It is not my wish to be gross- but since I find writing relaxing, I will write about what I need to relax from.
This morning I got called to go to the scene of a house fire. At a house fire, a police detective is a bit out of his element; fire guys are running around blasting water on things, tearing off siding and chopping holes in the roof. They are at home in midst of fire, ash, steam and dripping water; my eyes just burn from the smoke.
However, once they put out all the fires and most of the smoke is clear, they become very unsure and look to me for what to do as they consider the charred corpse lying, half consumed by fire on the floor. As I was preparing to process the scene, my evidence tech Kristen caught me smearing Vicks on the inside of my particulate mask.
“What’s that?” She asked, looking at me disapprovingly; homicide detectives are supposed to be tough about smells.
“I hate the smell.”
“The burned body smell?”
“No, aahhh… the burning plastic smell.” I lied.
“Ya, I don’t like that either” She said, as if knowing my lie and graciously giving me an out. I felt like a soggy kid whose parent kindly tells him that every 10 year old still wets the bed from time to time.
We went to work, looking all around the corpse for evidence of possible crimes. The smell wasn’t too bad, the Vicks was holding its own, and the business of trying to unravel what happened to the victim keeps my mind off of it.
Then it happened, the smell that no amount of Vicks could handle; I knocked over a burned bottle of Old Spice Cologne. Even Kristen, who was ragging on me about the Vicks, started gagging, and breathing through her sleeve. It was if we had just discovered Saddam’s WMD stash.
Criminals, terrorists and kooks; stop trying to make anthrax, forget nerve agents, and leave the dirty nuclear material in Kabdriverstan, just cook up a bottle of Old Spice and the world is your oyster.