My house stinks. Somewhere hidden in this place is a dead animal, a forgotten morsel of food, or something worse I don’t even want to consider. 

It all started a few days after we got back from Florida. We noticed this musty smell, that grew into a garbage smell, and went full-on dead rodent smell. The weird thing is, it comes and goes and seems strong in one room one day and then not so much the next. 

We’ve taken whole rooms apart looking for the source and can’t seem to track it down. 

And this morning, I think I pinpointed the why. Not the how or the what. But I do know why. It all started in college 30+ years ago. In my sophomore year, I lived in an apartment with 3 other guys. Over the course of the school year, we got into a prank war with an apartment of three women. You see we didn’t have Snapchat and Instagram in the 80s, so we had to find more creative ways to get the attention of the opposite sex. 

I won’t go into all the crazy things that occurred that year but focus on the two most devious. For the ladies, that would have been the angel food cake they put on our balcony. The way the building was designed, someone could actually reach our balcony from the stairs leading into the building. They placed the cake on our balcony and called to alert us to its presence. When we opened the sliding door, an M-80 exploded inside the cake, covering us and the balcony in cake and icing. 

For our team, I took a package of lunch meat and sliced one end open. Then while at a gathering at their apartment, I tossed the lunch meat into the back of their closet. Weeks later, they all had their winter coats down at the dry cleaners and their windows were open trying to air out the place. 

I’ve lost track of them over the years. But I’m beginning to suspect at least one of them hasn’t lost track of me. And if the universe is paying me back for the pranks of my past, I will be looking over my shoulder for the foreseeable future. My fifth-grade teacher is coming for me…

Carry on, Citizens!