>I noticed the following ominous warning taped up by the mailboxes in my building when I got home from work today:

October 19, 2005

Dear Resident [sic]:

On October 26, 2005, refinishing the interior of the elevators [sic] cabs will commence.  Please be advised that there may be unfamiliar smells throughout the building.  Although it may be uncomfortable for some, there is no need to alarm the residents.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for understanding.

Sincerely,

Management

First, let’s take a moment to acknowledge that it is poorly written in general.  Now that that’s out of the way, we can focus on the more disturbing elements: what “unfamiliar smells” will be so bad that it will cause alarm?  I’ve had some unpleasant smells in my apartment before, like when my brother-in-law uses my bathroom after he eats Mexican food, not to mention the fact that I have an undiagnosed digestive ailment that often leads me to dispel gas that is so vile it smells like a small animal has died and is decomposing in my ass (I can assure you that it only smells that way).  I am used to bad smells.  Bad smells do not seem to cause alarm, just disgust and they provide opportunities to mock others and make doody and fart jokes.  No, I am concerned that this will be a stench on the level of nuclear decimation, like the time my friend ate meatloaf then crapped so massively it permeated my entire 200 square foot apartment, causing a temporary evacuation.  I’m not sure I can go through that again.

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