Dead rats and kimchi

December 4, 2007

One of the unpleasant realities of being a homeowner is the fact that occasionally a rat decides to die in your house–usually somewhere in the floorboards that only a rat could get to. Well, we have one. A dead rat somewhere under the house, rotting in slomo. My nose is pretty good, so I’ve pinpointed his location to an area in the house, but then it just gets gross, and one area is just as bad as the other. In my mind I become Wiley Coyote and blow the whole area up with a hole in the two floors above it, but I come to my senses. I haven’t found him but will continue to do so. Where is that smellometer when you need one? Wish me luck.


In the odiferous memories department, I’ll never forget this one smell: kimchi. Back when Susan and Wes were living with us (both Korean-Americans and engaged), Susan’s mother gave us a stash of kimchi–a container, double wrapped. In case you don’t know, kimchi is one of the most pungent aromas there is. It is all permeating. We stored it in a refrigerator in our basement. And regardless of that fact, together with the double wrapped container, the next day I came home from work to find a house reeking of kimchi. It had taken over the entire house. I expelled it into the backyard but the damage had been done and the house smelled like kimchi for a week.

Same as when Adam and Julia brought over Korean barbeque and cooked it for hours. Our house smelled like sweet burned soy kimchi smoke for two months. Sheesh.

This past weekend, I decided to clean out a useful looking mystery bottle made of plastic with a red something in it that had some mold on it so I threw it out and put it in the dishwasher. Mistake. It had kimchi in it. Now my dishwasher smells like kimchi, even after four cleanings.

Moral of story: smells happen; and, beware of kimchi in your house, unless you know what you are doing.

[Photo: “Brushes Green” by Roger Bourland]


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