Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Cold, The Book Festival, and Smelly People

Since Thursday afternoon, I've had a rather nasty cold, probably passed to me by my beautiful, contagious daughter.  Or, by the multitude of ninth graders who don't wash their hands. 

This smelly person in no way
represents the people I encountered.
There are few things to enjoy about a cold.  Mostly, headaches, sinus pain, sneezing, itchy eyes and copious amounts of mucus accompany a cold, making me miserable.  In fact, there are very few up-sides to a cold, save for one:

When one has a cold, it is usually very hard to smell distasteful odors.  The cold that currently inhabits my body, however, is unique.  It has brought upon all of the usual awful cold symptoms, except that I am still able to smell very bad things.

This is unfortunate, because I encountered two distinctly smelly people today while at the National Book Festival in downtown Washington D.C.

The first was on the metro.  My mother and I were having a very interesting conversation about books (we were gossiping) when a young man, wearing a Dolce and Gabana jacket, sat in the seat in front of us.  In no time at all, a rather pungent smell accosted our nostrils, causing us initially to wrinkle our noses.  Within minutes, we had our hands to our noses, desperately trying to block out his horrible "I haven't bathed in weeks" odor.

We became desperate.  The smell was so bad that my mom finally leaned over and said that at the next stop, we'd switch seats.  We gathered our belongings and prepared to stand as we reached the next metro stop, but God was smiling on us, and the man rose and left.  I'm still shocked that he was wearing a designer jacket.  Shouldn't designer people bathe?

We arrived at the Book Festival very early in order to get third row seats for Toni Morrison, which, may I say, was totally worth it.  She is delightful.  Unfortunately, twin sisters sat behind us.  While they do believe in dressing alike over the age of 60, they do not adhere to the norms of common bathing.  In short, they STANK.  They smelled WAY worse than the guy in the metro.  Even through my cold I was getting sick to my stomach.

I feel a little bad for complaining, because she did overhear me saying I taught high school and gave me her Book Festival poster to give to another teacher.  But if you had only smelled her and her sister, you would be complaining too.

In hindsight, I'm not sure why I felt the need to share my story about smelly people, except perhaps that I could smell them DESPITE my cold, which means they were stinkier than all get-up. 

Actually, there seems to be no purpose at all to this blog. 

I'll make it purposeful:  GO TO THE BOOK FESTIVAL NEXT YEAR.  It is wonderful, and something I would never miss, even when sick.  Katherine Paterson, author of one of my favorite books, Jacob Have I Loved, was there.  It was an honor to listen to her. 

There.  I feel better now. 

Beth - 1  (I don't stink)
Stinky People - 0
Book Festival - 100,000!!!!

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