Thursday, February 18, 2010

Neighbors, Skunks, and Green Leafy Plants. What do they have in common?

The morning after the floors were completed Gas and I were awoken by an odd smell emanating from the furnace vents. To be more precise it smelled similar to a big greasy breakfast. We were a bit puzzled at the time, but decided to let it marinate (to continue with the food theme. Gas is a fan of themes and I am a fan of Gas, so please excuse my “cheesy” theme. Get it? Cheese? Anyways.) with us for a bit and we opened the windows. The smell appeared to get better until we turned the heat back on in the evening and within minutes the house stunk again although it had morphed into an odor more “herby” in nature; Gas swore it smelled like skunky-weed.

Now the neighbors directly to our north are somewhat of a strange couple. They are older and retired. The wife is a very talkative and gregarious type, while the husband actively avoids eye-contact with us as he trudges to and from his house. I might be able to pick him out of a lineup, but only if it was a profile. Rather than decide he just isn’t the neighborly type, my imaginative wife theorizes that he must be terminally ill and he does not wish to make friends with her for fear that the loss will be too great when the time comes. She has mentioned that I should hint to them that she writes a hell of a eulogy. (I’m not sure that’s the choice of words I would use, honey.) In any case she felt that he may be numbing his pain with the occasional “joint” on the balcony relatively close to our crawlspace and attic intake vents. Case closed. Or so we thought…

I was not so convinced of this story, particularly because it seemed to be localized to the furnace and the crawlspace or catacombs as we like to refer to them. So we searched the furnace ducts and opened the front to the furnace but couldn’t find anything. I kept wondering if maybe the Weez had deviously planted a woodsprite in one of the furnace ducts and it was baking every time we turned on the heater. After suffering (not silently, Gas!) through this for a week or so we decided it was time to call in the experts. I don’t think Mel, our local furnace pro, had ever been greeted at the door so warmly. Gas verbally made-out with him at first site! Its a good think I am not the jealous type and Mel was a happily married Grandfather. After sniffing around a bit we headed to the catacombs and he immediately recognized the smell of a skunk. Apparently the little critter had sprayed near one of the catacomb vents and the smell got pulled into the intake. He recommended taking something that smells nice and attaching it to the furnace intake. So we wet a rag with some sweet pea oil, turned on the heater and within 5 minutes our entire house smelled like the Body Shop. I would highly recommend it.

So, in the end, what is the lesson in all of this? Don’t judge a book… err, house… err, grumpy neighbor… by it’s… err, his… cover… I mean smell. And also demeanor. Anyways.

Till next time, folks! I’ll just leave you with a picture of my sweet-peas in our sweet-pea smelling house.


Amazing Zippered Woman said...

Dearest Henny,
I think you should give some thought to quitting your day job and blogging full-time. You're a natural. Love, Your M-I-L

MODG said...


Mommy Moreno from said...

You are hilarious! and congrats on your award!!!! :D

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Those stupid skunks just stink up everything, don't they? The worst is when they spray a pet. UGH

Funny story!

SmartAssMom said...

Isn't home ownership grand? And um, where is this furnace intake you speak of??

Brakes and Gas said...

Dear SAM,
The intake in our house is in the hallway, but in our last house it was in the floor. I think it's generally biggest grate and it sucks instead of blows. There is no clean way of saying that is there?


Brakes and Gas said...

Dear Brakes,

Please quit sexually harassing my blog BFF.


Auntie Meg said...

How does Gas know what skunky weed smells like? Should I sue for custody of Eloise?