Trying to Find the Funk | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

May 27, 2010

Trying to Find the Funk

Here are 2 facts you need to know about my life that will put this story in context:

1) I have a very sensitive sense of smell. I can smell garbage turning BEFORE it turns. I can smell cookies baking next door. I can smell a rain storm coming. Consider it a superpower.

2) My husband loves beer. He also loves to brew his OWN beer. Hubby has a large assortment of crazy contraptions involving pots, jugs (I'm sorry, let me use the correct terminology, for fear of offending any homebrewers out there. These "jugs" are called "carboys." Don't ask me why), clear tubing, and a couple of instruments that I am sure were once used in surgery.

Example image of a carboy

Our story begins and ends on the landing outside of our bedroom. The house we currently live in is a split level. There are 3 landings, each hosting 1 or 2 bedrooms. We happen to have a bathroom and a bedroom on our landing. So lucky. Well, except for the fact that the shower in said bathroom is out of commission, so we mainly use it to wash our hands, brush our teeth, and "take care of business" (if I need to explain this euphemism to you, you probably should just stop reading the rest of this post altogether).

Not long ago, I started to notice a funky smell developing upstairs. For purposes of this post, we'll refer to said smell as The Funk. I couldn't quite place the smell, sort of a bad mildew smell. I bravely sniffed around our landing, where the smell seemed to be the strongest, but I couldn't pinpoint The Funk's location. I shared my concerns with Hubby, who nonchalantly blew me off, rolling his eyes over my ridiculous aversion to strong smells (I sort of can't blame him. I often go on rants and tirades all over the house trying to find weird smells that no one else can smell. But one of these days, my honed sense of smell will come into good use. I will find a gas leak or hidden bomb or something and save the neighborhood. Then who will be rolling their eyes? Eh?).

A few weeks went by, and my olfactory told me the smell was getting worse. And stronger. Soon, Hubby finally conceded, agreeing that there was, in fact, a hideous smell emanating near our room. Unfortunately, he couldn't find it either. But at least I knew I wasn't crazy, and I was no longer suffering alone. The Funk was truly out to get us.

I started to get self-conscious. What if the smell was actually coming from our room? I mean, I know I don't do laundry as often as I should, but could I possibly have been remiss long enough that our dirty laundry was that foul? Or maybe I completely unaware of my own body odor? No one else seemed to steer clear of being around me, so I must be deoderizing correctly.

Then I thought that perhaps the bathroom wasn't clean enough. I re-washed the toilet and sink, hoping for a change. But The Funk remained. I hypothesized that perhaps The Funk was the living crust that attached itself down the sink drain that no one ever bothers to clean. I courageously bent over the sink and inhaled. Thankfully, it was not the drain. If it had been, I would have had no idea how to clean it. And I might have thrown up due to the proximity.

I searched the landing for dirty diapers, possibly hidden under a wicker curio perched in the corner. I was hopeful this might be the problem, as it could be easily solved (ie: throw it away). No such luck. One night, as we were drifting off to sleep, Hubby murmured, "The stench is leaking into the bedroom." Hope was fading fast, and fear was filling my heart.

There was no escaping The Funk.

Then, yesterday, I was walking into the bathroom, and accidentally flipped up the wrong switch. Instead of the overhead light flickering on, the useless stall shower was illuminated. And suddenly, I knew exactly where The Funk had been hiding.

Several weeks prior to the arrival of The Funk, Hubby had hauled a carboy (see the first paragraph for the definition of "carboy," in case you have forgotten) up to our unused shower stall, along with some assorted empty bottles. Hubby had brought the jug up to get it out of the way and in a safe (ie: unbreakable) place. He then filled the dirty carboy with water, intending (I think) to let it soak for a day before cleaning it.

And then several weeks past.

And the water inside sat. And soaked. And released the ickiness from the sides of the glass carboy. And the ickiness began to float. And ferment. And mold. And fester. And then...

The Funk was born.

I have no idea why it didn't occur to me earlier. I guess since we don't use the shower, I kind of forgot the carboy was sitting pretty, holding stagnant toxic water.

I couldn't confirm it for sure, as I was not about to let my nose get close to the thing. I didn't even open the shower door, lest The Funk overtake me all together. I just pondered my theory from afar, and shared my thoughts with Hubby. A light clicked on in his head, and he said, "Wow. I'm sure that is it."

Yeah. You think?

So this morning, I woke up to a text from Hubby (he leaves at the butt crack [is that one word or 2?] of dawn because he is a high school English teacher, so I'm not usually awake when he leaves). The text said, "The source of the smell was DEF the beer thing. It smelled like the kind of fart that feels hot and burny."

The moral of the story? Never, ever question my sense of smell.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, below is a video entitled "The Funk" that is in no way related to the stench portrayed in this post. It's just a strange video. If you want to watch the video series from the beginning, go to YouTube and search for "Old Greg." Old Greg is a series of creepy sketches done on the BBC show "The Mighty Boosh" that Hubby and his friends found and find hilarious. And by "find hilarious" I mean "quote religiously." I cannot be held responsible for it's weirdness, it's inappropriateness, for how uncomfortable it will make you feel or the nightmares that will ensue upon watching it.

The end.


  1. Ew, ew, ew, ew!

    I have a VERY sensitive sense of smell too. To the point that I will gag if something smells really bad. I'm really sorry you had to live with that for so long. And by the way, Bill is so eloquent with his description, "It smelled like the kind of fart that feels hot and burny."

    Also, butt crack is 2 words.

  2. I'm glad that you found the funk. Yesterday my husband to pull a dead deer out of a client's pond. He's a landscaper. The stench was so bad he had to put ear plugs in his nose. Nastiness.
    Loved the fart comment. Men and thier farts.

  3. Oh I have smelled the putrid smell of not so clean beer supplies! Ugh. Great detective work! You'll sleep well tonight!

  4. You had me rolling... with laughter. You write so halariously. And, I don't blame you - strong sense of smell, here too. But, maybe not as good as yours. This was too funny.

    I thought you were going to say a mouse had climbed into the "carboy" and died, because he couldn't get out. That might've been better.

    So who had the arduous job of cleaning it all up?? Maybe I shouldn't ask.

    BTW: I say butt-crack-of-dawn, too. Where does that come from ?? Phila. area??

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