It follows me wherever I go

by Kieran Healy on September 2, 2003

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein has a problem. Recently he’s smelled stale urine in three different hotel rooms. “Has anyone else had the same experience,” he asks, “or know of some explanation for this phenomenon?” But the Volokh Conspiracy does not have comments enabled, so enterprising readers cannot make the appropriate rejoinder.



Jean Genet 09.02.03 at 8:05 am

Strange – everywhere I go the carpet smells of faeces.


Chris Young 09.02.03 at 1:12 pm

I thought it was just the kind of hotels I can afford.


JNelsonW 09.02.03 at 2:34 pm

I’ve noticed that to, but to be fair I don’t think that my own urine soaked clothing can account for ALL of the smell in question.


Johno 09.02.03 at 2:38 pm

I’m a little embarrassed to know of a possible cause for the not-quite-stale-urine smell in hotel rooms (hey! It’s not what you think, okay?).

Having financed my graduate education by renovating student apartments (which can be a little like cleaning the monkey house at the zoo), I know that vacuum cleaners can get moldy and emit a manky smell that resembles both mildew and urine, especially if the vacuum is stored in a humid room. This smell can linger for months in the room that the vacuum “cleaned.”

This odor is bad enough in its own right, but if someone has actually peed at any point on the carpet being cleaned, the action of the vacuum can bring up the pee smell, which can combine with the mold smell like civet with jasmine, and result in a mold/urine order so pervasive that nothing short of total remodelling can fully get rid of it.

Or you can use fire, but most hotels frown on such behavior.


Hoodie Craw 09.02.03 at 4:38 pm

Curiously, he does not mention the hint of vinegar that one might otherwise expect to accompany olfactory cues of this type?


TR 09.02.03 at 10:26 pm

What is the role of ‘smell’ in paranoid delusions, is it any less than sight? How does this square with Freuds comment that man’s weak sense of smell could be the evolutionary root of Repression?


nameless 09.03.03 at 2:33 am

Change your underwear at least once a week.


Robert Schwartz 09.03.03 at 4:42 am

Hostile, hostile, hostile.


vxo0 09.03.03 at 4:53 am

I love the smell of piss in the morning. It smells like an upgrade to the presidential suite.


W. Kiernan 09.05.03 at 12:33 am

No matter what bed I sleep in, at home or abroad, whenever I am just drifting off, I hear the beating of a heart – the heart of a dead man. What o what has happened to me? Is there no escape? Am I cursed?

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