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When I first arrived at college, I was pleased with my roommate. Sure, he looked like the love-child of a neanderthal and a troglodyte, and the fact that he was an Orthodox Jew was a little difficult to acclaimate myself to, at first (he prays a lot, swaying oddly from the hip), but all-in-all, he seemed like a pretty pleasant guy.

And then came the Stench.

It manifested itself slowly, like a predator, creeping toward its prey, by the time I figured out the strange scent remeniscent of ten week-old socks soaked in sour milk was a product of my roommate's filthy, wretched stink glands.

Later, I noticed that working in tandem with the above stink glands was the stink nest, that is, his linens on his bed. No doubt once a pristine shade of white, they had faded to the color of dried vomit, and were caked with filth and dirt.

Living with a creature such as this can be taxing, both physically and emotionally, as the pleasure coming home from a long day of work or class to rest is immediately spoiled as that wave of stink infiltrates your nostrils as you enter your room. Furthermore, your friends will not want to enter your room, because of the horrible odor. I think the worst of all, however, is when the roommate's rancid stink begins to cling to your own person and clothing.

There are ways to deal with this problem. Below is a list of a few simple steps that you can take to help ameliorate this terrible state of affairs:

  1. Talk to them about it. I regret very much that I never took the time to approach my roommate early in the year about the Stench. Your roommate's problem may be lack of hygene, and a simple talking-to followed up by reinforcement of the necessity of showers may be all they need.
  2. My own roommate's stink, however, goes deeper than hygene. This is why you should stock up on two important weapons to do battle with the Stench: Febreeze and spray air fresheners. When your roommate is not around, spray his bed and posessions with the Febreeze, as well as your own if you have found the Stench clinging on to your things, as well. Whenever he enters the room, casually spray the air freshener. Subtlety is key to avoid starting a war.
  3. Always have the window open and a fan either blowing air in or blowing air out. The Stench can get especially daunting in the winter, when people usually keep their windows shut. Put on a coat or wrap a blanket around yourself, but keep that window open at all costs, and keep the airflow going. If your roommate demands that you close the window, demand that he stop smelling so bad.
  4. Similarly, try to keep your door open so that excess stink will find its way out into the hallway instead of into your olfactory senses.
  5. Try to avoid plug-in air fresheners. While these may seem to work at first, eventually the two scents combine to form Evilstench, an even more terrible version of the Stench.
  6. Get your friends to comment on the odor within earshot of your roommate so that he might take a hint.
  7. If worst comes to worse, request a room change.

Best of luck.

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