I read a post over at Big Mama's today that reminded me of this little adventure in my past:

My first hostess event in my new apartment.

I had invited five people over, and I served chili, cheese and crackers. It was very informal. A week or so later, I began smelling something whenever I walked into my apartment. Of course, I searched for the source, but never could find it. Over time, the smell became so bad that I couldn't stand the thought of going home.

About a month later, after many unsuccessful searches for the source of the odor, I called the apartment manager and told them that I thought an animal must have died in the walls of my home. They told me they would send a maintenance man to my apartment. In preparation for his arrival, I decided to move all of my furniture away from the walls, because I figured he would need to (what? knock on them? I'm not sure why I thought he would need to have access to my walls.)

When I moved my couch, I found a bowl of unidentifiable, rotting mess.

It reeked.

I came very close to adding some of my own unidentifiable ingredients to the bowl before I closed the back of my throat with my tongue.

I rushed the bowl over to my garbage disposal. (Bad idea.) With a spoon, I scraped the conglomeration from the bowl into the garbage disposal and in the process recognized a few not-yet-decomposed chili beans.

Chili beans? I thought to myself. I haven't had chili since... I searched my memory in vain as I ran water into the sink and flipped the disposal switch. The chili disappeared down my drain, and that is when I realized I had made a very bad decision.

The smell did not disappear down my drain.

At that moment, the maintenance man knocked on my door. I had forgotten that he was coming over. As I neared the door and thought of what I had to tell him, I imagined being evicted for creating a roach-friendly environment that I am sure none of the other residents would have appreciated. When I opened the door, he actually staggered backwards, away from the waves of odor emanating from my residence.

"Whew!" He said, "You really do have a dead animal in here!"

I thought of the ground beef that had been in the chili and silently agreed, Yeah, a cow! Then I sweetly told him that I had found the source of the smell, and that I didn't need him to check my walls anymore.

His face was still twisted into an interesting format while he tried not to gag. Or smell. Or breathe. He looked worried. "What was it?"

I had hoped that he wouldn't ask.

The smell lingered in my sink drain for days until a friend suggested that I cram a few oranges into my disposal and let it chop them up. Thankfully, that solved my problem.

That happened in December of 2003, and chili has not been made in my house again until November of 2006 when my mom made it the week after Liberty was born.

So far, we have not found any bowls under our couch.
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