People love to test their limits. Some sky dive. Others run marathons. But the real thrill seekers, the truly adventurous, march willingly into the knee-buckling stench of a blooming corpse flower. This explains why hordes of dare devils are currently lined up in eager anticipation outside the Denver Botanic Gardens.
According to a recent article by New York Times journalist Julie Turkewitz, Denver is currently the Ground Zero of stink. The corpse flower smells like rotting flesh, but only when it’s in bloom. So the clock is ticking. According to Turkewitz, these plants take eight to 20 years to bloom, and when they do, they’re only open for 48 hours.
Sadly, I can’t go to Denver right now, but I am confident I could withstand the smelly blast. You see, I’m an Oregon Duck fan.
Football fans around the country produce their share of pregame vomit, but Oregon Ducks fans consistently find a way to raise the bar. This is why I enjoy watching games on television. It don’t mind the stench, I’m just concerned about slipping. “Slipped on vomit” is the number one cause of game day emergency room visits.
Before I continue, let me assure you every word of this story is true.
A few years ago, my wife arranged for us to enjoy a game from premium seats on Autzen Stadium’s 50 yard line. Naturally, I voiced my vomit concern, but my wife ignored me.
When we reached our row, two young men were sitting on the aisle. One looked up at us sheepishly and said, “Sorry.” His companion was hunched forward over a large circle of vomit. A pleasant looking couple was sitting directly next to them, and the woman was leaning in horror toward her companion.
Always the gentleman, I gestured for my wife to enter first. We stepped over the pile and took our seats on the other side of the couple. My wife, who has the olfactory senses of a champion bloodhound, shoved her scarf into her face and stared blankly toward the field. I spotted a concessionaire and ordered a dish of nachos.
I need to slow things down here like we’re studying Zapruder’s Kennedy assassination film, because this is when things turned surreal. As I’m leaning back munching my nachos, I hear a strange noise to my left. I look over and the vomit guy is sitting ramrod straight spewing a projectile stream of vomit like a fire hose directly onto the back the guy in front of him. I’ve seen some amazing things in my life, but this was truly incredible. It seemed like a gallon of liquid was running down the victim’s back.
Here’s my point. Through it all. Through all the chaos and mayhem that ensued, I polished off my nachos. Every last one. They went down smooth.
This is why I am so disappointed to be missing the Denver corpse flower. Because I am an Oregon Duck fan, and there is no stench I cannot conquer.