The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and temperatures were somewhere around the mid-eighties. I pulled up to the Mine Road sign at the Pentagon and abruptly ended my phone conversation with my best friend and critique partner Dawna.
Two gentlemen opened my car doors and climbed into the passenger seats, immediately bringing with them a smell like no other . . .
I'm sure the little orbs of smelly repellent went out of style in the 80's, right?
If they were ever popular to begin with.
But one of these guys sported the scent as though he wore the most expensive cologne known to man—or something.
I gagged. How the hell will I survive the fifty-mile drive to Stafford while holding my breath?
* Gasp * I couldn't.
Slug #2 popped a piece of gum in his mouth, so I knew the smell wasn't his breath. Neither of them wore suits appearing as if they belonged on a corpse. The origination would remain a mystery.
Turning up the radio, I tried focusing on anything other than the air quality inside my Jetta, or how I would get that stank out of the leather.
This is what I get for detailing my baby over the weekend!
Every time one of the guys shifted in their seat, sighed, moved an arm, a leg, or played with their cell phone, I swear they created rippling currents of mothball.
To make matters worse, neither of them spoke to me . . . and we hit bad traffic. Cars crawled along the interstate, the drivers inching forward without any hint of the trauma I experienced.
When I saw the sign for our exit, I drove faster, zipping in and out of lanes like a NASCAR racer.
I managed to drop the guys off without telling them they smelled like sh*t, but I was once again reminded that I will never stop being surprised by people I meet in the slug lines.
Why can't I work from home again?
Many of you know I pick up "slugs" so I can use the HOV lanes along I-95 in Virginia. Many of you probably also know that an occasional slug does something so outrageous I feel compelled to write about him/her (see "Letter to My Slug" or "Snoring").