Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mothball Stroganoff

I swear this must be what our new neighbor makes for dinner every night. What the hell can he be cooking that generates this odor? It's disgusting. Despite all our best efforts to tape his duct work that runs throughout our basement and now serves as a Mothball Stroganoff conduit, the stench of fresh hot mothball stroganoff comes piping into our apartment practically every goddamn night. We should invest in duct tape; we've used so much of it.

I've begun to eschew the entire downstairs (basement) altogether just to avoid his offensive odors. Odors, plural. You see, while we each have our own basement areas including our own washer/dryer units, these are only separated by hastily tacked up plywood, this being the only unfinished area of an otherwise solidly built, nicely maintained rental. Anyway, when our lovely new neighbor does his laundry, we can smell it. Now, before you get all in a bunch about this, please note that I wouldn't mind at all if he used laundry detergent and dryer sheets like the rest of us. I could even handle it if he used that nasty strong-smelling store-brand cheap stuff. But no, our guy cleans his clothes with battery acid and Drano. If I'm downstairs when he does laundry, my eyes, nose and throat start burning and I have to run upstairs Before. I. Die.

And I'm not the canary in the mineshaft in our marriage. That's Mr. Karin's job. I can be going along thinking everything's fine and he just passes out dead from some noxious fume I hadn't yet detected. Or I'll come home from work and within a minute he'll say, "You've had garlic today. woo! And you were around somebody who has a dog. And a cat, too." He's some kind of olfactory detective. Hard to believe we haven't made a game of this. He'll get into my car, which I think I've kept quite tidy, thank you, because I've removed the rotten apple cores from summer and the Spicy Blackbean Gardenburger wrappers from Burgerville that I don't want him to know I've eaten, and he'll declare it a toxic waste site, that we should get out of the car immediately and that no one should ever drive this car again because the air quality inside is so horrendous.

So you understand now how significantly powerful the odors emanating from our dear neighbor must be if they are causing me to run screaming like one running from Godzilla.