I was strolling past the OccupyDC tent-slum this afternoon and was struck by the…aroma. Now, it is said, and truly, that the stimulation of our olfactory glands can be a powerful jolt to our memories, oftentimes calling forth the instant recollection of an experience that one had decades ago – and so it was in my case. The stench coming from McPherson Square took me back to the halcyon days of my youth, when, during the summers, I worked for my father's garbage company and had to make frequent runs to the county landfill. Y-e-s…the smell from the park was exactly the same as the funk rising up from that vast estate of waste, where heterogeneous trash decayed and fermented and ultimately resolved itself into a more-or-less homogeneous mash of organic soup.
And yet the stink didn’t bother me too much, precisely because of the fond old associations. Garbage meant money to the Pacos, and as Old Paco used to say (tongue planted firmly in cheek), his friends would sometimes make fun of him for being a garbage man, which made him cry all the way to the bank. The smell also brought back memories of a cruise I took upon graduating from high school. We put in for a day and a night at San Juan, Puerto Rico in the middle of a sanitation strike. The same stench, perhaps a bit more pervasive. But I danced in the ship’s ballroom with a pulchritudinous young woman, to the wild and joyous strains of “Roll Over Beethoven”, performed by a highly talented little band, after which I drank nine whiskey sours and knew no more.
Ah, the old days are gone forever…But where was I? Oh, yes. McPherson Square. If the self-styled anarchists and Bolshevik poseurs wish to stink their way to victory, then they will find, to their consternation, that this is one partisan of the ancien régime whose nose is proof against that particular weapon.