My project partner has smelly feet. The odor, oscillates between a sweet, mossy, dirty-wet-doggy stink and down right toxic farts.
It all started last year. I discovered that a lot of times when I was around her, things smelled of farts. So, I innocently assumed that since she ate so much spicy food, was a lover of curries and loved samosas, her gastronomical indulgences were playing havoc on her digestive ecology. Now, dear reader I think you will quickly agree that it is not a particularly pleasant thing – to smell farts. But telling her about the issue appeared to me a devious predicament (is that the correct usage of the word?). I didn’t know what to say to her. I mean, obviously she could smell The Smell too and she apparently had little problem with it and kind of seemed like wanting others to accept it too.
If I just say
“Oh you know what I am going to ask a super awkward question now, just because I can, so is that weird smell your fart?”
or something more tactful like
“I smell something weird, was that you? He he…”
She will probably feel bad, because may be in her psyche she has accepted The Smell as part of her and I’ll only threaten it by intruding on her settled system. She will probably think I am judging her and trying to tutor her on personal hygiene.
But, since I was on the receiving end of this… I did say, “I smell something weird”, on two different occasions (yeeeeah… I counted…) but in response she just tightened her face and said things like, “Okay, so what are we going to do about the GUI” or something. Essentially, she just simply ignored all the (few) sentences about smells and odors, I made.
So, yes… those times that I was with her, I smelt different versions of putrid, nauseating and suffocating for substantial periods of time, I admit to it. 😦 The smell, it used to rise up into my nose and drift into the nasal passage. I could imagine it entering my mouth and settling with droplets of moisture onto the top of my palette, going inside my lungs, settling on my tongue. Eek… I started avoiding sitting in closed spaces with her and we often sat in the cafeteria during off-hours because the tables were wide and kept smells that were under the table, under the table. This continued for two-ish months?
Then one quite evening, we had just completed a reading session together and were sitting in the football field having samosas, again (I don’t like samosas). The sky was beginning to acquire orange hues. There were a lot of birds hopping here and there, chasing each other, tree to tree, fighting for an insignificant piece of space on an air conditioner that hung out from a classroom window, to the near end of the field. A subtle breeze was running in random, crazy directions; as if on a whim. Sometimes it would pick up the dense malicious odor from around ProjectPartner’s feet to our faces, then after a while, it would blow it away and douse my acute agony from the poised, non-existent, not-to-be-talked-about torture with gusts of fresh air and oxygen. I was suffering.
Samosas – Deep Fried and Stuffed With Spiced Mashed Potatoes
ProjectPartner on the other hand was enjoying (she liked samosas). She started telling me about how she was planning to buy new shoes because the ones she was using were getting old and tattered. She told me that her mother wanted her to buy more feminine footwear; stuff like flats or sandals but she had always felt more comfortable using running shoes. I personally swear by sports shoes. There was a time in my life when my mother had bought me, what I perceived to be EPIC jogging shoes and for six months straight I hadn’t worn anything else on my feet, even to a major family wedding ( don’t tell me you haven’t had embarrassing childhood obsessions). I advised that she could try buying pink or purple shoes (and all the other types that are categorized as feminine), but it surfaced that she was actually adamant on buying a particular set of dirty green-mud brown shoes that were “FOR MALES” – the salesman had made amply clear. Then, we talked about other nonsense and within half an hour we were on our separate ways.
That night, while staring at a stubbornly incomprehensible, unyielding code it clicked and I realized, that it was the feet!
Like Eureka! or what? The smells, the breeze, her wanting to share details about shoes and her mother’s peculiar hankerings? It was forming connections. It had to be the feet and I had been thinking it was the farts! I was excited to confirm this theoretical result, but by the next meeting the new pair had already arrived. It was not a good looking pair, but okay, if she wanted it, it is a free world, she had the right to buy it. Whoever was making that shoe was making it for someone. My testing process took time but I got positive results. I can now, positively say that IT WAS THE FEET. The girl had smelly feet.
SO, now we arrive at last week. Last week, the smell was awful, well… even by the regular standards. That day, our other teammate and I both had difficulty breathing. All of us ran off before completing our session, giving one silly reason or another, but believe me, that day, it was the shoes that caused the molecular exodus and those shoes they were smelling like farts, evil farts. I was feeling real pity for them shoes actually. Why were they destined for this subjugation to persistent olfactory torture and filth? Unfair! and very sad! *Sob*
Next day, we had another session, in the library. We were busy doing something, OtherProjectPartner and me. In the background ProjectPartner had already removed both her shoes, her feet with the socks were now in the open. She called out to us.
“I can remove my shoes right? Is it okay? Do you smell anything?”
OtherProjectPartner smirked and lowered her head. She said “No.”, her voice carried the hint of a naughty laugh.
“Oh God” I thought, then I smiled, inside.
“No.” I said, sincerely. “But, if they were smelling, should we have said yes?” I asked.
Me: *Poker Face*
Smelly feet have since continued…because this is real life and here things have sombre, morose, indifferent or art film type endings.
Let us be parent-ish now,
There ARE foot powders and anti antiperspirants in the market you know! If you have sweaty feet and you are obsessed with shoes, there are a lot of things that can make your feet not-smell. The biology is simple. The feet sweat. Each person’s sweat is unique and fertile for a certain fauna of bacteria. Your special set of bacteria feed on your sweat and produce by-products. Essentially complex organic compounds like body oils and stuff like urea gets decomposed. The result can be foul smelling gases like hydrogen sulphide (smells of rotten eggs) and methane (smells like fart, I think). You have to find a powder that destroys your personal set of bacteria, zinc oxide works for some. A few months of experimentation and you can discover the foot powder or cleansing soap that works for you and in the process make this world a better place.
❤ ❤ Peace and Love ❤ ❤