I had a pretty weird email from the Fredericksburg Alert system yesterday, and timed bizarrely while en route to Fredericksburg. The subject was “Outdoor Smell,” and the email read as follows:
This is a notification from the City of Fredericksburg:
Please be aware that with current weather conditions, the noxious outdoor smell that is similar to a gas leak is actually the King George landfill odor wafting into the City. If there is a gas smell inside AND you have natural gas service, then please contact 9-1-1.
Tell a friend/coworker about Fredericksburg Alert! Forward this message to them and have them register for this free service at www.fredericksburgalert.com.
Disquieting to think a regional landfill is perfuming the city given weather conditions (not sure if it was wind, but assuming as much), but I worked at the College of Staten Island, so I’m no stranger to such realities. But about six hours later they sent a second email that was even more bizarre:
Follow up to this morning’s alert.
The source of the odor could not be confirmed.
No gas leaks were found in the city.
It almost reads like a decontextualized stanza to a poem, the idea that the smell is no longer linked to the landfill (I never knew a landfill to smell like gas), and there seems to be no evidence of where it came from now. It’s like I am walking into the beginning of an eerie movie plot, I kinda love it.
If we don’t, remember me….
This was quite the topic of conversation in our neighborhood Facebook group. Lots of folks worried about gas leaks. Oddly I had gone out yesterday morning to run an errand and didn’t notice anything (it also wasn’t particularly windy so I wondered what weather conditions would they be referring to anyway). Weird.
You were already infected!