Sunday, February 20, 2005

“Well – er – that explains a lot.”

The Movie: Shrek, 2001 (Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Joe Stillman and Roger S.H. Schulman, screenwriters, from the novel by William Steig; Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, dirs.)
Who says it: Michael Myers as the voice of the ogre, Shrek
The context: Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) has revealed herself to be under a spell that makes her an ogre every night.
How to use it: When you understand a mystery.

Days are noticeably longer now, which means that Dizzy wakes up at 6:30. By afternoon the sun makes the temperature seem warmer than it really is, but the sun's not very strong at 6:30.

I'm not at my best at 6:30 in the morning -- who is? -- so yesterday, when I walked outside to the overwhelming smell of sour milk, I thought that my housekeeping really had reached bottom at last. But as we walked away from the front door, away from the building, and around the block, the smell didn't go away.

I wondered whether I'd spilled a carton of milk on my coat, maybe, and forgotten about it. I do occasionally sleepwalk, but that seemed extreme. And Dizzy didn't seem to notice anything.

"Ah," said Anna, when I mentioned it later in the morning. "That is a very Maine occurrence."

"What is it?" I asked.

"It's the smell of a paper plant," she said. When the air is particularly clear, and the wind is just right, she said, you can smell that odor anywhere in Maine -- even though many of the paper factories have closed. "If you go to Westbrook on the wrong day," she said, "you can't even breathe."

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