Today when I left for work, there was a terrible smell in my yard. A melted plastic rotten disgusting smell that gave me a headache and made me cover my nose. But not an unfamiliar smell, as horrible as that sounds. A few weeks ago, the day my dad turned up on my doorstep looking for my mom, there was that same smell. We live in Wallingford. Choate's here--ever read Catcher in the Rye? Choate's mentioned once, Wallingford once. I believe President Kennedy went to Choate, but don't quote me on it. It's a famous private school, and it's what Wallyworld is known for. We have some other things in Wallingford. Like a company called Cytec. Used to be called Cynamid. It makes, among other things, those plastic glowsticks that you snap and they glow for a few hours and then get thrown out. It's a plastics company. It stinks. It always has. It's not as bad as it was when I was little (and it was still called Cynamid)--back then when you drove by it on Route 5, you'd literally have to hold your breath. There used to be a little league field right next to it. A few years ago it was abruptly closed down for good due to toxins in the grass. Thousands of little kids played on that field over the many years it was open. Including my husband and his brother. Near Cytec is the town dump. No further explanations needed there. Near the town dump is the electric company. It's got lots of those transformers that cause leukemia. We almost bought a house which was 1 house away from it, and changed our minds. That house gets sold every couple of years. I wonder why? And, because that section of town wasn't disgusting and stinky enough, they built a trash-burning plant. This burns trash from neighboring towns as well as ours. So trucks full of garbage rumble up and down the nearby streets. I live...maybe a quarter mile as the crow files from this quad of doom. I grew up about 2 miles away from here. My dad lived there (still lives there) for 40 years, breathing in that stink, and now his brain's gone rotten. I should mention here that the next town over is North Haven, which was the home of Upjohn (a pharmacuetical company which made cough medicine and I don't remember what else) which at one time was one of the top polluters in the U.S. As the crow flies (poor crow, he's getting tired), it's maybe 5 miles from Wallingford's Quad of Doom. It's out of business now, or moved away or something, but I'm sure whatever foulness it poured into the earth and the Quinnipiac River is still around. Oh yeah, we have US Surgical, also in North Haven, and in Wallingford we have Bristol-Meyers, both pharmacuetical companies which manufacture pollution. I wonder if anyone's ever done a study on people in our area and things like cancer and Alzheimer's and other diseases? I can tell you this. My grandpa died of cancer in 1987. Within a few years (maybe 5) on his street, which has maybe 20 houses if that, there were multiple cases of multiple kinds of cancer. As the crow flies, it's not even a mile from the old Upjohn place. Things that make you go "hmmm....."