SOMETHING SMELLS IN NEW JERSEY
“What the hell did you eat?”
“I didn’t do anything! That’s not my smell.”
It was a chemical, petroleumey (it’s a word now) dry-cleanerish (also a word now) kinda smell. When you notice a smell in New Jersey, it has to be strong. New Jersey, with its oil refinery smell in the north, Jersey shore bay mud Ssmell in the south and road kill skunk everywhere else is the Garden State-of-smells State. This smell was a new and scary kinda stink.
I called the Sayreville police to report this strange smell. I thought it was something local and it might be a health issue. The police answered immediately in that this-is-the-humpteenth-gazillion-call-today kinda voice.
“Yes sir we know all about it. There was an oil tank spill in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and with the jet stream and humidity the smell is reaching all the way to New Jersey.”
“Harrisburg? That’s a billion miles away!”
“Then there is no health risk?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Should I close all the windows?”
“Does it smell really bad?”
“Then you might want to close the windows.”
I searched the local news, I searched the internet, and I could find nothing. A strange scary smell in the most densely populated state in America and I could not find anything on the news. Finally, searching a local Pennsylvania TV station I found an article about a heating oil tank in Harrisburg which broke and spread oil all over the street. It said residents were not in danger, so I am guessing residents of New Jersey 120 miles away were also safe.
Around 1:30 the breeze changed and the smell was gone with the wind. I never found or heard any explanation on any local news outlet.
I guess in New Jersey it is hard to sniff out the news.