Friday, May 30, 2008

God bless the funk, the almighty funk.

I was standing in my kitchen one afternoon, shearing the skin from a pineapple--enjoying the sweet funky smell. But, the sensual pleasure of that experience was infiltrated by a different kind of funk. A funk at a lower frequency. A frequency localized within our cat Sally's box.

A touch of background: I am Sally’s (defacto) sewage specialist, a responsibility that I feel honored to have. Not to be gross, but there is something rather intimate in cleaning up another animal's waste. I've had dogs before and was shocked at the ease of taking care of a cat. They're neater than a lot of people I know.

My wife and I usually buy the biodegradable litter that you can flush in the toilet. Expensive, but worth it. But when I went to Kroger recently they were all out, so I got another brand that didn't seem to be working as well as I hoped. The kitchen was full of funk.

Those two instances of funk, in close succession, made me think about how reactive an aroma funk is. It’s one of the few smells that is almost always tied to a strong emotional response. It is the smell of life. The funkier something is, the more (potential) life it contains.

We live in a society that attempts to exterminate funk at every turn--and failing that, place funk in bondage. The funny and sad thing about this is that the attempt is always a waste. Funk moves and re-moves. It can't be destroyed and it can't be contained. You can hold your nose if you want, but that doesn't remove the smell.

So, after cutting the fruit, I put it aside. I carry Sally's Cat box to the bathroom. Scooping the
sandy rolls into the toilet, I don't even hold my breath--I praise the funk.