Is It Lunch, or Voodoo?

I arrived a little late to work, so missed all the fun of searching for the mouldering carcass. Chicken carcass, that is – lest you imagine one of my coworkers, eager to put in a little overtime, died at his desk, unnoticed, in the night. That’s happened to people I know, at other companies.

No, it was just lunch. Someone’s forgotten leftovers, left a little too long at room temperature. I missed the fun, but having lost a whole chicken in my car trunk for a week, I know the smell. I actually feared someone had stuffed a murder victim in my trunk, once it wafted up to the driver’s seat, finally. I had a witness with me, when I opened the trunk.

Just a chicken.

Nasty smell, that. Ripe, dead chicken. Similar to “bird that fell into the dryer vent and couldn’t get out again.”

Not a suitable offering to the loa, I’m sure. Maybe Cthulu would like it.

You know what’s worse than the smell of rotting chicken carcass? (Besides other forms of rotting dead things?) Trying to cover it up with “air freshener.” Unless you like the smell of flower-scented body rot, you should probably just keep that spray in the drawer.

Speaking of fowl–er, foul–smells at the office, nothing says “I love my coworkers” better than fresh soap, laundry detergent, and a little non-chlorine bleach. Nervous sweat with a birdy-bath of Ysatis cologne isn’t endearing at all.

I’m going to give ethnic lunches a pass, but if we’re eating garlic, sardines, tripe, or Brussels sprouts, it would be a kindness to enjoy lunch in the break room – or better yet, hey! The sun’s coming back out and there are picnic benches over there – across the street! Yay!


Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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8 thoughts on “Is It Lunch, or Voodoo?”

  1. She spent the first day after the divorce went through, packing her personal belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases. On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things. On the third day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight, put on some soft background music and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of Chardonnay.

    When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar into the hollow of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.

    When the husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days. Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything; cleaning and mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were steam cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which they had to move out for a few days. In the end they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

    Nothing worked.

    People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house. The maid quit.

    Finally, they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move. A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they could not find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out and, eventually, even the local realtors refused to return their calls.

    Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place. The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. She told him she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back. Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day. She agreed and within the hour, his lawyers delivered the paperwork.

    A week later, the man and his new girlfriend stood smirking as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home. Including the curtain rods.

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    1. Ahhh, yes. That last line makes it just perfect! The things some people will do to screw over their supposed “loved ones.” I always feel sorry for the man until he shows up with the girlfriend, then thinks he’s pulling one over on his ex-wife by taking the curtain rods. I’m guessing she knew he would, too.
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  2. Hah! There goes my chance of bringing a plate of fried rice with – wait for it – a generous helping of fried fish and sliced tomatoes in your kitchen table.

    I’m a little hurt, but not too affronted to ask for a cup of coffee. That’s still allowed, yes?

    PS: I also like one commenter’s curtain rods story. Good stuff.

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