What is that smell?

Okay, there I was, sitting beneath my shade tree trying to cool off after spending a couple of hours mowing the rainforest that sprang up in my front yard. I don’t know how many days of rain we’ve had since that dang groundhog woke up, but I bet I can count the number of sunny days on one hand. Like most fellers here in Texas, we like to reward ourselves for doing hot and dirty yard work with an ice cold beer. And according to all the medical journals I’ve read, it is vital to replenish all that sweat that ran down your back and soaked your drawers like a newborn’s Huggies. Okay, perhaps water would be a better choice of a beverage, but, hey, this is Texas and not drinking a cold Lone Star beer after mowing the lawn is considered blasphemy.

So, I was sitting under that tree, surrounded by a few empty beer cans and pesky gnats when I grabbed my Hays Free Press. Since I get my newspaper on Thursdays, I usually plan my day accordingly by working all day on the ranch until Happy Hour, and then read the paper while I cool off and rehydrate. I don’t read it all, but that humorist who writes from his Crow’s Nest makes me laugh. Just as my core temperature was about normal, I read a story about the city of Buda passing an ordinance against offensive odors. Well, that struck a nerve and I got so upset, I had to drink two more beers just to cool off.

I understand that there are some businesses that might produce a foul odor, and regulating this stench is in order, but what concerns me is where the local government draws the line on what an “offensive odor” is. Give the government an inch and they’ll take a mile. Just ask any Native American.

As some of y’all know and many suspect, I’m a country bumpkin who lives on a cattle ranch and spends most of my days outdoors. Although I often wake up smelling fairly decent, it doesn’t take long to acquire a foul fragrance upon myself. If a rancher doesn’t step in cow manure at least once a day, then he doesn’t have enough cows. And if a cowpoke doesn’t have a dozen layers of sweat stains on his work shirt, then he must be an urban cowboy.

So, my question is, if I were to drive into Buda to get feed or supplies, am I susceptible to getting fined for stinking to high heaven? Will I get arrested for malodorous conduct or just run out of town? I’m not saying I’m a career criminal when it comes to being stanky, but a day doesn’t go by without my wife asking me, “You gonna shower before dinner?” You know, I don’t think it’s really a question.

I recollect Buda also has a noise ordinance. Residents apparently don’t want loud noise at night, and now they don’t want to get a whiff of something foul-smelling. So, are Mexican food restaurants at a risk of getting shut down for contributing to a clamorous and odiferous environs? (Only y’all with a quirky sense of humor will get this). What in the name of Mongo is going on here?

So, if there is some government official, judge or editor of GQ who can inform me what degree of agricultural aroma is acceptable in today’s society, I’d appreciate some insight. I don’t really want to supply discomfort to the sensitive nasal passages of my city-dwelling neighbors, but we ranchers don’t even notice the odor of a juicy pile of cow manure smeared all over our boots. It smells like money to us.

You can’t take Clint Younts anywhere. Heck, with his “smell of money” permeating around him, he can clear a restaurant in nothing flat. That’s why he likes to hang out at the Crow’s Nest.


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