Due to a tragic laundering error involving a potty-training toddler’s underwear and the family’s general laundry comingling in the dark recesses of my washing machine, I went to the gym today smelling like…
At first I couldn’t figure it out as the scent of fecal matter was faint and sporadic. I checked my kids’ diapers before sending them off to be cared for by others while I pursued a self-indulgent activity and they were a-ok. I didn’t smell it again until the weight floor when I was halfway through Ms. Michael’s circuits (that are a serious workout if you do them twice through in under 40 minutes – yeah, baby!). Gingerly, I peeled up my sweat-soaked tank top and sniffed. Nothing but Downy freshness dampened with body odor – just like it should be. But then I lifted up the bottom hem. I was a human TURD SCRATCH-N-SNIFF STICKER.
Right as I came to this embarrassing conclusion, Gym Buddy Megan looked right at me and said, “I smell.” I waited her to finish her sentence with “… the business end of a baby” but she didn’t. So I finished it for her. “It’s me,” I hung my head in shame, “I smell like poo.”
“What?” She looked confused. “No, I smell. I stink. Seriously.” She even sniffed her own armpit for good measure. (Yes, we are beloved on the weight floor.) “Whooo-eee!”
After Megan and I established that while we could both smell our own offensive scents neither of us could smell the other’s, then it was Gym Buddy Allison’s turn. In Spin class she kept making funny faces. At first I thought it was just the sweat dripping off her nose but finally she declared, “I can’t wipe my sweat off. My towel smells like a skunk.”
“I dunno, I washed it last night!”
“Well then I’m sure it smells fine.”
“It doesn’t. It reeks. I think the handlebars on my cycle contaminated it.”
“You think a skunk was the previous occupant of your cycle?”
She glared at me.
“Fine, give me your towel.”
“Well, now I have to smell it. Gimme.”
She handed over her towel. I sniffed it. It smelled like skunk.
All of which begs an interesting question and one recently posed to me by the entertaining Chris (Illuminati) from phillyBurbs (true story: I used to live in Philly) while interviewing me for his site. “Can I tell the person on the treadmill next to me at the gym that he/she stinks?”
Whether it be last night’s curry or that new garlic toothpaste (hey it’s all natural!), people bring a variety of noxious smells with them to the gym. It was pointed out on here before that even perfume becomes toxic within the stale fan-circulated confines of the cardio floor. We all know it isn’t polite in normal society to point out someone’s pungency but the gym has a way of bringing out the worst – both in people’s B.O. and in their manners. So what do you think? Speak up or forever gag your peace? What’s your favorite foul gym odor?
PS> Yes, I showered. Then I rewashed that entire load of laundry, sans undies, with bleach. While I was in the basement my toddler pooped on the carpet. Such is motherhood.