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Column: Uh oh, the leftovers spent a few days in the car

On the very first day of my very first job at Wendy’s, I had to slice a bucket full of onions, and it took weeks for the smell to go away.

I can remember washing my hands with bleach at one point to try and remedy the situation, but it did not help. As I was dealing with my smelly predicament, I also was operating the grill during the lunch shift, which always made me smell like a hamburger after my shift. When it was a busy Friday, I probably cooked hundreds of burgers, and the smell followed me into the car and home.

I would always have to shower right away and throw my clothes in the washer. I only had two Wendy’s shifts, but I never went a shift without washing it. An air freshener helped with the funk in the car, but on a hot summer day, the smell of a single with cheese would linger for a few days.

Since then, I’ve been mindful about keeping food in the car too long. Every time I get a new vehicle, I cringe the first time I stop at a drive-through because it takes a long way to take away the pure ecstasy of the new car smell.

The other day after running some errands in Three Forks, we decided to stop and get Chinese for lunch. I ate my lunch special like there was no tomorrow, but Melissa did not join me in eating like a pig and had enough leftovers. As we were going to run a few more errands in Bozeman, I told her to make sure you don’t leave the food in the car or let it sit in the fridge for several weeks. When Melissa forgets leftovers, and they get shoved in the back of the fridge, some funky stuff is going on when one of us finally discovers the box.

I kindly tell her only to take it if you plan on eating it, and she always swears that she will, but it rarely happens.

Melissa put the box in the back seat, and we headed to Bozeman and had an absolutely wonderful time dealing with all the courteous drivers.

When we returned home, I told Melissa I would grab everything from the trunk. She had hurt her knee a few days prior, and it was best for her just to go and relax.

On Sunday afternoon, we were watching television when I realized I did not bring in the leftovers. It turns out she had forgotten too. We had Chinese food sitting in the car for over 48 hours. While it was not summer, the weather had warmed up quite a bit, and I was scared to see what the car would smell like.

Would this be a case of the previously mentioned onions and a smell that would not disappear?

It turns out the temperature at night probably did us a favor, and there was no smell.

The next time we have a take-out box, I will ensure it gets right in the house. Could you imagine 48 hours in 100-degree temperatures?