couldn’t find anything else, I figured he must be right.

Fast forward a few days. Kellen’s teacher from last year is married to a man I went to high school with. They have a daughter in Kendrie’s class who Kendrie really gets along well with. Since we already know one another’s families (man, I love living in a small town) we progressed pretty quickly to sleep-overs at one another’s houses, and this little girl was spending the night with us.

She and Kendrie were out in the garage, riding the rip-sticks and such in the driveway. I was sitting in the office on the computer (imagine that) when I heard shrieking, and hysterical laughter, and then Kendrie came running into the office, yelling about how they had found the source of the smell in my van.

Come to find out, it was the pool bag I keep in the back of the van. The one with goggles and dive sticks and what not in it. I also carry snacks in it, and the box of Goldfish crackers had turned upside down and spilled all in the bag. And then the crackers had gotten wet from the wet things we put in the bag. And then had turned into a slimy, rotten mess inside the bag, and seriously looked like something or someone threw up in my bag.

And then, this was the kicker.

I must have trapped a fly in the van. Who must have laid eggs. Because there were MAGGOTS in the pile of Goldfish in the bag. Let me repeat that, in case the horror of the comment didn’t fully sink in to you:




Mortified, I called the little girl’s mother to try and explain what had happened, so that when her daughter retuned home the next day and told her mother that the Escoe’s had MAGGOTS at their house, she would understand and not assume we are the filthiest people on the planet.

Because seriously. MAGGOTS.

Needless to say, the entire pool bag, contents included, went directly into the trash.

Thankfully, the other mom laughed.

Although you know deep down, she was just glad it wasn’t her.

On the bright side, she let the little girl stay at our house. And it doesn’t appear she called Family Services OR an exterminator since no one has shown up at our front door.

And hey, my van does smell a lot better now.

So, do you think now would be a good time for me to announce that I’m starting up a housecleaning business? Because you just KNOW everyone would rush to have me as their housekeeper.


Donna said...

OH BARF!!!!!

We have a long history of nasty Sippy cup issues. El Diablo is now 6 and we have two cups left. If he leaves one somewhere other than the kitchen and I have any doubt as to its vintage, it goes straight to the trash. I don't get paid enough to play "guess the expiration date." The Mighty Hunter is now driving my old Camry which has some funkified aroma that we have never been able to pin down, but which grows worse with humidity. I resorted to stashing some refridgerator boxes of Arm and Hammer under the front seats. It helped. A little. But I am at least happy that there have never been maggots in any of my vehicles. I did lose a pack of porkchops in the trunk one time, but we found them after two days.

Tammy in ohio said...

Not long ago we had a vomitus piece of food that had spilled out and sat putrifying the van! It was rather disgusting. it took me two days to figure out what on earth it was. Some luncheon item that came all undone. We managed to escape the maggots though!

Trish in VA said...

ewwww! Just the thought of maggots makes me sick! I am sitting here just real glad that I haven't had to find something like that, although the nasty bottle has turned up under our bed, the sofa, and the pack-n-play more than once! But on the bright side- your van smells better! :()x

robinandamelia said...

Ok, that's gross. Glad she wasn't too disturbed. These things happen, we all know!!

Danielle said...

OMG that is beyond disgusting!!! Did you have to give the van a Purell bath?

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I work for an agency that gets all our referrals from Family Services. Maggots wouldn't even warrant a phone call! :)

If maggots were all we had to deal with the... sigh....


Wendy said...

Ewww. A couple of weeks ago Noah came to me and said there was something all over his bathroom floor. I didn't pay too much attention to him, so he started *crying* about it. I checked it out, and maggots were crawling all over the floor. He had put some sort of food in the garbage can. We don't check his garbage much so we missed it. And deep down, I was actually proud of him. Because he put something in the garbage can!

I'm dying to know one thing. Were they the colored goldfish? They're just gross to me anyway and it would make it soooo much funnier.

The Running Girl said...

That is gross!!! Yes, we've found the stinky old milk cups when the kids were younger. Haven't found anything in a while. Make sure Kellen empties his soccer bag after every game, or you'll get a rotten smell from that as well.

Jennifer said...

I can relate to friends finding things in my house that I wished they hadn't. My son has this one friend that sleeps over and one morning he woke up to ants. (He always sleeps on the floor - his preference, he even does it at home). Then I find out that he is extremely terrified of bugs. His mom did let him return, then another night he was sleeping over and the dog pounced on his face in his sleep (the dog only weighs 5lbs.) and guess what, he is afraid of dogs. And then another night the same friend and my son were going through the pantry and swore they found a roach crawling on the cereal shelf. I have NEVER seen a roach in my house! Either this boy is bringing these things from home or he is a bug, dog pouncing magnet. But the sweet little thing keeps coming back and is just as happy as ever!

Lori said...

