Would You Like Some Mustard With Your Shower?

A funny thing about my apartment is that, for some reason, whatever my downstairs neighbor is cooking, I smell in my bathroom. For the first year that I lived here, I could never figure out why my bathroom smelled like mustard! I’d take out the trash, pour baking soda and vinegar down the sink drain (an earth-friendly and bubbly way to clean out your drains, btw), and scratch my head in wonderment.

Then, we got a new neighbor. And the mustard smell immediately stopped, to be replaced by spaghetti. That was the night I figured it out. “Why does my bathroom smell like spaghetti? Wait, I smelled spaghetti when I walked by downstairs. OHHHHHHH.”

Yes, this new neighbor had a whole different recipe book of kitchen smells. And for the most part, it was an improvement, not to mention an adventure. I’d awake and stumble into the bathroom, greeted by the aromas of coffee and oranges. While I showered, I’d smell bacon frying. As I moisturized, I’d be enveloped with wafts of pancakes and maple syrup. What would my bathroom smell like when I returned home that night, I’d wonder. Croques monsiuer? Chicken Cordon-bleu? Something non-French that I knew how to spell?

Well, this morning I went to take a shower as usual, and was assaulted by an olfactory affront. My bathroom smells right now, unmistakably, of dog food. I had a dog as a child, and I know what a can of Alpo smells like, and that’s what they’re cooking downstairs. I know they don’t have a dog, either.

The moral of this tale, really, is that I know way too much about my neighbor downstairs. If I smell enough bacon in the morning, I’ll slip a bottle of Tums under his welcome mat on my way home from work. No I don’t, that would be crazy.

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