Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Smell of the week
Understand: we are not speaking of straight-up barf smell right here. That would be gross. What we are speaking of is recently-cleaned-up-barf smell. Which is arguably grosser. Nevertheless….
Hypothetical Scenario Based on My Own Personal Experience: You walk into your local convenience store where you always get your morning coffee. This place doesn’t smell too great as it is (Convenience Store Smell: coming soon!), but on this particular day you are immediately greeted with quite the pungent odor. “Who yakked?” you say to yourself. Could be anyone. Every single person you see looks like he just yakked 12 times in the past hour, plus half of them are buying hot dogs at 6:45 in the morning. You survey the grounds in search of the evidence. But as you realize there is no evidence to be found, your nostrils simultaneously detect a hint of a cleansing medium. Could it be 409? Fantastic? Liquid Comet? It’s difficult to determine because the “barf” part of recently-cleaned-up-barf smell is the dominant odor. You are three seconds away from barfing on yourself just from the funk, and you seriously consider going somewhere else because you do not want any of the barf smell getting in your coffee. Also, this smell does not leave the store for three months.
I trust that this scenario sounds familiar, although the settings may differ. In fact, recently-cleaned-up-barf-smell can be enjoyed most often in everyone’s favorite establishment: school. There are many teachers and educational administrators in our family, and each one of them would conclude that the greatest day of the school year is the day that every student can collectively refrain from barfing in the hallway for a whole six hours.
In fact, recently-cleaned-up-barf-smell is pretty much a staple of youth simply because of school. Although, things were a bit different in my day, and that leads me to a distant relative of recently-cleaned-up-barf-smell: slightly-suppressed-barf smell.
I remember walking the school hallways as a kid and getting a whiff of barf, though a slightly fainter whiff than usual. I would immediately look down and see a pile of…something. “That’s weird -- barf is not typically uniform in color, and the texture here appears different,” my very advanced 9-year old mind would say. Then I would realize that what I was looking at was actually one of the great mysteries of the modern world: barf covered in powder.
I cannot begin to explain this phenomenon. So instead I will provide a sample conversation between a janitor and a janitorial intern circa 1987.
Janitorial intern: Hey boss, I was just in the main office and it looks like little Jimmy O’Gillicuty threw-up in front of the biology room again.
Janitor: Oh, you mean Sir Pukes A Lot? What the hell is wrong with that kid? What are his parents feeding him, Lunchables?
Intern: Not sure. Anyway, just came by to get the mop and bucket.
Janitor: Mop and bucket? Pffftt. What are you talking about, rookie? Just throw some barf powder on it.
Janitor: Barf powder. Did I stutter? Just scoop some out of that giant bin over there labeled “barf powder.”
Intern: But…what does it do?
Janitor: It covers the barf.
Intern: Yeah, but…then the barf is still there.
Janitor: Listen. Trust me on this one, okay? Just sprinkle some barf powder on it. Then go and get a sandwich or something. Come back in twenty minutes, and it’ll all be gone.
Intern: But how does that happen?
Janitor: Nobody knows, son. It’s magic.
In conclusion, recently-cleaned-up-barf-smell: Thumbs down!