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The Clay County Advocate - Press-Flora, IL
  • Lost in Suburbia: In search of the stinky thing

  • “Ugh! What stinks?” asked my son pinching his nose. “It smells like something died in here!” I glared at him. I had spent the past 20 minutes looking in every nook and cranny in the kitchen to find the source of the stink.

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  • “Ugh! What stinks?” asked my son pinching his nose. “It smells like something died in here!”
    I glared at him. I had spent the past 20 minutes looking in every nook and cranny in the kitchen to find the source of the stink. I had gotten a whiff of it when I came downstairs to make breakfast, confident that the dog had done something unmentionable. But there was no evidence of a doggy felony anywhere and there were no obvious culprits in the fridge or elsewhere, either. Whatever it was, it threatened to tarnish my spotless reputation as a domestic goddess extraordinaire. Yes, my house looked clean. But it smelled like a hot day in an Odor Eaters testing site. Not an appealing smell unless you have a foot fetish.
    After years of stinky diapers, spoiled food hidden in the crevices of my car seats, and petrified former food items lost in the back of my crowded fridge, I thought I should either be immune to noxious smells or be like some kind of human bloodhound; able to identify, seek out and destroy the sources of any offending stink. However, on this occasion my superior Sherlock Mom skills failed me and while I was able to smell whatever was stinking up my otherwise pristine home, I couldn’t find it and feared that something had, indeed died somewhere out of sight. I quickly counted pets and children to make sure the source of the smell wasn’t someone or something I was responsible for keeping alive. With everyone present and accounted for, I determined it was probably a mouse or some other small outside creature that made its way inside and picked my house as its final resting place.
    Now, this was not the first time we’d had an unexplained smell in the house. Living with kids and living in the suburbs opens up all kinds of possibilities in terms of nasty things that can start to smell bad in your house. Even a pair of sweaty teenage gym socks left in the wrong location can soon start to mutate into a putrid alien life form with a smell that could bring down an NFL quarterback.
    Taking a deep preparatory breath, which I immediately regretted, I slapped on a pair of rubber gloves and began my investigation.
    Cautiously I felt around in the back of my kitchen cabinets, under the sink and in the garbage disposal. I moved tables and appliances and peered under the dog bed and Chinchilla crate. I emptied out the entire contents of the refrigerator and freezer, washed down all the shelves and restocked the food. Then I did the same thing with all the pantry shelves. Feverishly, I washed out the inside of the garbage can, the oven and the microwave. By the time I was done, my kitchen sparkled like a disco ball. Unfortunately the kitchen was uber-clean, but with all the scrubbing and moving, I was a hot mess, and worse yet, the smell still remained.
    Page 2 of 2 - As I stood in the kitchen with my hands on my hips, my husband poked his head in to see what all the commotion was about.
    “I scrubbed the whole kitchen and I STILL can’t find the stinky thing,” I whined to him.
    He leaned over me and wrinkled his nose.
    “I think it’s you.”
    Follow Tracy on Twitter at @TracyinSuburbia.
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