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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The DDT Truck

The most quoted line from Francis Ford Coppola's movie about the Vietnam War, "Apocalypse Now," is probably the one spoken by Robert Duvall's character when he says, "I just love the smell of burning napalm first thing in the morning," or something like that.

Recently R, the visiting brother of K., our closest neighbor and one of my co-workers in our communal garden up the road, was calling up memories of their childhood days as members of a military family in eastern Virginia.  And he said that he just loved the smell when the DDT trucks came around, and K. agreed that it was a very nice odor indeed, and I think so did his wife, L., and she asked me if I remembered the DDT trucks.

I had to tell her that where and when I grew up, there were no DDT trucks, and up till that moment I had never heard of them.   Actually I always assumed that DDT, banned through most of the recent years,  was sprayed from airplanes, not trucks, and always many hundreds of miles from wherever I happened to be.

This morning, about three weeks after that moment in the garden,  I thought of another response I could have made.   (It takes me that long to think of responses that I would rather have made.)   I could've added, "I think they only sprayed DDT out in the provinces anyway, where there weren't as many people who, on feeling that stuff raining from the sky would've started screaming, no matter how good it smelled, "Now wait just a cotton-picking minute!"

But then again, maybe not.   There is no accounting for smells either.


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