Fish Oil Pills Raise a Stink

By Frank Szivos

I am compelled to raise a stink about fish oil pills. I have taken them for years. They’re supposed to be beneficial for my heart and cardiovascular system, stimulate my metabolism and help keep me trim.

Fish oil pills are supposed to do just about everything short of making me immortal. But there’s a down side to gobbling down these fishy capsules daily – the smell. Let me explain.

You have to take precautions so the fish oil pills in your pocket don’t melt. It’s happened to me more than once, and it can raise a stink – literally.

I typically carry my fish oil capsules in my pocket. I know, I know I should keep them in some kind of case. I also should have a million dollars in my retirement plan, my kids’ college education paid for, and never eat red meat. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken any of these steps, so don’t expect me to have a pill case in my pocket.

Recently on a warm summer day, I slipped out at my lunch hour to hit a bucket of golf balls at a driving range. This is actually a healthy habit since I avoid eating a fattening lunch. At least, that’s what I tell the boss.

After I hit about 100 balls, I worked up a bit of a sweat. I carried my clubs to the car to head back to work. I was feeling pretty satisfied with my golf swing when I unexpectedly caught a whiff of fish. I sniffed again just to make sure. It certainly was a fish stench, but where was it coming from?

I glanced down at my pant leg and noticed a dark circular stain about an inch around right on the spot in line with my pocket. I’ve been through this before, and reached into my pocket with trepidation.

Yuck. I fished out a half-melted fish oil pill that smelled like a miniature tuna fish grinder. I did it again. Now what? I had to go back to work. To make it worse, I had to stand up in front of several people and make a presentation. You can’t present in front of a crowd, smelling as if I were a fisherman at sea for a couple of weeks.

At work, I hurried directly to the bathroom and worked on the spot with a damp paper towel and soap. I blotted the smelly circle that seem to grow to an area that encompassed most of my thigh.

I limped back to my desk, carefully avoiding any co-workers who might start jumping out windows to escape the stench. I sniffed deeply to test for the stench; not too bad. Maybe I got to the stain in time with the water and soap. As soon as it dried – in about three weeks – I could sneak home. But I still had to make a presentation.

This was a desperate time. I had to whip into action. I wandered into a co-worker’s office as if I just dropped in to say hello. We chatted for a few moments, then I noticed that he seem to be sniffing. “Do I smell fish?” he said. “Where is that coming from?”

He poked through his garbage can as if he expected to find a half-eaten fish. I slipped out of the room before he honed in on the source of the smell – me. I swore everyone I passed was sniffing at me as if I were a walking sushi tray.

I had no choice but to head to the store and buy a new pair of pants. I sped to the store and hurried to the men’s department, waited until the salesmen were occupied with customers, then rushed to the rack. I flashed through the pants. I really didn’t care what I picked, I just didn’t want to stink.

I grabbed a pair of charcoal gray pants, I only have about two gazillion in my closet. I slipped them on in the dressing room and slipped into the new ones. Ahh, I was relieved that I didn’t stink any longer.

I approached the cashier and stood a few steps back from her. I handed her the tickets from the new ones and told her that I wanted to wear the pants out the door. She smiled and asked if I received all the help I needed. I assured her that everything was terrific. I even complimented the sales staff for being so attentive – to everyone but me.

She wanted to put my soiled pants into a bag. I clutched them to my chest, no way she was prying these away from me. I assured her that I didn’t need a bag. “These are just old pants. I really don’t care about them,” I said. She cashed me out and I headed for my car, throwing the pants into the trunk and slamming the lid. The pants and the stink were buried away for now.

I no longer smelled like a dumpster and glad of it. I vowed to buy a pill case for my own protection. It isn’t easy living a healthy lifestyle.

Frank Szivos is a free-lance writer who now carries his fish oil pills in a plastic case.  He can be reached on Facebook.

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