It’s Not What You Think it is. Really.

Since I’ve been in Toronto I’ve been staying with Ange-Line, one of my best friends. A designer by trade, on Friday night she invited me to come out to a design industry party she’d helped organize. I think her exact words were: “You should totally come. You might meet some cute artsy/design guys!”  Never one to say no to cocktails and eye-candy, I put on my Friday night’s best and met her at the venue.

When I got there I immediately noticed this really striking guy: curly dark hair, cocoa coloured skin, dark brown eyes, nice smile – just my type. Maybe my friend was right? However, when I scanned the room a second time, my eyes once again fell on the dark haired hottie who was standing with a group of people eating a very large sandwich – and not just any kind of sandwich, a fully loaded Reuben, wrapped in checkerboard paper like they have at the Jewish Deli. As Mr. Dark & Lovely bit into the Reuben, mustard oozed out of sandwich and a piece of sauerkraut hung limply from his lips.


When he wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, I should have known that this was a sign of things to come that night.

You see, at Ange’s apartment theres been a weird smell the past few days. It smells like sulphur (rotten eggs) and it’s been coming up through the heat vents in the floor. As I was getting ready for the party I had noticed that it was getting increasingly worse and it was starting to worry me. I headed out to meet Ange and called my Mom along the way. As I was describing the smell to my Mom, the girl sitting next to me on the streetcar said: “I’m sorry to interrupt, but it sounds like you might have a gas leak!”

By the time I got to the party a few minutes later I was distracted and a little panicked. I shared my concerns with my friend and had a quick drink to calm my nerves. After witnessing the Reuben incident I told Ange, “I think I should go back to the house and call the gas company, just to be safe” I called the gas company who confirmed my worst suspicions, that we might have a gas leak on our hands. A few minutes later I was in a cab racing back to apartment to meet one of their technicians.

When I got back to the apartment, Ange sent me a text that said “Make sure you ask the girls who live upstairs for a key to the basement.”

My friend’s neighbours are of a similar breed as my former neighbour who I suspected was a “Sexual Werewolf“. Think lots of parties, loud noises and just general questionable behaviour. When I rang their doorbell, Girl #1 opened the door and SCREAMED.

“Omg, I totally didn’t expect to see you there!”

(Um, I just rang the doorbell?!)

I explained the situation and that I needed the key to the basement. To which she replied,

“It’s totally not gas! Our apartment smells really bad too but it’s because last winter we had a bunch of rats that died in the walls. It’s probably just the dead rats and some flooding in the basement”

“Ok, well that’s not exactly reassuring. The gas company seemed to think it was concerning, so I’m going to let them check it out”

“Oh for sure, but you’re probably wrong. It’s not gas”


At this point, Girl #2 who was standing behind her holding a glass of Jungle Juice says “Our apartment doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, it smells like Poop. I don’t think it’s gas”

Girl #3 (also drunk): “Are we going to Diiiiiiie?”

Girl #1: Can I come over and smell your apartment?

“Um, sure?”

She steps into my friend’s apartment and says:

“Ewwww! It definitely smells in here. But it’s definitely not gas”

“I’m pretty sure it is”

“It’s not”

“I think it is”

“It isn’t”

“I’ll let the gas company be the judge of that”


“Do you mind if I bring the guys nextdoor over to smell your apartment?”

“Um, OK?”

A few minutes later, two (stoned? slightly drunk?) men show up at my door.

Girl #1: “Don’t worry about these guys! They’re the loveliest people ever”

Guy #1 inhales and says, “You know it’s not gas right? It’s just the old pipes and dead rats in the wall”

“Well, thanks guys but I’m just going to have it checked out anyways”

Guy #1 “Suit yourself, but it’s not gas. It’s probably just the rats again”


A few minutes later I headed out onto the stoop to wait for the technician to arrive. I literally jumped in fright when I heard someone say:

“You know it’s not gas right?”

I look over and there’s guy #1 standing in the dark on the other side of the porch.

“I work in a kitchen and sometimes when it gets cold outside, the deep fryer just starts to smell really, really bad. I bet the same thing is happening here. That or the dead rats again”

(Note to self: find out where this guy works and never eat there.)

 Welcome to my Friday Night.

Eventually the gas company showed up. When the technician stepped inside the apartment he said:

“Yep, there’s definitely gas here….SEWER GAS”

I don’t understand the technicalities of it all but as it turns out that the pipes in the basement were leaking sewer gas which was making the apartment smell like a turtle tank that hadn’t been cleaned in three months. On Sunday the landlord sent someone over to clean everything up and now the apartment smells like chlorine, which is still way better than the alternative. Just think…

It could have been worse. It could have been dead rats.

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