Its been so long since we got moisture in Amarillo you forgot how rain smelled or how wetness makes it smell.

After over 150 days with no measurable precipitation at Rick Husband Airport, much needed light rain and an eventual all day drizzle came to Amarillo on March 27th.  Amarilloans, as is the tradition, did not dance scantily clothed giving thanks to the deity or deities of their chosen faith.  Instead, after stepping outside to not get the paper, they were hit with an odd and disquieting Aire de Funk.  An odor equally unknown yet oddly familiar.  And on this holiest of weeks, that preceeding Easter, the stench was so frighteningly unholy it conjured fears of the reckoning or of Armageddon, or another the day the music died.  So many calls were made to the Amarillo Fire Department reporting a natural gas leak the switchboard shorted out and calls were sent to the Office Of Emergency Management, activated in response to the disquieting air.  There were also calls to the city switchboard demanding something be done to remediate the smell and find a way to legally make the feedlot cartel in Hereford pay for it.

For once, Hereford was not the easy one to blame.  The odor of methane and natural gas are quite similar, most who’ve lived here over ten years know the difference between the smell of cow manure and anything else.  This ‘Smell of the 27th’, which was covering both counties of the Yellow City in a colorless and insidiously offensive stinky dog blanket was not from bovine leavings.  From the highest office of city government, that of Mayor Ginger Nelson, an immediate investigation was ordered to determine the cause, nature, lethality and ranking on the Odor Awareness Scale.

To maintain impartiality in case the city was complicit or negligent and caused the odor destroying the old Ross-Osage Sewer Waste Lift Plant, Xcel Energy was contracted to find answers.  An answer to why a the local electricity monopolist, account drainer, and leading restorer of power in Puerto Rico was contracted to investigate a natural gas smell when the local gas company who specializes in such investigations, has a friendlier phone menu, and much more reasonable energy rates wasn’t called simply stinks.

The confidential investigation provided only to the City Council was leaked before it was read in chambers.  It found The Smell of the 27th was a day of undeclared disaster in Amarillo.

As the odor worked it’s way along I-40 people began speeding through construction zones to escape it, which never happens due to traffic fines doubling in those work areas.  The odor caused many drivers to squint, cutting their visibility down to a tenth of a mile. The usually open and brisk I-40 traffic slowed to a standstill, jammed bumper to bumper, a rare and inconvenient occurrence.

Through an open records request the report finds there were zero drug interdictions on I-40 until after the smell had cleared the interstate.  Many longtime DPS troopers testify that to be statistically impossible.  4 out of 5 flyover vehicles are muling some sort of illegal drug at any given point on I-40 at any given moment and under oath they theorized the smell, being similar to marijuana, masked the sweet leaf during DPS stops.  Reportedly even Stinky, the DPS’s superstar sniffer dog failed to detect a load of pot, later discovered, sold, and smoked in Panhandle (Panhandle city officials have released a statement on handbills telling residents they have yet to determine what the strange odor was across their city, but the investigation has stalled as everyone has chilled out).

It has been determined the odor did not come from the South, origination from the story told by four players suspended from the Texas Tech football team on Tuesday.  It followed their Saturday night of misdeeds at a Lubbock night club and what the players told police reeked so bad all spent the night in jail.

One confirmed casualty blamed on the foulness of the odor was Amarillo City Attorney Mick McKamie.  He reportedly burst into the city manager’s office with a handkerchief covering his face, eyes irritated and streaming with tears, screaming he “could get the city absolved of a lot of things, even criminal activity, but the smell was indefensible and below his moral turpitude to defend” and resigned, handing in written noticed scribbled on the back of a Amarillo city offices St. Patrick’s Day party invitation.  He was last seen packing his SUV, with neighbors telling investigators McKamie told them he was not going to be a scapegoat and was “getting away and not stopping until I can’t smell, that smell, anymore”.

Xcel has recommended city officials blame the smell on “weather conditions bringing the smell into the area” and avoid speculating on what the smell was or came from.  It has been pointed out the answer could be used for any odor, any time, known or unknown, benign or deadly and it really says nothing about  The Smell of the 27th.  Xcel’s advice does seem wise when Amarillo now has no city attorney, no scapegoat and with the new Ross-Osage Sewer Waste Lift Plant far from completed and Amarillo un afford to continue to pay for it to be lifted by hand, they can ill afford a delay in construction while it is found what really happened to our community Easter week 2018.

According to the FAA, the odor has officially been classified a UFO and their investigation is closed.

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