Foul. What a sweet word in comparison to the expletives I could use when it comes to the foulest stench I have ever encountered. As you could probably imagine, in the time I have been a funeral director I have come across some indescribable assaults on my nasal senses. I'm not going to list each of them for you because today we are looking for the foulest not just the foul. What a word.
Have any of you ever had the pleasure of waking up one day to the smell of a dead animal either in a wall, attic or crawlspace underneath your house? Perhaps a mouse that has gotten trapped somewhere and began decomposing before it was discovered? Well my friends, multiply that horrendous smell by a couple of hundred, maybe even one thousand and you might begin to get the gist of the aroma I am trying to describe.
When the human body decomposes, and I dont mean the beginning phases, I mean full blown decomposition; when that occurs and is left unchecked the ensuing smell can literally knock you over, heaving is not uncommon. It is an odor that remains with you for days. It gets into your clothes, in your hair, and seems to remain hovering in your nostrils no matter how hard you try to cover it. This is gross, it's not something I really care to discuss or even remember but for me, this fits the topic.
All attempts at masking this are worthless. I have discarded many clothing items because they have been soiled by this "foul" scent and no matter how they're cleaned it still somehow remains. Replacing soles on shoes won't work, even if the cobbler will accept them they've become trash. When I hear the words "discovered in the woods", "found at home after 10 days", "pulled from the river after rising to the surface" or other similar explanations I cringe imagining the newest assault I am about to encounter.