Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Why I will not be humming the Folger's Coffee theme song "The best part of waking up..."
...is not Folger's in my cup. To begin with, I've accidentally given up coffee. I don't have a coffee maker at home, and I found that I developed an unhealthy penchant for Starbucks. I know. I'm ashamed too. However, after running late to work for about four days in a row, I didn't have time to run into Starbucks on my way into the office, so I sort of broke the habit. But I still like saying Starbucks. Starbucks.
My dwindling coffee habit aside, I am now confronted with two distinct smells in the morning. And they sure as hell ain't coffee aroma.
The first usually hits my nostrils around 8:15 a.m. while I'm walking through Hyde Park. It's a fine blend of homeless man's urine and cow poop. I'm guessing the cow poop can be attributed to the fertilizer they are using in the flower beds of the park, but the homeless man urine smell most definitely belongs to a homeless man who I see every morning asleep on a park bench. I've nicknamed him Hobo Joe, the Pee Pee Man. Even when there is no wind to speak of, Hobo Joe's body odor miraculously makes it the good ten feet between me and his spot on the bench. Let me tell you - that smell will wake you up a hell of a lot faster than coffee as the speed you begin to walk to get away from the stench causes you to walk faster, faster heart rate, etc.
The second smell comes about five minutes after I get off the train in North Sydney. Right outside the train station is a fish market. Well, it's not so much a market as it is one seafood joint selling the raw goods. About half way into the shopping center where this fish stall resides, the smell of various different raw fish attacks my senses like a group of ants at a picnic. I can't run away as I'm surrounded by dozens of other train passengers. And inevitably, I get behind either a handicapped old lady who looks like each step she takes is bringing her closer to death (and at a snail's pace, mind you) or a group of teenagers/youths who are too busy gabbing and yakking to walk faster. I'd push either out of the way if wasn't for the divine fear of either being struck down by the hand of a supreme power because I mowed over a grandma or the fear of getting my ass kicked by a group of teenage girls. I think when it comes to the teenagers, I could probably take at least one of them. But if you've got a group of three or more, I imagine it would be like fighting a group of hyenas. I'm not willing to take the risk.
This story has a happy ending though. I discovered that if I overcompensate on perfume in the mornings and wear my black scarf, I can tuck my face down into said scarf (imagine a turtle retracting into its shell if you can't get a good mental picture of what this might look like) and just breathe in my delicious own scent instead of the invading odors I have been faced with the past few weeks. Because let me tell you something - I smell DAMN good. The baby Jesus is envious of my smell. True story. Starbucks.