Or I just stop taking my allergy meds. No sense of smell? No problem.

The front of my house smells like shit. This isn’t one of those oh, it’s a bit stinky. This ain’t your mum’s someone’s been cooking with fish sauce or did someone fart? This is an authentic defcon 5. We’re talking durian levels of decomposition. If I said it smells like someone died around here, it wouldn’t be far off. If rot went to the gym and started flexing its might, you’d start to get close to what we have. When I said the front of my house smelled like shit I meant it literally, if even understating the situation. Something’s rotten and the state of Denmark has nothing to do with it. I know the cause, but what I don’t know is how to resolve this.

I don’t know if it’s my upstairs or downstairs neighbour, but one of them uses brown paper bags for their organic waste. Lovely, right? They’re easier on the environment than anything plastic and carry that biodegradable seal (I guess seals are biodegradable too once they die). Basically they come with an extra insulating layer of smug. If you’re sensing my emanating negativity, it’s ’cause these bags are also super brittle and do very little to guard against liquids that seep from rotting fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t take a super sleuth to figure out what happened (though a super sleuth may help me find a solution), the bags shat themselves and let loose all manner of vile excretions. This happened months ago. I’d hoped the formerly living matter would be dumped into an awaiting truck, stuck to the bottom of any bags we’d dumped on top. It didn’t. It’s been sitting there for months and now it’s summer. We’ve got old beans, tomatoes, apple cores and brown wilted leafy things creating their own macabre stew at the base of the bin. It’s almost become this solid mass, meaning watering the thing with a hose will do zilch. It needs bleach or something caustic to really break it down. Also there’s a swarm of flies that call this contemptible compost home. It’s only a matter of time before the neighbours complain.

I know I’m not responsible for it, but do the people who caused it know of their folly? Of course they don’t. If I advise them of what happened (keeping in mind I don’t know which floor uses these bags) will they be inclined a) to believe me, b) likely to take responsibility or c) stalwart enough to brave the flies and stench to clean the bin out? Not likely. People are all too quick to wash their hands clean of burden and turn the other way. What’s worse, we’re the only one who use that entrance to the house, so there’s very little reason they’d want to clean up their own mess. My flatmate and I discussed strategies for dealing with it, but I’m struck by disinterest in sorting out a problem I had nothing to do with. The longer I leave it though, the more likely my life becomes the classic Simpsons episode Trash of the Titans. I’m in no mood for a U2 cameo here.

My conscience is telling me to be the bigger person, but I don’t want to listen. I don’t want to have to take up that mantle. I have no interest in persevering through my disgust and sanitation to satisfy the demands of the greater good. You guys are smart though, right? You’ve read enough stories to know how this narrative will end. My flatmate and I will don hazmat suits (which neither of us own, so inevitably we’ll be wearing kigurumis in their stead) and cleanse this filth from the unfortunate green bin. Alternatively we could call in the bomb disposal squad and get them to take care of it (replacement bins are a thing). Or maybe we just dress as paladins and perform a purification ritual. It’s basically zombified fruit, a turn undead incantation should do the trick.

Or I avoid the problem and stop using that entrance. It belongs to the flies now. Damn, I liked my porch.


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