Is That a New Cologne?

Two days ago I began to be aware of a smell in the house that I couldn’t quite put my finger on . . . Not that I would want to.  It stank.  But the smell was somehow familiar in a disturbing way.  After much thought – and checking of the garbage – I finally had it. 


My house, particularly the dining area, smelled like swamp water. 

Since we live in a University town amongst college kids, I wasn’t too surprised.  The teenaged boys next door have been pumping water out of their basement off and on for the past year.  The young man on the other side of us does not have air conditioning. 

Then the smell grew stronger as the day progressed.  It no longer smelled like a swamp.  It smelled like a giant, open vat of sewage.  The next morning, I woke up nauseous.  We called Hubert, the landlord’s handyman.  Hubert came and crawled under the house.  He brought a friend with him. . . I think it was so someone would be able to pull him out by his workboots if he fainted. 

Hubert found the problem.  Or so he claimed.  He said that it was a broken lead pipe (excuse me?  Lead pipe?) under the house that he fixed with a clamp.

If only.

It is now into the third day, and in spite of the lime Hubert liberally sprinkled over the dung swamp under the house, the house still stinks in an alarming way. 

My husband swears that the smell is lessening.  I disagree.  So I lit an armload of scented candles and put them all over the house.  ‘Delightful Red’ – whatever that smell is – plus various green candles that smell like apple pie.  Now the house smells like I’m burning incense in a dirty diaper.  I may never eat apple pie again.

The next stop will probably be a gutted bathroom.  And from there, moving.  But I hope not.

Let’s hope Hubert brings more lime next time and crawls a little deeper under house.  Or brings a stonger flashlight.

It looks like this time, WE are the ones disturbing the whole block.

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12 Responses to Is That a New Cologne?

  1. Kippy says:

    Yesterday morning, when my Mammy went out for her walk up the mountain, she caught a whiff of bear. They smell worse than raw sewage. Fortunately, no bears live under our house or we would have to burn it down.

  2. Thea, have you checked Randy’s diaper?

  3. Snuffygump aka Sarah says:

    The expansion you were telling us about this Spring, slated to take out your house, may be realized sooner than later for y’all. Bummer! What about all of Randy’s boys? I’m not referring to the college neighbors, you know, his red birds! And your bamboo garden hammock spot, and the Tiki torches?! Please don’t let this ruin your desire for apple pie!! I make a pretty good one, even when I’ve dropped it in the dirt. That was an offer to make one when y’all visit. Try stuffing toothpaste up your nostrils like folks had to do in Haiti. Observing National Donut on Friday (tomorrow) should help. Freddy says, “Donuts answer to all mankinds problems!” ( He operates on tunnel vision).

  4. Mallory says:

    So it wasn’t some very “angry” person hiding under your house?

  5. Lexi says:

    Oh ho ho! That is horrible Thea I’m so sorry! Though…I would like to meet this Hubert. Tehe…Hubert.

  6. Maddy the wonderfull says:

    Uh oh you caught me i guess ill find some one eles house to live under. Mallory, Im coming for you…..

  7. JB says:

    Oh no, so it was done with the lead pipe, under the house, by Heir Herbert. Sorry as soon as I heard lead pipe I went to Clue.

    That is awful.

    I feel for you. I hate it when the house smells funny. I’m envisioning it all sweet smelling again.

  8. Hubert says:

    There sure was alot of crap under your house. Did you really think that I was gonna crawl thru that stuff? I just put lime around the edges to make it look good. Don’t worry, the summer heat will dry it harder than a chimney brick.

  9. JB says:

    I keep thinking about you. I hope things are sweeter.

  10. Thea Phipps says:

    Thank you for your good wishes, everyone!
    Kippy… I’m glad your Mammy didn’t have a chance to smell the bear up close! :o
    And JB, that is pure artistry! Clue :D….
    (I love that game :) )

  11. thea says:

    Oh, good grief, I’m still laughing! I just approved the following comments after I had already replied to Mallory, Kippy, Lexi, and JB.
    Margaret, :D perhaps THAT is what caused the problem to begin with…
    Maddy the Wonderful, THAT is too funny!
    And ‘Hubert’ I WILL get my revenge… I know where you live… it might take me two days to get there… but I have a Subaru…
    :D :D :D

  12. thea says:

    Snuffygump – I suppose I could stuff a glob of toothpaste in each nostril … isn’t that what the morgue workers do in the poorer countries?
    And Randy and I will hold you to your offer of an apple pie :)

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