Mmmm! Stinky

It’s 9:13 pm and I’m at home reading a John Sandford novel when my iPhone gives the distinctive chirp that means someone is texting me:

David F. Rooney Current Publisher and Editor
David F. Rooney
Current Publisher and Editor

hope u are well… we who are living in the Oscar St area are still having the shit smell every night and can’t open our windows… good job City of Rev. Way to go.

talk to people down here my friend. It’s nasty

There’s no name, just a phone number that I recognize. I reply:

Thanks for this. I think I’ll take a short drive and smell the roses.

My friend replies:

I have lived here for 5 years and it’s deplorable

I say:

Maybe you should organize a protest… with a bucket of the smelly stuff so they can enjoy the roses.

He responds:

becky martinuk tried to get the City to listen for years. Mike Thomas’ quick fix for $350k+ doesn’t seem to be cutting the cheese

I’m getting covered in shit particles if I leave my windows open at night. Headaches from all the methane etc

I should explain — for those people who don’t know their way around Southside that I live at Temple Avenue and Sixth Street East which is two blocks west of Fourth Street, unlike Oscar which is east of Fourth… quite a bit east of Fourth.

As a general rule I don’t generally like to torture my senses but I lock up my apartment, go out to my Santa Fe, fire it up and drive down Temple to Oscar. I turn right and pass Powerhouse Road. My windows are wide open, the full silvery Moon is rising over Mackenzie’s shoulder. The air feels mercifully cool and not immediately or noticeably stinky.

That’s not too bad, I think ad then suddenly it feels as though I have driven into a dense bank of foul-smelling gas. The stench is so bad you can almost taste it. I’m coming u on Leach Street tempted to turn right onto it at speed but there’s a kid riding a bike without lights — He must have a cold; no way could he cycle through this gas bank without gagging! — so I keep my speed down as I cough, gag and hork.

Finally, I find myself coming up on Fourth Street and there, down at its intersection with Leach, the air is almost normal. I say almost because the cooling night air still carries a faint but stinky bite that slowly fades as I head north towards home.

I hope our City Councillors take an evening drive down Oscar Street some evening this week when it’s hot. They should be able to detect the — Mmmm! — distinctive aroma my buddy mentions by the time they get to our community’s affordable housing project. How are they enjoying it, I wonder, and were they warned in advance about the smell before they handed over their first and last month’s rent?

This has been going on for more than a decade. How many years will residents in Southside put up with the stench? Some day they will rise up in protest… count on it. To paraphrase Marx and Engels: People of Southside you have nothing to lose but the smell!