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June 5th, 2008:

Ugly Smell Revealed!

So for the last week or so, we’ve been smelling an ugly smell in our kitchen– it smelled alternatively like fish or ammonia. We searched everywhere, but couldn’t seem to find it. We sprayed Oust, we made herbal teas, we brewed coffee, we ate smelly cheeses, we kept the window open, we sacrificed a goat to the gods– nothing seemed to get the smell out.

We had started to think that maybe our housekeeper had cooked some fish in our oven, and that some residue or something had gotten stuck in the oven, or in between the oven, or beneath the oven. Or perhaps a dead bird had somehow gotten stuck in the …

Anyway, we had ALL kinds of crazy theories.

I’m happy to report that none of those were the issue at hand– it turned out that the smell turned out to be a year old pumpkin– a pumpkin that had during thanksgiving or something oh so long ago, been put on the top of the oven cabinet and then been left there to slowly, ever so slowly decay. It took a good 6-8 months for this thing to start really smelling up the joint, and to say that it was squishy was to be kind. It was awful.

You hear a lot about rotten pumpkins (esp. around Thanksgiving), but this was my first time up personal with one. A little bit goes A LONG WAY, believe me.

You’ll never guess who was given the unenviable task of cleaning up this squishy former pumpkin mess– that is right, your humble narrator.

This is not a picture of our pumpkin, but just a sample of the awfulness.