I said I’d talk about the Great Stench Crisis and I will. I was hoping to wait until some more developments, but here’s the story. Thursday night I went over to TJ’s to play Eberron, which is a whole nother story. I got back around 10:30 and had to take the garbage out. So I let Beebo out into the back yard while I collected all the various garbages, put them in the can, and wheeled the can to the curb.
When I was done, Beebo came back in and ran up the stairs. As I entered the kitchen, I was greeted with the worst odor imaginable. Imagine Satan holding a rotten onion under his armpit while doing Pilates with a dead wolverine. That’s the smell. Actually, I exaggerate slightly, but it did smell like old rotten onions. Having just taken out the garbage, I thought that maybe there’d been something powerful bad in there, but it was clear that the smell was currently present. I tried to figure it out and that’s when Beebo ran back into the room. It was him.
He’d rolled in something diabolical while I was taking out the garbage. He reeked of it. It was all over him. And by that time he’d run all over the house.
I grabbed him and hauled him downstairs for a bath in the sink. I scrubbed him and scrubbed and once that was done, toweled him off and tried to deal with the rest of the house. I did what I could without any kind of air fresheners, and then headed for bed. It was over. The lingering stench in the air I could deal with tomorrow.
By three a.m. it was clear that it wasn’t over. I thought I had gotten it all off of him but I so hadn’t. And now it was all over the bed. I had no idea what to do.
My first thought was: skunk. I’d never smelled a skunk before, so I had no idea if that’s what was going on. The internet told me a lot about skunk spray, but not any kind of description of it. So I gave him a second bath and waited until sunrise when I could get more information.
When the sun came up I went out in the yard and discovered not a skunk but a patch of little red mushrooms that seemed to smell of the stench. Here was what he’d rolled in! So it wasn’t a skunk, at least. I got some more work done while I tried to figure out what to do. By eleven o’clock things were out of control. A third bath accomplished nothing. The bed was still unholy. I called the boarding place and arranged an emergency bath for him. Having exhausted my resources there, and with no further recourse other than the cleansing power of fire, I turned him over to professionals and worked on the house.
I bought Febreze, baking soda, carpet deodorizer, and Lysol, and applied all around. I opened windows and ran fans. Bedsheets and towels were washed and re-washed. I seemed to finally get control of the thing. Beebo came back and it turns out they gave him a skunk bath, even though it wasn’t skunk.
We were finally turning a corner. But then I invited Dan over to apply his nose to the problem. Had I just gotten used to the satanic stench, or was the problem truly licked?
The former. Dan smelled it, all right. I steadied myself for round two. By this time I had gotten hold of Nature’s Miracle, an enzymatic cleaner that professional kennels use and was applying it liberally to the mattress. More cleaning, spraying, washing.
Saturday evening I went up to Northampton with Dan and Jen. After letting my nose revitalize itself with the fresh scents of comic books and lesbians, I returned to the house to discover my efforts still hadn’t paid off completely. The smell was quite reduced, but was still there. More spraying. More vacuuming.
Yesterday I mowed the lawn and discovered that those mushrooms were not the name of my pain. They smelled like nothing. I only thought they were the source because at that point everything smelled bad. So at least I didn’t have to worry about spores or anything like that.
It’s now Monday morning. I need to go out and get another bottle of the Nature’s Miracle. I really do think the situation is much much better. Unfortunately, there’s still one problem: the mattress. I’ve gotten a lot of the fiendish reek out of it, but it’s still there, and doesn’t seem to be budging. I’ve no idea what to do, short of an exorcism. That mattress is quite new and wasn’t cheap. Any tips would be appreciated.
Also I think I may have located the source. It seems to be coming from under the back porch, but a flashlight search under there reveals no rotting corpse or entrance to hell, so I’ve still no idea. I need to figure out how to get down there and apply the necessary fire and acid, acid and fire, to cleanse the earth once and for all.
We may have to nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.