Air Freshener Makes Valiant Effort in Van Full of Relay Runners

Photo by   Shukhrat Umarov   from   Pexels

A pine tree air freshener in a rental van full of runners tried but failed to mask their collective odor over the weekend, Dumb Runner has learned.

The runners were competing in the Suicide Mission relay race, a “200-mile trek over hostile territory” that begins atop Oregon’s Mt. Lee and ends in the seaside town of Marvin.

The van, a 2019 Chevrolet Express, began the weekend freshly washed and smelling “almost like new,” according to Charles Bronson, a team co-captain. Just hours after the race start, he said, passengers began noticing a mild funk in the van. By the race’s midway point, the odor had taken a sharp edge. And by the time the team reached the finish, Bronson said, the van had developed actual cartoon-like “stink lines” visible to observers.

“It was really something,” he said.

Through it all, according to the van’s passengers, the small cardboard pine tree dangling from the vehicle’s rear view mirror did the only thing it knew how: Gradually emitted its fragrance, a “mysteriously enticing masculine blend of citrus and woods,” into the vehicle’s increasingly noxious interior.

The van’s occupants struggled to describe the smell.

“It’s like, remember back in gym class? The lockers?” said Ernest Borgnine, another team member. “Imagine that smell, like generations of body odor trapped in a damp, dark space, but distilled into a little super-concentrated bottle of oil. Then imagine infusing a wedge of Parmesan cheese with that oil.”

“It was like that,” he said. “Plus ass.”

“It smelled like Bigfoot’s dick,” said Telly Savalas, the van’s driver, quoting the movie Anchorman.

Team members expressed gratitude for the air freshener as they buried it on the beach at the post-race festival.

“Poor little guy,” said Borgnine, pouring out some of his beer onto the tiny grave. “He really didn’t stand a chance, but he didn’t care. He kept on going, doing what he could. There’s a lesson in that for all of us.”

He paused.

“I really, really need a shower.”