“Mark, what is that smell?!!”

“I didn’t do it!”

“No! Not that kind of smell…it’s coming from the laundry room…it smells like when the Diaper Genie was full and needed to be emptied.”

“That’s pretty specific. Let me smell it. (sniff) Ugh! It smells like a dead something. Something died.”

“In my laundry room!? What would die in my laundry room?”

“Something that was done being alive.”

“Great. Thanks. Got any leads, Dick?”

“Excuse me?!!!”

“Dick. Short for Detective.”

“Uh huh. Nice. Hey! Look at the time… I gotta go to work, (smooch) have a nice day.”

“MARK! You can’t leave me with that smell! What am I supposed to do?”

“Call me when you find it.”

“My hero.”

I did have a theory: Last week I hired an awesome company, Dryer Vent Wizard to come out and clean my vents. (Ha! That sounded waaay more fun than it actually was.) I thought maybe since all the lint was gone, an animal/critter/monster was able to crawl down the vent. I probably “cooked” it with the dryer heat! Ewwww.

I called the lovely people at DVW and told them the situation. They informed me (much to my dismay) that it was a definite possibility and had happened several times before. Double ewwwww. He promised to come out within the hour.

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Robert (you get to call the man who cleans your vents by his first name) walked into the laundry room and stopped short like he had hit a brick wall. “That’s a rat! I’d know that smell anywhere!” Really? Oh, come on!!! I have a rat in my house? I would’ve jumped out the window, but rarely can you kill yourself out a first-floor window. Besides…I didn’t want to add to the smell.

“Do you think it came in the newly cleared vent, Robert?”

“That’s possible, Ma’am…I’ll run the line up and check.”

“Thank you…and please don’t call me Ma’am – where I come from, that means old.”

Robert runs the line up the vent and calls me back into the stench-pit.

“It’s clean. You see that? If there was a dead bird, there’d be feathers and blood on it; if it was a squirrel, there’d be squirrel skin and blood on it; if it were a…”

“I GET IT! The vent is clear. Thanks, Robert.”

“Yes, Ma’am…uh, young lady. Maybe it’s on top of your cabinets, I’ll take a look.”

“Thanks, I’ll grab my grocery bag down out of your way…”

I pulled the bag down and a million gnats and flies flew out!

“AAAAHHHHHH!!!”

“You found it!”

“You think?”

Inside my fancy, insulated, expensive grocery bag was a week-old bag of now-unfrozen shrimp. Twenty-four, jumbo, deveined $15.99 a bag, shrimp.

(Sigh…)

“Well, thanks for coming out, Robert. How much do I owe you?”

“No problem. Don’t worry about it.”

I gave Robert 20 bucks. He earned it. Just for staying in the room with that smell for as long as he did.

I texted Mark:

“Hey…can you cancel our dinner reservations for tonight…sushi not sounding yummy anymore.”

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