The Ew Department: Smelly Food Eaters and Enclosed Spaces

There are two types of people in this world: those who eat smelly food in public spaces and those who hate them. I fall into the latter category. I think there is nothing ruder than stinking up a smell-neutral space with your Philly cheesesteak.

First year of law school, one such perpetrator did just that in our Property class. On a regular basis. He sat two rows behind me, and he’d always unwrap his cheesesteak just before class started. I don’t know if you’ve smelled a Philly cheesesteak lately, but it’s one of the few times that I feel fat just for smelling something fatty. You feel the fat molecules crawling up your nostrils, expanding and jiggling through your cranium. I might have been a Property All Star, and instead my grade suffered because the braincells that were reserved for fee simple absolutes and adverse possession were usurped by greasy steak and cheese.

Then there are the salad eaters. This summer I saw “The Pirates of the Carribean” with my brother in LA and just as the movie started I began to smell something vinegary. “What is that?” I asked. “Shhh,” said my brother. Then I peered over the seats in front of me and heard the soft, muffled crunch crunch crunch of salad eaters. Their dressing was so potent I suddenly confused “The Pirates of the Carribean” with “The Pirates of Penzance.” My brother still won’t forgive me for belting “I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General” halfway through the film.

Look, I understand that sometimes you haven’t had the chance to eat and you must eat your meal in a public space. I am sympathetic to your needs. But does your meal have to be smelly? Instead of nuking that toxic macaroni and cheese, why not delilght in the homey comfort of a PB&J? Or sub egg salad for your stinky stinky tuna?

Perhaps NASA has the right idea with astronaut food. It may taste gross, but it is so smell neutral it keeps peace on even the most contentious space missions. How else do the Russsians and Americans survive in such cramped quarters? “”Ivan, your borscht is stinking up the place!” “My borscht? That’s your kielbasa!”

Let George W. Bush spend some of those NASA dollars on astronaut cheese steak and astronaut salad so we can at least take comfort in knowing that the war on smelly food terrorism is won.

4 comments

  1. I’m with you on this one. I’ll never forget the time when a classmate of mine started chowing down on gefilte fish in our stuffy, windowless classroom. I was just getting over a stomach virus and finally politely asked her if she would put it away. She glared at me and muttered, “I’m really hungry,” before finally complying. Later she accused me of anti-Semitism. Whatever – I would have said the same thing to a Lutheran munching on lutefisk!

  2. Egg salad is decidely NOT odor-free. To me, there’s nothing worse than the smell of boiled eggs.

  3. Once worked in a small office with 3 other women, one of whom insisted on bringing in cream of broccoli soup for her lunch. I was lucky in that I was seated closest to the door.

    My stomach just roiled at the thought and it’s been many years since that time.

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