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in which people with an olfactory fetish will be offended and boycott reading… and possibly auto mechanics, Simon Le Bon, and makers of fine leather shoes too

in which people with an olfactory fetish will be offended and boycott reading… and possibly auto mechanics, Simon Le Bon, and makers of fine leather shoes too

August 23, 2006

There I was driving all alone in the car. The little car, not the big van, which is a treat. A car I can park anywhere I want,to include parallel parking. I got to be all alone, listen to whatever music I wanted and have the windows rolled all the way down with the air conditioning on. And most importantly, with no one complaining.

As I was speeding down the highway I felt a drip on my right foot. Huh, I thought. That is odd.

But I pushed it out of my mind while I sped down the highway, hair whipping around my face, while I channeled my inner teenager. It was an 80’s flashback musicathon on the radio, so as long as I didn’t look at myself in the rearview mirror I could pretend I was still 14, listening to Duran Duran. I can still picture all the videos to those early 80’s songs, you know back in the day when everyone wanted their MTv so they could watch music videos all day, not whatever it is that MTV has on now.

Then it happened again, and I jolted out of my teenager tra-la-laing and became more concerned. Because cars aren’t supposed to be leaking fluids onto your feet while you drive. At least I don’t think so.

And then, because I am slightly crazy and know nothing about the mysterious inner workings of cars, my mind began to think of all the fluids in a car that could possibly be leaking onto my foot. And how the leaking of those fluids could be the cause of my untimely demise.

Perhaps it was a leak in a gas line, and it was dripping gas onto my foot and soon the entire car would burst into flame and my right foot would be gone. I hastily took my foot off the gas pedal and wiped it off behind my left calf.

I drove on a bit and felt another drop. Maybe it is the steering fluid. Isn’t there some kind of steering fluid that enables you to turn the steering wheel? I don’t know, but I bet there is something like that and it is all leaking out and soon I won’t be able to steer the car and I will crash and possibly DIE. I just hoped that I didn’t drive right over the median and into oncoming traffic, or over the side of the numerous small bridges that I must cross, because then I definitely would DIE. I decided that driving slowly in the right lane was probably my best bet.

Until I got bored of it and realized that I would be very late for my appointment if I kept it up.

But as it dripped again I suddenly thought, “I hope this doesn’t stain my shoe.” Careening into oncoming traffic or bursting into flame I could live with, but ruining a new pair of expensive shoes? No, that could not be allowed to happen.

So I decided to take my shoe off and drive barefoot, for good measure.

As I reached down and took off my shoe, I brought it up to my face to examine the fluid. It didn’t look out of the ordinary so I thought that I had better smell it. Just in case it is gasoline and the car is about to burst into a ball of flames. I could be prepared. And put the shoes in the back seat.

As I held the shoe up to my nose to take a whiff a car drove up in the left lane and the driver looked over at me. I’m sure he was wondering what sort of crazy person is driving the car that keeps speeding up, slowing down, and swerving all over the road.

And now he had his answer, the kind of person who sniffs their own shoes, that’s who.

updated to add: I think it was from the rain. That rain water was somehow leaking into the car. But it has never happened before or since and therefore my husband thinks I am crazy. Which I am. But I did not imagine this.

Posted by Chris @ 8:14 am  

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  1. lipstickface says:


  2. Novaks8 says:

    Obviously you survived.

    Did you figure out what it was?

    I always freak out a bit when I am alone. It is too weird.

  3. wookie says:

    What color was the fluid?

  4. moe says:

    Was it from the AC? I hope so since that would neither cause you to burst into flames or careen into oncoming traffic. Unless you pushed your face so far into your shoe to smell the strange liquid that you stop looking where you are driving.

  5. Christina says:

    Driving alone in the small car - that is so awesome! Oh, and thanks for the dip recipe, we will be popping that one out for the Labor Day weekend, sounds so frickin’ good (wouldn’t want to offend).

  6. Julie says:

    You can’t leave us hanging like that! What was it?

  7. Jennifer says:

    That is so funny.
    Yes, but seriously, what was it?

  8. robiewankenobie says:

    you’re a shoe sniffer? that’s it. not only am i not fucking reading. i’m not fucking commenting. i just can’t abide by shoe sniffers.

