Thursday, December 12, 2013

ISDP: When the Snoring Stops

The alarm on our nifty Necronomichron™ travel clock just went off which means this is Friday the 13th and time for an especially auspicious edition of ISDP, FirstNerve’s wildly popular feature which premiered on Friday the 13th almost five years ago. Ahhh, good times. We warned you then, and we’ll warn you now:
The squeamish and the irony-impaired should immediately click away, preferably to some bright, safe, happy place where it always smells like sunshine and fresh laundry.
Everyone else saddle up and let’s ride in search of that telltale stench that means only one thing. Our first stop is Texas:
Investigators are trying to identify a woman found dead in a truck in southwest Houston overnight. 
A passer-by called police after noticing a foul odor in a Dodge Ram pickup parked on Pine Street near South Renwick.
We can’t find any further developments to this story. So we head to East Windsor, Connecticut, where the scene is equally mysterious and even more alarming:
The rotting corpse of a 57-year-old man was found inside his Connecticut home — which was filled with a cache of weapons and rigged with explosives, authorities said. 
Police found the body of Russell Bickford inside the Stoughton Road home in East Windsor, just north of Hartford, after a neighbor complained of a foul smell on the first floor Tuesday . . .
Bickford has apparently been dead for three weeks, although a cause of death was not immediately clear.

On to Florida, a leading source of ISDP incidents:
Three bodies found at an upscale, gated community in Florida had been there for weeks without anyone noticing, a medical examiner says. 
The bodies – which were not identified – were discovered on Saturday in Orlando after a property manager went to check on three residents that he had not heard from in a while. 
Upon arrival at the home, located in the golf course community of Eagle Creek, the manager smelled a foul odor and alerted authorities. . . . the bodies were those of a 34-year-old woman, a 50-year-old man and a child.
Sticklers that we are, however, this is not a true ISDP incident because the property manager was already acting on his suspicions when he encountered the Foul Odor.

On the other hand, we have a new nominee for the 2013 Norman Bates Award™. The item appeared in the Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure [Quelle ironie!—Ed.] under the screaming headline “Elle dormait depuis un an avec son mari . . . momifié!”
A Brussels widow slept next to her mummified husband’s corpse for a year, her landlord said after making the macabre discovery during an eviction, a Belgian daily reported Tuesday.
Tests indicate her husband “died of natural causes a year go.”
. . . the widow had told locals her husband was away “receiving treatment.”
To close on a lofty literary note, we offer this fine mini-memoir by Garrett McGrath writing on Narratively. In “The Secret Life of a Manhattan Doorman” he recounts a summer job from long ago.
The smells are the thing I don’t forget. Harsh cleaners, dead bodies, the results of four a.m. bodega runs, cluttered apartments filled with rotting paper. I can recall each smell distinctively; they are unique to that time and place. It also works in reverse: if I stumble upon one of the smells, it takes me back to being a naïve seventeen-year-old, working in the hot New York City summer—the buzz of air conditioners working in the night, straining power grids. The city was asleep and I was awake. I was a doorman.
As the newbie, he is forced to check on the old lady whose relatives haven’t heard from her in a few days.
I pushed the key into the keyhole and wiggled it until it caught. All the lights were on. I scanned the living room. Then, I saw it. An arm, completely dark blue, limp over the side of the couch. She was facing the TV. The smell in the apartment was every cliché from every horrible television detective procedural. It was acrid; it smelled like rotting meat. I couldn’t take it and I ran outside. I desperately wanted to vomit but couldn’t show weakness in front of Manny. He would tell the others and I would be mocked for the entire summer. Manny and I went downstairs and he told Corey to call 911.
That’s it for this edition, folks. Be sure to tip your doorman for the holidays.

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