Linda Knight Seccaspina
If you’re prone to misplacing things I am going to suggest that any hand painted Easter eggs be accounted for as soon as possible. The family might have enjoyed watching the festive activities last week, but you don’t want a forgotten fresh egg anywhere near you.
I remember the halls of Cowansville High School used to wreak of hydrogen sulfide at least once a month when someone thought it was funny to make a stink bomb in Chemistry class. Growing up in the Townships and spending a few years in Sherbrooke I could smell the same scent coming from East Angus when the wind turned. So please heed my advice from this past story of a fresh egg that went astray.
There is always something happening in my home called Springside Hall. It was constructed with three foot stone walls and built in 1867. Garage doors break, vents fall out of ceilings, and the dust seems to keep piling up. I don’t worry about the dust anymore as many people died in this house and they say you return as dust. In essence, I could be dusting up someone I might know– so we will leave it at that. Last Spring about this time I thought the Gates of Hell had opened up. I was sure my kitchen had acquired a rotten scent from the underworld lair, described in the Book of Revelations as a “lake of burning sulphur”.
My husband Steve and I searched everywhere: cupboards, on top of cupboards, in cracks and corners, looking for the culprit that was infiltrating the air. At the end of our fruitless search we decided that it had to be a dead mouse. It seemed to be the same odour I had called a local plumber in a panic about last year. There had been a bad smell coming from the laundry room and I was certain it was a gas leak from the dryer. The two most common sources of a rotten egg smell are a natural gas leak, and escaping sewer gas. After searching with his flashlight and charging me 70 bucks he assured me there was no gas or sewer leak, but probably a dead mouse somewhere in the walls. So this time we decided to wait until the smell went away as house calls from even a good egg can be egg-spensive.
As the week went by the warm weather increased and it got worse. The smell was killing us. Again, Steve looked everywhere. When he opened the tea cup cupboard he slammed the doors shut. He looked at me and said with a frightful egg-spression:
“Something has died in there!”
I took a whiff and quickly shut the doors. That was where the dead mouse was probably wasting away. But there was no wall whatsoever– so what the heck was going on. Again, we decided to give it another 48 hours. By this time we were looking at prices of gas masks. This is no “eggs-aggeration”!
The next morning when I got up I headed right to the smelly cupboard. I opened it up and somehow I spotted a tiny green demitasse cup that had something strange in it. What was it? It was the Ukrainian hand-painted egg that my friend Jennifer had made me for Christmas. The heat had exploded the egg and the whole top was the same colour as the demitasse cup. The sulphur smell was coming from the mold that had popped out of the egg due to the extreme heat we had. Why we had not seen this was beyond me– but I got rid of that egg as fast as you can say Bob’s Your Uncle.
From what we’ve gathered, generally the cause for that type of smell is some sort of combination of bacteria infiltrating the broken rotten egg. You don’t have to lay eggs to know one is rotten. They say 30 days might not be enough for an egg to smell horrible, but Id probably go for 45 to 60 days on this one– heck, even 90.
A year later the smell “that attracted vultures and other creatures that gravitate toward corpses” is gone, but it’s still a faint memory, and the story will always be around in that cupboard…. for evermore. As C. S. Lewis once said “No clever arrangement of egg-straordinarily bad eggs ever made a good omelette”. Sorry, that was a bad yolk!