you say potato...I say oh hell no!

I had a wonderful Sunday.  I cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom.  I had to.  I discovered a strange smell and I had to find out where it was coming from.  It smelled like something had used the bathroom or died or maybe used the bathroom just before dying.  But since all of my animals were accounted for and most of them are much too large to fit into the small areas I was searching, it was unlikely that either of those scenarios was possible.

I washed the stone countertops with disinfectant.  I scrubbed both sinks and cleaned out the drains.  I scoured the stove top and the oven.  I cleaned the inside of the microwave.  I ran the half a load of dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  But still the smell persevered. 

I damp mopped the wood floors, paying special attention to the dark places under the stove and the refrigerator.  But I still didn’t find the source of the foul smell.  Finally I stepped into the pantry and there it was.  The smell hit me in the face like a bag of bricks. 

I had to pull everything out of the pantry. 

All the pots and pans that were stored on the lower shelves.  All of the bake ware.  The cereal boxes that were too tall to fit in the other cupboards with the rest of the food.  And once I had nothing left to move but the array of crock pots, waffle irons, blenders and the like, I finally discovered the source of the smell.  It was hidden behind the rarely used Panini maker—a big bag of potatoes.

At least I think they were potatoes.  I don’t remember buying them, and I had already tossed out a bag of potatoes earlier in the week, but these were older.

As potatoes get old, they start to grow eyes, or legs, or roots, or whatever it is you call the long trailing buds. This bag of potatoes had long since passed that stage and gone on to the mushy, liquefied state that I found them in.  And the closer I got to the bag, the more I wished I’d had an oxygen mask. 

I grabbed a pair of rubber gloves and a few garbage bags and I managed to contain the putrefied goo (and the smell) without losing my lunch.  I didn’t even know that could happen to potatoes!  In fact, I am officially giving up French fries as of right now.  I don’t want to eat anything that has a life cycle anything remotely like that bag of potatoes.  How long does it take a potato to turn into a toxic vat of smelly liquid mush anyway?   I’m thinking maybe since Christmas.  But I’m not sure. 

At least my kitchen is really clean now.  And I finally colored my hair (without a single disaster.)

Oh, and my husband came back from the beach today with a cooler filled with fresh fish and a slimy slab of octopus.  He has it in his head that I will be eating octopus for dinner tomorrow night.  I feel a stomach virus coming on.  But for now, I’m going to enjoy his company.  I missed him while he was gone.  We can argue about tentacles tomorrow. 

Until the next time…I’ll be practicing my sick face!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on April 26, 2010 .