Tyrades! by Danny Tyree
According to the Washington Examiner, 2022 has handed New York City an alarming spike in citizen complaints about outdoor odors.
(“I hope you appreciate me doing my civic duty. It’s not easy to use a cellphone to make a 311 call and publicly urinate at the same time. Oops…sorry, graffiti.”)
Mayor Eric Adams has promised a new garbage bin program, brand-new street sweepers and additional restrooms, but I wonder how committed he truly is. Adams is on the record opining that the main thing he smells permeating the city is marijuana. Actual quote: “It’s like everybody’s smoking a joint now.”
Wow. That’s not exactly the sort of folksy assessment one would expect from the mayor of Mayberry. Of course, times change. (“Welcome to Mayberry. Otis Campbell will not be riding a cow today, but I did see him purchasing a saddle for a giant rat. Guard your pizza.”)
The Big Apple’s plight has made me curious about your own corner of the world. How does your city, town or hamlet rank in the aroma area? Would the air delight the nostrils of tourists, or would it make their olfactory cells migrate down to their feet? (“Not thrilled with the bunions, but at least there are Odor Eaters down here.”)
Most of us take immense pride in our hometowns and would vehemently object if an outsider offered a critique. (“Oh, yeah? Those are fighting words, buddy! Those are fighting…*wheeze* *hack* *cough*…”)
Municipal leaders are loathe to make public statements about local shortcomings, so they employ more subtle maneuvers. That’s why the city boasting the World’s Largest Ball of Double-Sided Tape morphed into the city boasting the World’s Largest Can of Febreze without any fanfare.
Communities that do acknowledge chronic odor problems have their own unique backstory. Maybe it’s inadequate storm drains, improperly disposed toxic chemicals, a sulfur-laced water supply, agricultural runoff, the perfect storm of 500 uncles simultaneously perpetrating the “pull my finger” gag or something else.
Let’s not forget the quaint Hallmark movie villages. (“The series about the perky crash-test-dummy-turned-sleuth got canceled, and we forgot to tell the corpse actors they could go home. Ewww…”)
My hometown had a stockyard right off the public square when I was growing up, and the county trustee recently jogged my memories about the noxious smoke that used to waft from the old city dump; but I don’t really have a lot of negative observations about current conditions.
On the other hand, after nearly 30 years, my wife still complains about the overpowering smell of empty liquor bottles set out for garbage collection on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. (Hey, there’s a reason no song has ever started “There is a house in New Orleans/It reeks of pumpkin spice…”)
Nor has she forgotten the largescale gospel singing event that was marred by the presence of a ripe cow carcass on a nearby farm. The incident helped me brainstorm several new hymns, including “What A Friend We Have in Clothespins,” “When the Saints Go Staggering In” and “Swing Low, Sweet Airplane Oxygen Mask.”
Let me know if your community stinks (and not in the “there’s nothing to do in this one-horse town and one family runs everything” sense). I want air-quality reports!
But if you’re reading this in The City That Never Sleeps, please wipe off the Cheetos dust first.
“It’s like everybody’s got the munchies now.”
Copyright 2022 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”