Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Better Homes and Gardens: Call me!

When I was a sophomore in high school, a mouse died in the wall behind my locker.

Let me set the stage. It was winter. Our building had an all-or-nothing furnace, so it was consistently 85 degrees in February. And my locker was outside the biology classroom of the absentminded guy with the worst toupee ever in the history of bad toupees. Mr. Absentminded Biology Guy taught the dissection classes, so his sense of smell was obviously compromised. Plus, a few years earlier, he'd had an entire class plop their partially dissected fetal pigs into a bucket of formaldehyde right before Christmas break. Three weeks later, when he opened said bucket, he was truly shocked and befuddled to find that the smell made every single student either pass out, barf, or sprint from the room.

So, a decomposing mouse in the wall outside his classroom was not a cause for alarm for Mr. Absentminded Biology Guy - or for anyone else. After all, it was outside the dissection classroom, in the sophomore hallway. Live and let die, man.

My locker smelled like death for about 4 weeks. Four long weeks. I got to know that smell well.

You know how they say that scent is the sense most closely tied to memory?

I am remembering 10th grade like crazy right now. My basement smells like sophomore hallway / bad toupee. I think we had a mouse die in the wall of the finished part of our basement. Much like the area behind the high school lockers, there's not much to be done about cleaning out such a space. We just have to live with the scent of death wafting around the only cool-ish area of our home.

Because I am 37 going on 90, I believe that all things health- and household-related can be cured with baking soda, vinegar and / or vitamin E. So, right now, I have little dishes of baking soda sitting around our finished basement, in the vain hope that it will absorb some of the death stench. Bowls of white powder, like cocaine at a party in the 70s or really, really dusty potpourri. Either way, I'm totally the hostess with the mostest.

Wanna come sit in my stinky basement, talk about high school and pretend that little bowls of white powder are the latest in home accessorizing? Sure you do.

That said ... I am open to any and all suggestions. I think this just might be the ultimate comment cue: How do you get rid of dead animal stank in your home?

4 comments:

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Not to freak you out, but do you by any chance have propane? What I once though was the smell of DEATH was actually a gas leak...

On a happy note, the maggots should take over soon, right?

That science teacher sounds deeply deranged.

Kelley said...

My 10th grade biology teacher had a human fetus in a jar. That still disturbs me.

As for the death stench, I don't know what would work. I would think that you could only mask the odor, since you can't just rip out your wall and remove the deceased critter. Maybe there's a magic combo of baking soda, dish soap and or peroxide on Pinterest.

slow panic said...

I have no idea. Baking soda and vinegar are my go to when I clean. That's WHEN.

My best idea is to go as far away from that smell as you can get in the house and curl up with a good book or some bad day time t.v. and wait for it to go away.

Kidding.

Kind of.

Average Jane said...

I feel your pain. I lived in a house that was built in the 1930s and the mice ran rampant through the walls and often died there as well. We tried everything you can imagine to mask the smell but all you can really do is wait it out.