In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Search for the Smell

My wife had a 1994 Caprice. It was a beautiful car, with the same engine they put in the Corvettes. On the highway, it was one of the most comfortable cars I ever drove.

One evening, she told me something smelled dead in her car. I went and checked; she was right. Determined, I placed finding the smell as priority one for the next Saturday morning.

On Saturday, a quick search found nothing. Using my nose as a guide, I found the smell stronger under the dash. Knowing a little about the car, I decided a mouse found its way into the car through the air conditioning duct work.

I had a book, so I started in the easiest places. I first removed the air conditioner blower motor, looked around, and found nothing. Examining the book, I found there was a rheostat for the blower motor speed adjacent to the blower. It was in the plenum. Removing the assembly only required a 1/4" nut driver and the removal of two screws.

It was a hard to reach place. Without any way to get to the location, but to place my legs on the seat and lay on the floor mat, I went to work.

It was hot. The temperature was in the upper 80's and the humidity was about the same. What little I'd done had soaked me in sweat and the temperature was rising.

Wiping sweat from my eyes, I carefully removed the two screws, pulled down on the rheostat mount and I found the source of the odor.  A gooey, very rotten mouse - with maggots - fell on my chest, right under my nose. As I squirmed, scooted around and tried to get out of the car, I found my retching was just about to the point of losing breakfast.

I finally got out of the car, calmed down, spent some time examining my find and finally went to retrieve the necessary things to clean up the mess.

Later, I asked a mechanic about what happened and if he knew of a fix, since I could never find where the mouse found its way in. He laughed and told me he had no idea, but if I figured it out, to let him know. Apparently, the mouse problem was common and there was no known way to prevent it from happening.

Eventually I sold the car and bought my wife another. I was glad to see it go, since I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to go mouse hunting again.


  1. That was grosser than my story. I started retching at the maggots on your chest bit. My post today was just a dried rat. You know, a mouse's head is not rigid, so a mouse can squeeze through a place much smaller than the mouse's head. Okay, I am afraid I will get a mouse in my car now!

    1. What really made it bizarre was there was a chunk of bar soap right to the right of where I found the mouse, with teeth marks. How it made it it there, and the mouse is still a mystery.

  2. Here from Practical Parsimony to see what you had to say. Now I understand all those Hoopties on the highway with five pine air fresheners and perfumed garlands hanging off the rearview mirror.

    1. I think you're right. Between dead mice, old hamburger wrappers and dirty socks, some cars can have a strong odor.