By Valerie (Customer Service)
I called the cops today. No I wasn’t ratting anyone out, or having a dire emergency or anything like that. Something smelled off.
I was typing away at work when suddenly it hit. At first I blamed my dog. He’s an oaf, and nine times out of ten; something funky is likely going to be his fault. Not this time. I sniffed the corners. I mean, I’m in a cabin (see my cabin story here), something could have crawled underneath and decided it was a good day to die…Like a week ago. Still wasn’t it. Time to spread the search. I popped open an umbrella and set to the task. Mind you, it’s pouring down rain by now. The kind of deluge that has the old roadbed running like a stream, and visibility down to about ten feet. Oil smell here; smell there, sniffing, sniffing, it was everywhere.
Now I guess that you’re all thinking… Your heater was on the fritz, or there was a leak in the line. Here’s the thing. My cabin doesn’t have any built in heat source. I have a portable heater that hadn’t been used in months, and didn’t even have a tank attached. I don’t cook in the area I was working because there isn’t a stove. Besides that, it wasn’t gas. You know that smell when you drive by an oil well? The kind that has that little arm bobbing up and down again and again? That smell.
After calling simply to check if there were any reports of oil well issues in the area the police officer got in the checklist chat with me. (See above rundown.) He didn’t think there was a well that close to me either but decided it could be a health hazard so he needed to dispatch the fire department. By this time the smell was strong, but I still didn’t think that was necessary, and was face palming myself at the thought of involving anyone else. Better safe than sorry he reminded me. That feeling that I was going to end up feeling like an idiot was starting to loom. However I thanked the officer, who couldn’t give his name except 807 and hung up. I felt a little odd saying, “Have a nice Labor Day 807”, but it was a good head start on the awkwardness.
Of course, the next 15 minutes I waited for the fire department. Half hoping 807 didn’t end up sending them, while sickly wishing the smell to stick around. I hadn’t grown to love it, but was terrified of being that crazy lady that was imagining things. Needless to say, it smelled just like rain and my candle warmer by the time the nice fire volunteers traipsed through my cabin in their muck boots. As they hopped back in their big rusty blue SUV I out and out confessed the idiotic feeling. Reliving that I even waited about 20 minutes to check in thinking it would pass. They kindly repeated that it wasn’t a problem, and the old guy leaned out and said something that made me feel sane. “Same thing happened 2 years ago a couple miles away. Oil smell. Never figured out what that was when we got there either. Now get in out of this rain.” I cracked a joke about oil in this there hill and wished them well.
If you folks out there protecting and serving get a call from someone just feeling nuts and smelling things, thanks in advance for checking it out, even if it winds up smelling like coconut and lime by the time you get there!