Excrement and Other Things My Car Smells Like

Jul 18 2008

I hopped in my oh-so-hip minivan today after work on this warm, summer day in Oregon and was immediately taken aback by the moderate smell of excrement emminating from the hot interior.  Not sure why I was taken aback.  My car has smelled this way for at least a week now.

This is minivan number 4 for us.

I know.  You’d like to be as cool as me.  Take a number.  And, just to whet your appetite for my high style of living, I’ll brag that I have not one, but TWO vans.  One mini and one whopping 8 passenger.  That leaves us, like, one whole extra seat to spill on.

The amazing thing about vehicles with 5 kids is the development of a signature odor.  Now, I’d like to point out that we do not live in filth and squalor.  No we do not.  Well, maybe filth on a semi-regular basis.  But the squalor is right out.

Of our 4 vans, the previous two also developed a special scent.  Why?  I don’t know!  We clean the car out, clear it of trash, damp bathing suits and used socks.  We require our children to carry their own stuff in from the car (a special talent reserved for children from large families).  We rarely take the dog with us on trips.  There are no moldy milkshakes (currently) or half-eaten hamburgers (anymore) left about.  So why, over the last week after we cleaned the garbage out, has my car begun to develop a definitive poo smell?

I think there’s an unwritten smell-warranty on my cars.  After a few months (we’ve owned the car for 6), the warranty expires.  No grace period.  No warranty extensions.  That’s all, folks.  Bring on the poo.

Will I search more for the smell?  Will my husband and I tear it apart, deodorize it, hang lime-scented trees from the rear view mirror?  Unlikely.  I’ll probably continue to drive it for many more months, breathing it in.  Which means developing creative excuses for not carpooling with my coworkers to lunches and conferences.  If you have any good ones, let me know.

Why won’t I keep looking for the source and eliminate it?  I have 5 kids.  I’m tired.