March 02, 2005

Campfires Burning in Suburbs of Chattanooga

Last night, I was awoken by a I've-Just-Sat-In-Front-of-a-Campfire-for-Six-Hours smell. Not many things actually smell like a campfire, and believe me, I spent a lot of precious sleep time trying to come up with something. I think many will agree that being awoken to any smell in the category of "burnt" at 4 in the morning can only translate in your groggy mind to one of the following: 1. My house is on fire; 2. Somebody else's house is on fire; 3. There is a gas leak and my house will be on fire momentarily; 4. Bio-terrorism; or 5. Some kind of mill or factory has just had their grand opening start on the 3rd shift.

Then I thought about the BTK serial killer and how he didn't tie in at all to the current situation, but that it was so creepy to wake up to such an overwhelming smell, and in between trying to figure out what is going on, think about this deadly freak posing as a normal guy for 30 years. Yeah, maybe my brain floats down too many dark roads. I'm working on that.

But back to that smell*. I know, people in my neighborhood have fireplaces and woodburning stoves, and that we just got our biggest snow storm of the year, (almost 1/10 of an inch at higher elevations). But seriously, it was cold last night in the Deep South. I guess it's possible that the embers in my neighbor's fireplace were creating the campfire effect. O.K., I'll accept that... eventually. In the meantime, (which is the hours between 4:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. I'm asking, maybe unjustly, haven't my neighbors been using other forms of heat all this time, because until now, I've never wanted to make S'mores at the crack of dawn? Or, how about, why are you funneling that smoke through my bedroom window?

When I "woke up" (I had never truly been back to sleep), though sleepy, I was coherent enough to accept the fireplace/woodburning stove explanation from my husband but only after reiterating all of the other theories and sub-plots I thought were involved.

*If at anytime during this article you have had the following morbid bit of Lynyrd Skynyrd's song, "That Smell" pop into your head then the author apologizes:

Ooh, ooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell?
Ooh, ooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you.


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