I’ve decided that communication is important. Exceedingly so. Proper communication prevents problems and reduces the possibility of unnecessary weirdness. For example, this morning, if my father had communicated with me, if he just had said, “Beta, before you go to work, please take the bag of beef out of the trunk,” then we wouldn’t be in this situation. I wouldn’t have driven around all day with a bag of beef in my car, and it wouldn’t have fermented and my car wouldn’t smell like…like…something died in the hatch. (I drive a hatch-back, so the back is called a hatch, right?)

The bag of beef managed to stay hidden in the trunk all day, from seven this morning to eight o’clock this evening, so it’s had plenty of time to decompose. The smell is appalling. I don’t know how to describe it. TO get the full effect I recommend that you leave a bag of beef in your own trunk in the summer heat for at least twelve hours and see what happens.

(Da Momma sez: sprinkle offensively rank things {fermented beef juice stains, the inside of your cousin’s shoes} liberally with baking soda and leave overnight for best results.)

This isn’t the first time that something really stinky has happened due to a lapse in family communication. A few years back, my brother got married and we decided to throw a Valima. (day-after-wedding party) My father, who is an avid cook, decided to do some of the catering himself, so he spent ALL day cooking Qorma (beef in savory sauce, yum) for 200 people. It was a massive pot of Qorma, you could’ve stood in it up to your knees. Time came to distribute all the food into the family’s various cars and drive to the wedding hall, and then it was time to leave.

I got dressed and got into my car, and sped off towards the party. Ok, I may not have sped, but let me say, I don’t drive like an old lady. I like taking corners at a tilt. I take genuine pleasure in peeling out from stoplights. I believe that speed-bumps are a constant source of excitement and puddles are meant to be driven through. I don’t drive like this all the time though, and I certainly wouldn’t have driven this way if someone had just told me there was a huge pot of Qorma in my back seat. But incidentally, no one told me, and I didn’t get father than a block from the house before there was a huge crash and a beefy-smelly splash in the back seat of my car.


You can imagine the effect this had on my dad when I drove back and told him what had happened. His reaction registered at least a 6 on the Richter scale. See, it takes hours and hours to cook Qorma properly, and now the whole thing was ruined with just an hour to go before the party.

I think what followed afterwards would’ve made it into the Guinness World Book of Records if there had been anyone there to see it. My dad actually re-made the entire pot of Qorma in under two hours, and thus went down as a hero in family culinary history, though we didn’t think it to be too historically exciting then, because at the time it was a crisis, not an adventure.

I cleaned my car out as best as I could, but the smell was still powerfully strong. Qorma smells really good though, so we didn’t mind, except that you always left the car feeling hungry and fiending for Pakistani food. That was just the first few days though, after that everything went downhill. The Qorma started to ferment, and the smell was vile. Really. Like driving around in the garbage bin of a Pakistani restaurant on Devon. (beep beep! *gag*)

I tried washing the seats and carpets, but the oil was just too much. The floor mats had soaked up enough ghee to butter a hundred Qorma-flavored parathas, and on top of that, riding in the back seat always left the soles of your shoes greasy. After that my car became known as the Qorma-mobile, or the curry-car, and I had to keep a bag of baking soda in the trunk to re-sprinkle the backseat whenever the smell got to be too much. I don’t know whether or not the car still smells. I sold it and moved to Pakistan about six months after the Qorma incident, and it was still stinking then. For all I know it probably smells as bad. .

And the moral of this story is: communication is an essential tool in the maintenance of peaceful families and pleasant-smelling vehicles. Thank you, good night.

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Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on Muslimmatters.org.

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