Pine needles.

Fresh cut logs.

Thick, dewy morning mist.

The sour, pungent odor of a urine-soaked sleeping bag.

Fragrant blueberry bush behind the cabin where you tossed your urine-soaked sleeping bag in a panic to get rid of the evidence.

Chemically smelling lotion applied to poison ivy rash you got while walking behind the cabin with your urine-soaked sleeping bag.

Mildewy store in town where you bought a new urine-free sleeping bag. You had to hike five miles to get there.

Terrible chili breath. Your counselor’s. He asked if you knew anything about the sleeping bag out back. “Well, it can’t be MY sleeping bag. Mine’s right there!” you said, pointing to your bunk. You were pretty sure he believed you.

Campfire.

Burnt marshmallow. You got distracted when the guys started talking about the bedwetter who dumped his urine-soaked sleeping bag in the woods. Jimmy Borton vowed to “sniff out the pisser.”

Crisp night air.

Urine-soaked sleeping bag. You couldn’t believe this was still happening. You were eleven for chrissakes.

Putrid dumpster in town where you tossed your urine-soaked sleeping bag.

Old person smell of the guy at the store. In addition to a new urine-free sleeping bag, you also bought several pairs of urine-free underwear. The old guy remembered you from last time. He winked at you and said, “Need some disposable diapers, Chief? They’re on sale this week.” Your face burned almost as much as your diaper rash. You slipped a bottle of baby powder in your backpack as you slinked out the door.

The sweet, refreshing smell of strawberry bug juice.

Urine-soaked sleeping bag. You knew you shouldn’t have drunk so much bug juice before bedtime.

Your own profusely sweating underarms when Jimmy Borton complained about a “disgusting smell” in the cabin while eyeing you suspiciously.

Horse manure that you rubbed all over your counselor’s shoes to throw Jimmy Borton off the scent.

Trapped fart stench of Jimmy Borton’s sleeping bag. You noticed how similar it looked to yours, so you made the switch. You were pretty sure nobody would notice.

Damp mossy trail where your counselor took you for a “little walk.” He said he talked to the guy at the store. He assured you that he wanted to help, but first you had to return the baby powder. And then he told you to please stop throwing your underwear in the ravine. “But my underwear is right here!” you insisted. “Maybe they’re Jimmy Borton’s. Take a whiff of his sleeping bag. Smells like piss!”

Earthy breeze of an approaching storm.

The nutty, bitter aroma of fresh brewed coffee. You drank two whole pots to stay up all night, so you wouldn’t have another accident. You tried putting Jimmy Borton’s fingers in warm water while he was asleep, but it didn’t work.

Urine-soaked sleeping bag. You must have dropped off to sleep around 3:00 AM. You had a dream that you ran to the latrine and took the longest pee ever.

Boat fuel.

Sulfuric smell of match being struck.

The toxic fumes of burning nylon after you tossed your urine-soaked sleeping bag into the urine-soaked flames of the bonfire you started while everyone was still asleep.

Acrid, ghastly, urine-soaked air after sparks from the bonfire set the latrine on fire. The flames, whipped by the winds of the approaching storm, rapidly spread to the cabins. In a panic, you ran around the camp frantically yelling, “Wake up people! It was Jimmy Borton!”

Fried meat smell after the camp kitchen erupted into a fireball, instantly roasting hundreds of hot dogs and hamburger patties.

The smell of cordite when the ammo shed at the rifle range exploded.

The musky animal scent of a large, hungry bear drawn by the smell of the roasting meats.

Foul, deeply satisfying stench of Jimmy Borton’s urine-soaked PJs after he ran out of the cabin and saw the bear.

Wet, urine-soaked leaves. You were grateful that the storm put out the fire and that nobody got hurt.

The smokey, scorched clothing reek of your counselor and cabin mates as they surrounded you in a threatening manner. “Okay. I’m the bedwetter,” you finally admitted. “But I saved your lives!”

Stink of low self-esteem when you were sent home.

Heavenly fresh, clean bed linens. Yeah, we all know how long that lasted.


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