The dead shrimp and rotten egg blues


By Vicki Scott

As I have written before in the column, my husband Alana and I have been busy cleaning out houses and going through things, with no end in sight. How do two people accumulate so many things? For the past three weeks, the more I clean at the lake house, the stronger a foul smell lingers in one of the bedrooms. I cannot figure it out.

It made me think of a story I read at George Wallace Senior Center, where a lady’s husband asked for a divorce because he had another woman. The lady asked to have one more night in their house and she would move out and on with life. The husband approved and the soon-to-be ex-wife fixed one last meal with shrimp. She ate alone that night and put the shrimp leftovers in the rods of all the curtains.

As time went on, her ex-husband and his new wife, or the other woman, moved in the house.  After a few days, a stench filled the air and continued to get worse, even though the couple cleaned everything and hired cleaning crews to no avail. The ex-husband approached the ex-wife, who eventually bought the house from the couple at a ridiculously low price.

That thought had me looking at our curtains, but the stench in our house was not around that area; it was around the dresser drawers. In the top of the dresser drawers I found items that belonged to my father. Many items were from his and my mother’s trip to Israel. One thing that might have caused the stench was rattles from a snake my mother shot, but I did not remember smelling that smell at my mother’s house. These items stayed on top of the dresser and I thought that I surely would have noticed that strong of a smell.

As the smell continued to get stronger, desperate measures had to be taken. I asked Alan to see if he could find where the smell was coming from. He searched around located and the smell in the drawer with my father’s things.

I was upset. Those items were my “little pieces of Daddy” and I did not want to get rid of them.  I started thinking of ways to keep them, even if they were in another place. It just did not make any sense at all. I never smelled that smell at my mother’s house, and I stayed in that room for more than a year.

I then checked the rest of the drawers.

The drawer directly under the top one contained plastic eggs from Easter. I pulled the bag out and opened it. Along with the foul odor that plagued our house were flies and rotten eggs from Easter. I quickly tied up the bag and hurled it out the back door. My stomach has not been right since then.

After hunting eggs on Easter, we asked the grandchildren to get the candy out of their eggs and put the plastic ones in that bag to save for next Easter. The five-year-old and the six-year-old probably did just that. I question, however, if the one-year-old and the two-year-old did likewise.  I guess we will never know but it does not matter. The smell was not in the drawer with my father’s things or in the curtain rods. I praise God. Stay safe, y’all!

Contact Vicki Scott at

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