  9. madre-terra says:

    I’ll bet it was candy stuck up there above your foot by one of your many perfect faced children and that it was metling onto your shoe. Of course, after you sniffed it you knew immediately that is your inner teenager’s favorite goo and you had to have a lick.
    You shoe sniffin’ licker.
    I’ll bet the driver of the other car wished they new about your blog.

  10. the womom says:

    We only buy used cars so they leak stuff and smoke and shake. My standard mechanic question is always “is it going to explode?”

  11. T in HD says:

    Hey, where’s the end of the story?? I’m sorry but I’m going to have to stop reading your blog if you can’t even finish your stories. ;-P

  12. rachel says:

    thank you for helping me find the good in the day so far by making me laugh.

    But to echo the other 11 commenters - what was the freaking liquid???

    You know I’m supposed to avoid stress to feel better - not knowing if you burst into flames is causing me stress! :P

  13. Jess says:

    “Don’t leave me hanging there, Gloria!”

    What’s the dripping?

  14. meredith says:

    The vision of a lady buzzing down the highway with her nose in her shoe is hilarious.

  15. Erika says:

    I guess I could come out of lurkdom more often b/c you crack me up. And I too, am curious what this fluid was…

  16. Ashley says:

    If it makes you feel any better, my car was doing that into the passenger side a couple of months ago. Leaves had blocked the drainage hole in my car so all of the rain water was filling up INSIDE my car and dripping into the interior. It also made this wickedly funny noise when I turned corners which is what I noticed first, not the wetness.

  17. InterstellarLass says:

    You were a cat in a former life. That’s what it is.

    The shoes were OK, right?

  18. Mrs. CPA says:

    The line from my air conditioner sometimes gets so much condensation on it that it drips on my foot. It’s just water. And I bet, since you had the window down, that the humidity from the outside air meeting the super cold air conditioner line made the situation happen quickly, and that’s what was dripping.

  19. Daisy says:

    When something goes wrong in our car, it usually happens to me and me only. Try to explain that one, shoe-sniffing or not, to the mechanic! Sniff, sniff.

  20. owlhaven says:

    Our car does this going through the carwash sometimes….

    Mary, mom to many

  21. Mir says:

    You totally made this story up because you are a compulsive shoe-sniffing driver and you got caught. I’m on to you.

  22. Debbie says:

    Yeah Chris… *fluid* of course *rolls eyes* you leather fetish freaks are so in denial…

  23. AmyBee says:

    I know this is COMPLETELY none of my business, but is anyone else wondering where Chris was going? Alone. Wearing a “new pair of expensive shoes”? Is this none of my business?

  24. Debbie says:

    I knooooow, and what’s really sad is that I want a picture of the shoes LOL. Not I’m kidding. But really? You were out alone? Did your husband know this? And where were the kids? And where did you go? What time were you back in and did the kids stand up and down the staircase singing “Goodnight, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, Adieu” ala Sound of Music? Did you leave them enough dip while you were gone?

    Really, Chris we had no idea you had a life outside the blogosphere and I feel a little cheated by you going out without first telling us about your plans….

  25. Maliavale says:

    It could just be condensation from running the air conditioner?

    I once had a weird drip, coupled with a strange “salmon in orange sauce” smell, that turned out to be leaky antifreeze.

    Um, not which I think you have. See, because the leak was on the passender side. And soaked my then-boyfriend’s homework all to hell. Mmmm salmon sociology.

  26. Y says:

    Dear Chris,

    I think you are a talented writer and I really enjoy reading your blog, but I’m offended that you would write about such things as “Fluids” and “shoe sniffing.” If you do not cease writing about such things immediately, I WILL DELETE YOU FROM MY BLOG READS AND MY LIFE.


  27. peepnroosmom says:

    OMG I actually had to go pee in the middle of reading that I was laughing so hard. The other day I was caught shoe sniffing because I thought I had dripped gas on my flip flop. The lady in the other car had just turned to look at me when I did it. I just smiled and waved.
    You are hilarious!

  28. Nicole says:

    Just wanted tp pipe up and add to the votes for water. Usually condensation from the A/C, but either it is on overload, OR - and this is where you might have to actually get something fixed - there is a backup of lint and debris in the pipe where it usually drains to the street.. get it cleaned out so it can flow freely again. Sniffing your shoes is far easier than sticking your head down there near the gas pedal.

