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Dead Meat · 16 October 2011


“Dead meat” has a new meaning for me now. It used to be directed at somebody we were going to beat up or at least wrestle around with until somebody cried, “uncle.” After the events of the past week or so, it has a totally different meaning for me.


When we were kids, we used to say, “You’re dead meat!” to a friend or family member right before we started chasing him around. The phrase and chasing were usually preceded by teasing or a prank or something else fairly innocuous. And when all was said and done, there was only chasing, getting tired, and having a good laugh together. Nobody ever ended up being dead meat. At most, somebody got a sore arm or a noogie out of the deal.


This past week changed my definition of dead meat to something a little different than what my friends and family used to say to each other.


On Sunday, I took the car to get some gas before everybody was up. I knew the tank was nearly empty and did not want to stop on our way to church. When I got into the car, I was met by a nasty smell. I did not recognize the odor nor could I figure out where it was coming from. I picked up a pack of gum which was sitting in the console between the two front seats and took a sniff. It seemed to be the culprit. Satisfied that I had found the smell, I went to get the gas.


Later, when everybody piled in the car for church, my wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, and I talked about the smell. I said I thought it was the gum, but she said the enveloping smell was definitely not spearmint. She thought it was from dog poop on soccer cleats and a wet and smelly Thing 2 a few days before. It did not seem likely to me that this was the disgusting smell, but the argument was logical enough and though I did not recognize the smell, I agreed it did not smell like spearmint.


Later that day, we emptied the car of the blankets that were in the back seat in case the stink really was from soccer practice and had deposited itself in the fabric. Still the odor persisted. For days.


Finally, the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi looked in the trunk to see if there might be something there causing the stink. She found a package of meat from her trip to the grocery store. The meat had been in the car for almost a week before she found it. It really was dead meat.


I was actually not going to tell this story so that I might save my wife a little embarrassment, but since she posted something on Facebook for all her friends to see, I figured I was safe. As a matter of fact, after she told me what the cause of the stink was, I forgot about the whole thing. I was just glad she had found the cause of the smell. But the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi was more disgusted about the incident. Her Facebook post says, “Finding the unknown stink in my car, priceless, realizing that it was $13.50 worth of raw meat from the grocery store that has been in my trunk for a week, pricey.” I did not even realize she posted anything until a couple of our friends mentioned it to me at work. That was when I figured it was okay to tell the story.


Nowadays, I rarely use “dead meat” in the way we used to use it as kids. It has been a long time since I thought about chasing somebody around for teasing me like we used to do. But now, if somebody says, “You’re dead meat,” to me or anybody around me, I will probably chuckle a bit. I will chuckle even if it gets me hurt (probably by The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi), because “pricey meat from the grocery store sitting in the trunk for a week” is my new definition of “dead meat.”

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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  1. It was just luck sweetheart, when I placed the returned box of books in my trunk.

    — Mindboggling · 20 October 2011, 14:00 ·

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