The pungent truth

Q: Dear Ace, What’s that smell?—Patchouli Clark

A:Wake up and smell the roses, Patchouli, because that would be you.

   Naw, Ace kids because Ace loves! But in all seriousness. Given the distinct, often raunchy, smells that permeate our fair city, yours is a worthy question and took all of Ace’s well-honed investigative skills to sniff out. Luckily, Ace has a big nose (or so Ace was told by Ace’s crush in seventh grade gym class), so Ace had an early advantage over competitors like…er…the Ace Pooch.

   When it comes to what stinks, Ace has determined that the winner is (drum roll, please) none other than that stankified Woolen Mills, northeast of Downtown. If you haven’t had the pleasure, Patchouli, of wandering the Woolen Mills neighborhood at dusk, particularly in the summertime, then you’ve been missing out. IT STINKS LIKE A SHITHOLE FROM MEDIEVAL FRANCE (Pardon Ace for shouting). In short, it smells like poo. And, in fact that’s just what it is, since down thar by that river is where the city sewage sloshes.

   The other obvious answer to your question is, sadly, those poor, young gutter punks who aimlessly wander the wilds of the Downtown Mall for days on end. Ace hates to be too critical of his fellow man, but (and Ace means this in the kindest of all possible ways) they stink. The perfume that hangs in the air around them in a 20-foot radius is not only the faint odor of waste, but also of beer, weed and B.O. mixed in for good measure. Ace has one word for this: Icky!

   On the more generic side of the question, once Ace starts thinking about stinky things, Ace needs some editing because, while sometimes words fail Ace, not so in the stinky department: Dutch ovens smell. So do cheese, fish, bad breath and dirty hippies, like yourself, Patchouli. The alley behind Revolutionary Soup is pretty rough on the nose. Kitty litter, skunk, car air fresheners, teen spirit, paper mills, wet dog, Pig Pen. All these things stink and without even mentioning William Hung’s record, the list, inevitably, could go on and on. Yet Ace refrains.

   Of course, Ace can get philosophical with the best of ’em. He can put his nose to the wind and appreciate the aroma rising from many a passer-by. What’s that smell, you ask? We call it “desperation” and only the proboscis-ly gifted can detect it.

   Smell you later, folks.

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