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9:21 a.m. - 2010-07-08
Wolf is Axed.

This has become the House of Many Stinks.

The pets. Ugh. Princess is shedding gobbets of hair. Tumbleweeds of goldy red dog hair drift lazily across the floors. The rugs' patterns have become hazy and indistinct beneath the new layer of sheddings. This despite Mick's daily vacuuming and his almost hourly mad runs through the house pushing the carpet sweeper in front of him. Brushing the dog is disgusting, it's so humid the hair clings to everything. It gets up my nose and twisted into my eyelashes. It also seems to make no difference to how much she sheds either, no sooner do I put the brush down than she's lumpy again with dripping festoons of loose fur hanging off her sides and belly like Spanish moss. And smelly? There's no need to go into how foul the stench of 'Dog In Summer' is.

The cats are doing their part by peeing everywhere. The addition of Rascal has thrown the cat symmetry off-balance and all three of them misbehave. They claw furniture. Race up the walls. And pee. And pee. And pee. I'm ashamed of how gross the smell in my house is. Even batty old Mrs Figg would take one whiff and flee.

The bathroom, which is not hooked into the central air, is a fetid jungle. Steamy and stinky in spite of the constantly roaring exhaust fan in the window. Towels don't dry. Neither do the bathmats. Or the shower curtain. I change the first two every day and am forever swabbing the hard surfaces with Clorox wipes, but until this awful hot spell with its miserable humidity breaks my bathroom will have all the charm of a Tasmanian debtors prison.

Then there is the boy.

I can see you nodding. Why yes, 13 year old boys are notorious stinkers. Puberty heralds its arrival with a nostril searing flourish of foot odor and armpit aromas. At least this is the traditional way. Unfortunately rampant consumerism and a wildly successful ad campaign have made my son's arrival into manhood far more smelly.

Yeah, he is a full fledged member of the Axe tribe. No, not 'Axe'. 'Axe' is too mild a moniker.

It's.AXE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know, when we were at the store and he shyly asked for some body wash and spray I was charmed. Aw, too cute. My little boy wants to run with the big guys. Sure, kid, have at it. I discretely wiped away a momsy tear and hid my "Daw, isn't he adorable?" smile as Wolf sorted through the various scents and products, then making his choice strutted off to the register. I remembered back to my own triumphant first purchases of wee pots of garish sparkly eye shadows and flavored lip gloss. And that first bottle of Love's Baby Soft.

I'm not charmed anymore.

We've discussed it and discussed it. The difference between a squirt and a dousing. How his products were meant to add a small grace note to his overall appeal, not knock people unconscious. That you're not supposed to be able to see wavy fumes coming off him. The ex actually made Wolf come home the other day and take a shower, no way was he sitting next to Wolf in the car and movie theater with his eyes watering from the overwhelming Axe reek. But there's no getting through to the child. The second my back's turned he's up there in his room applying another gallon or two. Somehow he's become convinced that the bigger the stink cloud the more manly he is. And for my scrawny, so far hairless stripling child having some evidence, any proof that he's entitled to run with the big dogs is way more important than any trifling complaints from his parents about his noxious reek.

Wolf is a man now, baby, and no one in the entire tri-state area with a nose will be allowed to doubt that.


Summer is here and the living is stinky, ~LA

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