Several years ago a friend of mine's parents went on a trip. The first morning they woke up and noticed the hotel room had a really funky smell. They couldn't quite pinpoint the source of the smell. They tour around that day and then head off to another village. A day or two later they are driving 5-6 hours and notice their rental car has a strange smell. Maybe it is the seaside village air they think.

Next morning - funky smell in the new hotel room. Finally found it - the mom had stopped at the butchers before leaving home to buy stuff for my friend to have for dinner. And yep, she had been carrying those pork chops in her big old tote the whole time.

jadine said...

It's nice that the little girls' family has such low standards! Kendrie can keep her friend :)

GROSS! But funny, in an it-could-
happen-to-anyone sort of way. And also in a better-you-than-me sort of way :)

jadine said...

And also? Maggots are our friends. They use 'em to clean out wounds and stuff. I'm not sure who "they" are, but I definitely heard that somewhere. So actually, it's lovely that you had maggots.

utahsweeney said...

Sadly, I have to admit that that is something that would happen to me. I'm just glad it happened to you first - I'll feel better when the time comes.

Jacqueline said...

I can relate...well except for the maggots. A few years ago, we made breakfast for our Sunday School class. There was some left over sausage (cooked), so we put it back in the ice chest and after church put the ice chest in the trunk of my car. For some reason or another, we didn't take it out when we got home, and we simply forgot about it. A few months down the road, it started smelling bad in my car. We couldn't for the life of us figure out where the funk was coming I drove in funk for a couple of months. Finally, like 6 months down the road, we remembered the sausage.

Why it didn't start smelling sooner is anyone's guess...but I would assume it had to do with the fact that the ice chest was full of ice and was sealed. Otherwise, we probably would have figured it out sooner. But yeah...totally gross.

Jennifer said...

We find all kinds of things in our van with a 4 yr old and an 8 yr old, but it was when I started teasing our 8 yr old about moving into her 4 yr old's room so that she couldn't complain about his noise or his mess (in front of co-workers no doubt) and she piped up and said it was because of the roaches crawling on her walls (we had just moved into the house and were battling bugs) that I had to explain that there is a time and place for all discussions......

Anonymous said...

GAG! That is totally gross, ewwww, ewwww, EWWWWW!

I too have experienced the sour milk sippy cup in the car and that smell is nasty!!!

Diane in Cincinnati

BaxtersMum said...

when I was 16, I had my mom's car and went to a party at a friend's house - I left the windows down.

And a neighbor's tom cat climbed in and sprayed the seats.

We never got the smell out. Almost 10 years later when I traded the car in, I prayed for a dry day and drove to the dealship with the windows down.

Jen said...

Ugh there is NOTHING as disgusting as maggots, and everyone gets them at some point!! I totally know about the mystery minivan stink. My van had the rankest smell going on for a while and I searched high and low and couldn't find anything. One day my 3-year-old proudly showed me how while in his car seat he likes to take any water bottle he can get his hands on and EMPTY IT down the side of the van, under the window and between the side of the van and his chair. So the carpet under the 3rd-row seat was perpetually sopping wet, causing the smell. I was able to wet vac and air it out and eventually the smell went away.

On to maggots...I went to a weeknight dinner party a few weeks ago on a Thursday and specifically told DH to not cook for me. Five days later I went to use our 2nd mocrowave (the one from 1980 that has DIALS on it and is permanently mounted over my harvest gold stove) and opened the door to find a steak dinner MOVING. It was undulating with maggots. I screamed and made DH toss the whole plate. Apparently he made me a plate for dinner (while I was at a dinner party!!!) and LEFT IT in the microwave. DISGUSTING. I love your blog, and it's good to know I'm not the only one who deals with this stuff.

Stacie from MN said...

Thank you for that story! I feel a whole lot better about my own housekeeping, now! Don't get me wrong, I don't feel better because I'm a better housekeeper, I feel better because I'm not the only one.

We find bottles & sippy cups in the darndest places!

CAT said...

Yep Kristie,

That is least you found the source of the stench and you can move forward!!

Have a great day,


Tiffany said...

Gross Gross Gross! We get maggots in our trashcans outside in the summer. Makes me sick! I could see something like that happening to me though definitely. Glad to found the smell and were able to get rid of it!

Kim in MD said...

Okay, Unfotunately I can top that story....
Our trash men have refused to take our trash 3 weeks in a row because they said the can was too heavy. I finally decided that I would put the can in my car and take it to the dump myself. Well, it had rained and the trash can had water in it...and very stinky trash that had been in the can for 3 weeks...of course, the water spilled in the back of my car. Very smelly. Well, I did everything I could possibly imagine to clean the car out...vacuumed everywhere, sprayed the wet spots with cleaner, sprayed with an entire can of lysol, vinegar in a bowl, charcoal, etc... After 2 days of cleaning out the car, I took it to be detailed. I received a call from the detailing place the day after I dropped it off. They told me that they had found the source of the smell...are you ready for this????? A DEAD FROG! Must have come out of the can or been dead in the was under my third row of seats...MAJORALLY DISGUSTING. I am happy to say that the "dead frog" smell is finally out of my car now! So, maggots, while gross, are not that bad!!!!