  29. Susan says:

    Protect the shoes! At all cost!

  30. zookeeper says:

    Yep- someone else was right most likely. Plugged up drainage holes. We had a vehicle that did this to us- the drainage holes by the sunroof would clog up and cause water to come in.

  31. Kristin says:

    my vote is for the a/c. but I’m glad that whatever it was let you live to write about it! picturing the car next to you looking at you with a crazed look is halarious :)

  32. Heather says:

    You are cool and funny.

    To the blogroll with you!

  33. Jen says:

    I was caught belting out the chorus from “F is for Fun” the children’s song by They Might Be Giants by a couple of bewildered people the other day. I was just at the part where you yell out “Yodel-lei-he-hoo” (or however you spell it) when I looked over and saw them staring at me.

    I think it was because the two kids car seats were empty. I was singing a kids song with no kids. If you don’t have kids, that might spell C-R-A-Z-Y. But I’ll be damned if that song isn’t stuck in my head.

  34. Jennifer says:

    When I read the beginning of this post, the first thing on my mind was: was it raining? I had a car that used to do the exact same thing… leak water onto my foot whenever it rained. It was annoying because if I was going a long way my shoe would be wet by the time I got there… but as far as I could tell, it was safe and just water.

    The most annoying thing about it is that no one believed me either. Everyone was all, “that’s not possible, cars don’t leak rain on your foot”. Some cars do! You don’t have a volkswagen, do you?

  35. bluepaintred says:

    heheheh at leas tthey were new shoes. new shoes dont have foot oder(sp??)

  36. mrs darling says:

    I hear ya. Nothing ever happens when you try to tell hubby about it. It’s murphys law. I beleive you htough. My car leaks rain like that too.

  37. paisley says:

    I truly hope that you were the subject of HIS blog. That would make the perplexing mystery all the worthwhile.


    Glad you didn’t break down or explode!

  38. Belinda says:

    Oh, thank God. I was afraid it was going to be something really, really bad on your shoe. But what I’m REALLY searching the internet for right now is the post from the guy writing about the insane woman he saw driving erratically down the interstate while sniffing her own shoe. That’s probably a good one, too.

  39. jennster says:

    LMFAO! BWAHAHAHHA- i totally think crazy shit like that too.. omg, i’m going to catch on fire and then explode like a bomb and well, i hope someone takes pictures of it. LOL

  40. Heather says:

    So happy to find out I am not the only person who, using her vivid imagination, thinks of her own untimely demise. And I was a ball of nerves after watching that stupid movie or movies, Final Destination. Those movies give me way to much ammunition to really think about the crap that could happen to me on any given day, just driving along the freeway, or on a roller coaster, or on an airplane. But yeah, drippy substance INSIDE the car, would definately freak me out, just a little!

  41. siobhan says:

    Happened to me once - turned out to be the airconditioning - water leaking on my foot - especially when I went around corners!!!!

  42. biz says:

    I could totally “LIKE TOTALLY” relate to behaving (pretending and BEING) a teen with the windows down, wind blowing, radio on loud with that awesome and groovy 70/80’s music ~ but know if I really could see myself I would be SO… Not CARING. Man I love driving alone :P

    Sometimes I think I feel something *down there* on my foot when I am driving, is it a fly, a hair - omg… Other than those things I am a totally sane driver - like you, Mrs. Shoe Sniffer/naughty mouth! :-D

  43. Elizabeth says:

    Glad you and your expensive shoes are okay! I’m always hearing strange noises when I’m driving, so I make my husband drive with me so he can hear them too, only of course there is no noise when he’s in the car.

    You’re never going to live down the title of “shoe sniffer”, you know that, right?!

  44. Grim Reality Girl says:

    Too funny! At least your shoes are not ruined! That was a pretty elaborate story to come up with as a cover for your shoe sniffing habit — good for you shoe sniffer!!

  45. Jeff says:

    You need to call in and tell that story on “Car Talk”. They would have a good time with that story.

  46. DK Raymer says:

    What a great fun read! Sounds like every day is an adventure for you. Will toon in again soon…

  47. kathy says:

    Oh, Chris, Jeff is absolutely right! CAR TALK!!!

  48. date rape says:

    date rape…