Saturday, April 18, 2009


Some excellent news to report, my friends. And those of you with sensitive noses can rejoice with me.

See I am staying in a rather old apartment here in Chicago. Wood floors, ancient crown molding, exposed heating pipes, and some sort of metal dinosaur of a machine in the corner of the dining room that nobody for the life of them can figure out.

All of this is fine. Gives the place character, even.

What is not fine, however, is the horrible and permeating noxious scent that has both the dining room and kitchen completely ensconced. The kitchen, folks. The place where you regularly prepare your food. I have a hard time even opening my mouth when there is a bad smell in the air, let alone opening my mouth and eating things that have been living in the bad smell.

So tonight, for maybe the 51st time since I first got here on Tuesday, I mentioned the terrible smell. Gabi still smelled nothing out of the ordinary--which is something that I will never understand. I like to think of myself as open-minded. I am friends with many different kinds of people, all of whom ascribe to differing beliefs, look differently, and act differently. Doesn't bother me. However, when it comes to crossing the bridge of olfactory perception--sheesh. I am not so great at it. If something smells bad, get me the heck out of there and if you don't agree with me, well then you are wrong.

Wrong, I say.

Like I said, Gabi did not smell anything offensive and to each his own (she says through clenched teeth). My other roommate, Alex, did agree with me, however. And he even went a step further as he rummaged through the coat closet and took out something hanging among the hangers that was filled to the brim with mothballs.


Can we get rid of it, I asked?

Noticing the fire of near madness in my eyes, Alex assented (wise man) and quickly placed it in the back staircase which is right outside of our apartment.

And at the moment that we closed the door to the mothballs and banished them from our living space forever, a hallelujah chorus might have started.

Already the place smells much better. And it will never cease to amaze me why anybody thinks that mothballs are a good idea. Never.


jason said...

Yes, I know the feeling. I actually wish you could hire a professional smell detective who would track down the source of a the smell and offer a solution! I'd hire one!

Jessica Latshaw said...

I wonder if I could become a professional smell detective--I have quite a sniffer, if I do say so myself!!!

peaj said...

Mmmm, mothballs. ;-)

Here's a sniffer pro.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Lol--the sniffer pro;-)

kathiek said...

John often teases me that I am in the wrong line of work...he thinks I should be in a career that makes greater use of my olfactory sense.

People use moth balls to keep insects away, but cedar blocks are a much better, and more pleasant-smelling, alternative. They are also safer. And when the smell of the cedar fades, you just sand down the block a bit and, voila, scent renewed!

Jessica Latshaw said...

yes, I'd much rather smell some cedar than a moth ball any day!!!