Sunday, June 15, 2008

Febreeze? Candles? ....Anything? Please?

My apartment smells like funk.

Not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, musty, take-out-the-trash funk: real, honest to god, funky funk. With the windows open and the fan on, it is something akin to "hobo's underpants," with the windows closed (God forbid!) it takes on an aura of "moldy moose carcass rotting in the sun."

The horrible debacle started yesterday afternoon, when I notice a vague aura of The Funk as I passed by the kitchen. In a hurry to get myself out, and drinking, I made a mental note to take the trash out the following morning...Clearly, I did not appreciate the source or magnitude of this problem.

While I was sleeping, The Funk reared its rancid, scabby head and took over. Long about 3 am, I awoke with a start! Had Swamp Thing invaded in the night? No. Not Swamp Thing- just The Horrible Funk, now pervading my little retro apartment/box with windows with such force as to actually awake me from my sweet, sweet dreams of beaches and places where Law Review doesn't exist. Its been temperate, and a bit humid, so I slept with the windows open in my tiny, tiny sublet studio- and still- The Royal Funk of FunkyTown managed to take over.

Obviously, this problem had mushroomed to a must-manage-now scenario.

First things first: out the trash goes. The smell, unfortunately, is not the trash (empty wine bottle. Paper towel. Granola box. None of these things smell like the breath off an aging walrus.)

Fine. If taking out the trash won't solve the problem, I will move on to more desperate measures, and bleach the heck out of the place. The woman I am subletting from is a bit of a proto-hippie, and has only Friendly Cleaners. Under the current circumstances, my feelings are such: I pay rent. Scummies and skizzies do not. I can survive a healthy dosing of bleach. Scummies can not. Therefore, bleach is the silent landlord enforcer. I want nothing living in my apartment that is not me, and I am willing to employ harsh chemicals to make this so. If something cute and fluffy and non-smelly comes along, we can talk.

This, thus far, has not been effective. A search for the source of The Royal Funk turned up no results. Cupboards have been emptied, the fridge has been cleaned (in, around, and behind, a prodigious process in a kitchen the size of a closet), obligatory dead-mouse-check has been performed. No dice.

Every square inch of the place has been thoroughly disinfected, and yet- the The Royal Funk remains.

I've now stuck my nose into all sort of places noses just shouldn't go, and still- The Royal Funk is utterly inscrutable, and apparently sourceless. It's like a haunting of funk. It is not a "train station bathroom" smell, or even a "split pea soup left too long on the stove" smell. It's not even a "wet dog" or "gym socks" or "bad limburger" smell. It's, is the smell of something dead. And rotting.

And now, wonder of wonders, I have isolated it to a process in the wall, sticking a foot or two out into the center of my now-Funk-infused studio apartment.

After word from maintenance that there had apparently been a 'mouse problem' which was 'solved,' I have come to the conclusion I'd been avoiding all day.

There's a dead (poisoned) mouse in my wall.

And it is rotting. And it will not go away.

I've tried the standard get-rid-of-funk attempts: vinegar, lemon, boiling cinnamon sticks. The end result is that my apartment no longer smells like rotting mouse. No. Now it smells like rotting mouse pastry, with a side of fish and chips.

What I'm trying to say is: Ew. Ew. Ew ew ew ew. It is time to move out.


Laura said...

wow, i am REALLY sorry to hear about your rotting mouse pastry scented apartment.
heres something you CAN do to relieve your poor nose.
its called 'Smoke Eater'
sold at
its a candle that people often refer to as 'the smokers candle' because its mostly used to get rid of the smell of smoke. BUT this candle not only eliminates smoky smells, it eliminates ALL other scents! cooking, smoking, bathroom smells, EVEN dead, rotting mouse pastry smells... i strongly urge you to check out this candle and give it a try, im positive you will NOT be disappointed.

hope you get the funk outta your apartment soon!

Quasi-Legal said...

That's truly heinous if The Funk wakes you up from your sleep. My sympathies. Hope it's gone by now.

All rights reserved to my snotty and generally self-deprecating writing. And if your comments bother me, I'll delete them. That's right, pumpkin.
...How dreary—to be—Somebody!
How public—like a Frog—
To tell one's name—the livelong June—
To an admiring Bog!
-- Emily Dickinson