Lately, there's been a smell in the house.
Have you ever noticed that when someone says "Lately, there's been a smell in the house", they never mean the fragrance of roses or hot chocolate, fresh-mown grass or Chanel No. 5? Nope, you automatically assume nastiness, stinkiness and rot. And you'd be right on the money this time.
I noticed it in the basement first. A nasty, garbagy odour. I work from home on Fridays, and my computer is in the basement. My only-half-finished, dimly lit, somewhat dungeon-y basement. I kept checking around on the floor to see if Elvis had pooped under my desk, or if (God forbid) some small furry rodent had got into the house and died. Nope, couldn't find anything. Shrugged it off. But the smell lingered, and got worse.
Then I started noticing it upstairs on the main floor when I came into the house from outside. Just the faint undertone of rot in the air. I took the kitchen garbage out to the garage. I bleached the kitchen garbage can. I cleaned the cat litter twice a day. And still the phantom odour remained. And grew stronger.
This morning, I was downstairs on the computer and one of my co-workers phoned. We were discussing a publication she's working on, and my eyes wandered around the basement as we spoke (well, they didn't *actually* wander. They stayed in my head. I guess it really was my gaze that wandered, but it's a figure of speech, kind of like "She threw up her hands" which always cracks me up, picturing someone vomiting up fingers, rather than making a gesture of surprise. But, I digress...) and I noticed a white plastic grocery bag sitting on the kids' play kitchen (you know, one of those Little Tykes sets that's a sink/stove/fridge/oven), which is parked in a dark corner right next to the chest freezer. "That's odd", I thought, as Evelyn went into detail about the figures in the report she's working on, "I thought I put all the play food and dishes into a cardboard box. I wonder what's in that bag?"
Holding the cordless phone to my ear and ummm-hmmming to Ev, I crossed the basement to find out what was in the bag. I opened it and nearly threw up my hands. Or at least my breakfast. I had found the source of the mystery odour.
In the bag was a large ziploc bag containing 2 steaks. Two rotting steaks. I have a vague memory of taking them out of the freezer to rummage around in there for a chicken so I could make roast chicken. I must have taken them out, taken the chicken out, and then neglected to put the bag containing the steaks back in the freezer. The lighting in the basement is not the best, and the white plastic bag blends in quite well with the white plastic play set. Oh, and the last time we had roast chicken for dinner was just over two weeks ago.
The good news -- now that the festering meat is in a garbage can in the subzero garage, my house does not smell any more.
The bad news is twofold -- 1) They were really nice striploins that I had got at an incredibly low price and was looking forward to eating. 2) I've been reduced to blogging about the contents of my purse and why my house smells bad.