The Mystery of The Concentration-Killing Odour

Hello there again!

I know, I know, I haven’t been up here for about 2 months (don’t get me started on why), but here I am again, only because there are certain things that have to be talked about (nah, I really missed the blogging community).

Problem

The title says all. It’s been a month since school started again and this time, other than coping with super heavy and stressful subjects, we – my friends and I – have something else to deal with. You see, during the last semester, people knew it was going to be easy (it was NOT, trust me), so they scattered all around the lecture theatre, and there was plenty of space to breathe. This semester, after hearing from our hollow-eyed counterparts who completed our current modules in August, people started squeezing towards the front. And boy, was it a squeeze. Other than concentrating the air with adrenaline, this has led to some form of – let us say, discomfort. The problem causing this is a certain smell.

Assumptions

Here’s a list of what to do during lectures if you intend to stay at the top of the cohort (if you’re concerned with ethical issues, I’ll suggest just studying harder).

  1. Take off your shoes to air your sweaty feet in the cool and dry air-conditioned environment.
  2. Fart. Oh, and make sure you have a can of baked beans for breakfast before doing that.
  3. Cough very loudly into the freshly washed hair of the person in front of you.
  4. Go out for a smoke in the middle of lecture and come right back in.
  5. Just don’t wash your shoes so they emit a certain fragrance all the time.

These are what some people love doing during lectures. We’ll examine the cause of the very fatal-to-brain-cells smell in further detail.

Deduction

Smelly feet has been an issue every single Wednesday. That’s also because majority of the students do not like change, so they sit at the same place every lecture. We’ve tried moving a few seats down the row to no avail. At certain times during the lesson, the (very, very, very strong) stink wafts up and lingers for a moment before deciding to diffuse away, then repeats the cycle again. We’ve noticed that the same group of guys sit behind us on Wednesdays, where we, very unfortunately, have 5 hours of consecutive lectures. However, every time we choke into our sleeves or jackets, we can’t seem to find out who took off his shoe. Since we’ve identified the aroma to be that of feet, only 1 and 5 are applicable. We’ll rule 1 out now because nobody is taking off his shoes. That leaves 5.

Verdict

Though we’re assuming this person doesn’t wash his shoes, this problem is by no means solved. We still don’t know exactly who’s the culprit and none of us are bold enough to suggest washing as a method of keeping clean to him. Besides, there are other issues contributing to discomfort and irritation among us, such as smelly farts and people not covering their mouths when they cough (sometimes, you could feel your hair being rustled when the person behind you is heaving his lungs out…).

Solutions

Mum has said time and time again that most people don’t know their own problems. Most times, friends are nice enough to accept those problems. However, when it comes to the extent that many are affected badly by it, we need to let that person know. This has caused further discomfort in the victims as they worry constantly about how the culprit will react (it is also not very nice to tell someone that they have odour issues to their face, oh god). If you, like me, are facing this issue, let me suggest another approach – subtlety. Well, it’s not very kind, but it saves you the embarrassment (poor guy with smelly shoes still suffers though…).

  1. Exclaim, but only loud enough for the people surrounding you to hear. “What’s that smell?!” would be a good start.
  2. If it doesn’t work (or if someone pretends not to hear), get you and your friends to cover your noses, pack up your belongings and shift to a seat which smells more like stale food and less like feet.
  3. Send out emails to the whole lecture group about the situation. You never know if you might make new friends who share the same problems as you.
  4. For well-to-do kids, bring a bottle of perfume. Once you detect an anomaly in the air content, spray vigorously at suspects (or at their feet).
  5. Just change your seats! Sitting at the back works too if you pay enough attention to your lecturer. Sometimes, squeezing together makes people feel queasy and feeling queasy makes people sweat and sweating causes bacteria to flourish in dark enclosed spaces like between the toes and bacteria flourishing in dark enclosed spaces causes smelly feet.

Actually…… just putting up with it would be the best thing to do. In psychology, people call this empathy-altruism, where you are nice to others in the expense of your suffering.

However, we’re not very tolerant people, are we?

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5 thoughts on “The Mystery of The Concentration-Killing Odour

    • I know! I’ve been away for far too long in between posts. I’ll do my best to come back more often, but life can be a sucker sometimes. 😦
      On a happier note, I’m going to Ireland in February next year, so maybe we could have a little blog collaboration. What do you think? πŸ˜€

    • Thank you very much! πŸ˜€
      Yup! I’ll be attached to a hospital along with a friend for four months in Dublin so there’ll be lots of time to meet up during the weekends when I’m off-duty. Maybe you could show us around the country if you’re free. Can’t wait. πŸ˜€

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