In the post Are These the 14 SuperFoods? I confessed that I don’t like oranges. Some of you already know this story. For the rest of you, enjoy the tale of how I lost my love for oranges during the summer of 1996.
Before I start the story, let me tell you what I dislike about oranges. I loathe the smell of oranges, especially the peels. And I would never touch a sliced orange.
If a slice of orange is served on my food at a Chinese restaurant, I will remove it (HazMat style), wrap it and get it as far away from me as possible. Many people prohibit smoking in their homes. Since 1996 I’ve prohibited oranges in my home. I used to work with a guy who ate an orange daily in the break room at lunch. The smell would bother me until I tied off the trash bag and took it out to the dumpster.
Back to the story. I was living in Tampa and was getting ready for a trip to visit my family back in Ohio. Before leaving I decided to do some grocery shopping. While there I bought 2 cans of frozen concentrate orange juice. When I got home and unpacked my bags, I only found one can. My car was empty, so I came to the conclusion that one of the cans didn’t get bagged. Since my trip was the next day, I let it slide.
Photo by Ivan Chang
My trip to Ohio was for 10 days. I drove to the airport and parked my car in long-term parking. By parking on the roof, I think I saved a dollar a day. Some of the smarter readers have probably figured out what happened to the missing orange juice.
After 10 days in Ohio, I returned to Florida and was reunited with my car in long-term parking. The second I opened the door the most hideous smell of my life about knocked me to the ground. The missing can of frozen orange juice had rolled underneath the seat of my Honda Civic hatchback. There in the blazing hot Florida sun, it had thawed and leaked out of the container. It coated the carpet of the car and proceeded to cook in 100-degree temperatures for 10 days.
Somehow I managed to get the car home. With each mile I drove, my love for oranges was vanishing. By the time I got home, I hated oranges. The next week I spent over one hundred dollars getting the car professionally cleaned. Had this gone smoothly, things may have turned out differently. But the first few cleanings actually made things worse. The cleaners had spread the orange smell. The doors were now sticky. After more detail work, they finally got 99% of the orange juice out of the car.
For the next few months, the faint hint of cooked orange juice drifted in my car. I drove a good part of that summer with the windows down and not using the air-conditioning.
Now you know why I don’t like oranges. Had you been with me in long-term parking that summer day in 1996, you wouldn’t like oranges either. In recent years, I have been able to drink OJ. But that is as far as I can go. I actually prefer fake orange tastes like Tang or creamsicle.
2015 UPDATE: Overcoming My Only Irrational Food Fear
You can’t get any powerful smell out of a car. My sister barfed in an old Camry we had when I was a teenager — we tried absolutely everything save stripping out the carpets entirely. Still, under the right conditions, there would be the barf smell.
Sounds like a bad deal. I like oranges myself. :-