I can't wait to scrap my trash and frog page for my family history album! To top it off, my friend gave me frog items for my birthday (serving plater, napkins and salt and pepper shakers) I will never live down the frog in the car story!

Kim in MD said...

Okay, I should have read over my comment before posting it...I actually do know how to spell! I was just so excited to share my unfortunate majorly stinky frog story!

Anonymous said...

Well, I have one, too. We have no bug problem in our home. NONE...well, except spiders which I have yet to figure out if they are just part of living in Georgia or if they actually just live everywhere in the quantities that we have here. Ick. BUT...our van, which is parked under huge oak trees all day almost every day in a shaded, humid place...our van is ALWAYS inhabited by drink cups (half empty sweet-sugary cokes) or half eaten pop tarts or other sweet snacks that my 3 just HAD to have leaving the house or Walmart and then somehow FORGOT TO FINISH all of them or take them into the house. Anyway...since we live in this wonderful deep south Georgia where there are a TRILLION bugs per human...the bugs have found our van. much so that tonight, in the rain, it was 1) take everything...everything...
EVERYTHING out of the van 2)vaccuum it everywhere inside and 3)set off a bug bomb to kill the little critters in whatever spaces they are hiding. (I think they like our engine area-which is really bad for our van, I'm sure!) So tomorrow we'll probably die from poisioning from the bomb when we get in it. Oh well, there won't be any creepy, crawly things in it!
Patricia, Savannah, Georgia

Karen said...

Good, so I'm not the only one to lose something in my car. Shrimp. And I went back to the grocery store and complained that they didn't bag my shrimp. Well, I found the original shrimp a couple of days later.

Natalie said...

Well. That pretty much takes the disgusting cake. I don't know what else to say.

Anonymous said...

Whem my sister and the neighbor girl were about 3-4 yrs. old, they were in the neighbor girl's mom's van and decided to eat the partially-eaten McDonald's hamburger they found that had been in the hot van for several days. A dose of syrup of ipecac (almost 30 yrs. ago when it was standard protocol), LOTS of vomiting, and they were good as new.

Stephanie in MN

momto2boys said...

Believe me...I have stumbled upon some nasty stuff under the seats of our cars, but you get the nasty award for that one. I like when my son has thrown up on the carpet and that disgusting smell still wants to linger on and on, but again, maggotts...yep, you win.

Nate's Mom said...

I teach Sunday school and a couple of weeks ago, a little girl (5 or 6 years old) was telling me that she and her daddy were going to cook something as a surprise for mommy. When they opened the crockpot, it had "fly larvae." Interesting choice of words. I chose not to mention the conversation to her mom. Can you imagine the horror of Kendrie's Sunday school teacher commenting on the incident, lol.

And, I know the horrors under the seat too. It's embarassing to remove the carseat when another adult needs to ride in the backseat. I never know what's going to be under it.

Sheri in CA

lynne said...

Scary stories, if and when I become a mom I will be on the lookout for awol sippy cups and the like. No maggot stories here but I have lived in an old student house that had rats! We moved out shortly afterwards as they were big and had come from next door where building work was going on and didn't look like they were leaving any time soon.

Cathy in MI said...

I just kind of have to know, how did you miss this pool bag? Where was it? Because you looked pretty hard for the smell.

We have cabinets in our laundry room with nothing at the base like toe kick or trim - so stuff can get lost under the cabinets. We had a pool bag that got tossed in and must have gotten stuck under there. When the laundry room started to smell - woooo booyyy - nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Kristie, did you know that a 5lb. bag of potatoes thrown into the bottom of a pantry, for God only knows how long, WILL rot and produce a gazillion MAGOTS???!!! Well, trust me on this one. My son came to me last night around 10:00p.m. to inform me that "something stinks in the pantry". Around 11:00 I went to the pantry to get some Oreo's. Sure enough I smelled the "stink" and proceeded to investigate. OMG!! the stench and grossness literally made me BARF!! I had to wrap a dish towel around my mouth and stick tissue in my nose and clean up BOTH potato-maggot-juice and throw-up!! That was the most vile disgusting thing I have EVER had to do! So much for my late-night oreo and milk snack!

Anonymous said...

Gross. My friend had a horrid smell in her car not long ago and finally couldn't drive it any longer it was SO bad. She dropped it off to be detailed as they had searched for the source. Long story short her 3 year old had received a hard-boiled Easter egg that was in a plastic egg ... at EASTER and it had fallen under the seat ... in TEXAS ... in this nice heat. Remind me to never ride in her car again!
~Jen in TX

mom25in5 said...

Hey Kristie;

Sounds funny...but I'm glad that you found maggots in your car. It seems like yesterday I was reading your Caringbridge page and wondering how you kept everything clean raising little people and one who needed everything...well...clean. I have a child with a chronic illness and I know I suck in this department.

So, here's to maggots!!


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