The Mystery of My Smelly Car — Seinfeldism



Two days ago my car began to stink. I began to worry that it was going to become similar to Jerry’s smelly car in that Seinfeld “Smelly Car” episode. Yesterday I picked up Jennifer Fenwick Irwin from the Carleton Place Museum and her son Henry. They assured me my car did not smell– but there was no hiding the putrid aroma. Today as I backed the car out of my garage it was like someone had cut a million onions inside, and it was all I could do to breathe. I vowed to buy one of those Febreeze car air fresheners as soon as possible. They do work right?

After researching online, I read that if you’re smelling something unusual in your car, this can be the sign of a serious mechanical problem. Of course it could also just mean that you spilled food in your car and have a mildew problem. Either way, it’s important you diagnose and eliminate any car smells. Some of them they stated can be very dangerous. I had not eaten in the car- so I began to think mechanical  issue– and worried my son Schuyleur was not going to be impressed with how his Mother was looking after the brand new Mitsubishi.


Did you know if you smell maple syrup outside the car, this might mean you have a leaking radiator cap or that the radiator itself has a leak? If you smell it inside your car instead, this might mean that your heater core has gone bad. If you smell burning toast while you’re working the gears of the car, this is probably an issue with your clutch. But it could also be your break pads. This research was becoming more nerve wracking than looking up personal medical stats on WebMd, and I began to panic.

I don’t let trash accumulate in my car, but my back seat does look like the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum lives there.  As I searched the car for any smelly culprits in a grocery parking lot with a lot of outside light, a guy came up to me and began to chat. He told me that once his truck kinda smelled like that and he looked all around and finally found 2 really old cheeseburgers in his toolbox. He had chucked in there because he couldn’t find a trash can. I replied that it was very good of him not to toss them on the side of the road. By the time he had also told me about an old cheese and egg sandwich that had wedged down the back seat of his Aunt’s car I had found the culprit. There stuck under the driver’s seat was a Lean Cuisine (frozen/now defrosted and creating a life of its own) meal that must have fallen out of my grocery bag–a week ago. I can personally say I don’t think this will be a repeat offence, as if it happens again, there is nothing like a bad odour to stir up memories.

“You don’t understand what I’m up against. This is a force more powerful than anything you can imagine. Even Superman would be helpless against this kind of stench.”– Jerry, describing the B.O. smell in his car, in “The Smelly Car”

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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