The D.C. Chronicles: Stinky Subway Man

As you know (or should, at this point) I went to D.C. for a week. My Nana and Grandpa took me and three of my cousins, and it was a lot of fun.

However, we all know only the funnest of things happen when I leave the house, so I have STORIES for you, my friends.

The first installment in The D.C. Chronicles is the story of the Stinky Subway Man. Could you have surmised this from reading the title? Perhaps, but repition really drives the point home.

Anyway, this was our first day taking the Subway. (Second day in D.C., but first Subway trip.) We had great luck with timing; we got through the gates and onto the platform right as our train pulled in, so we were feelin’ pretty snazzy. We got on the train and headed toward the back of the car.

That’s when the smell started to hit us. The first thought crossing our minds was, “Maybe this car is just funk-ay. One too many spilled coffees, ya know.”

But, no. As we sat there longer, the smell was hitting us harder and harder. It was totally rancid. The smell of stale urine, sweat, feces, and several other unidentifiable factors that combined into the worst smell that I have ever had the displeasure of smelling.

My Grandpa is at the other end of the car, so he’s completely unaffected. My Nana, one of my cousins, and I are trying to pretend we don’t notice as an attempt at politeness.

I look across at my other two cousins, however, both quite sensitive to smell, and they’re both looking pretty sick with their shirts pulled over their noses.

“Oh, dear,” I think. “We’re on this train for, like, forty-five minutes. This is not good.”

Initially, I connected this God-awful smell to a ratty coat on the seat next to me–but it is far too strong for one article of clothing. My eyes darted over to the owner of the coat, who is taking up about five seats with himself and his stuff. His shoes are off, his clothes ill-fitting, and he is obviously homeless and not quite there mentally, giggling as people evacuate the back of the car, knowing it is because of him.

Because would you like to know the most noticeable thing about this man?

He was the source of the great stink.

Honestly, I know this story sounds like me being a mean butthead, but this man stunk to high heaven. In some ways, yeah, he was a victim of circumstance–he was homeless and not all there, so hygiene was probably not high up on his list of priorities.

But, geez louise, that man was STANK-AY.

The crisp business men and women who walked by me were a breath of fresh air, because they were all wearing perfume and cologne. I would occasionally swipe at my nose like it was scratchy, but I was really taking smells of my sunscreen-y hand to get a break from the smell.

When it got to where my cousins’ eyes were actually watering, and a few seats opened up farther away, we hightailed it out of there, brochachos.

None of this is an exaggeration.

A great stank fell over this Subway car, people.

But we got to see D.C. at night, all lit up and pretty, so the day balanced itself out.

Well, mostly.

But that’s a story for the next installment of The D.C. Chronicles.


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