Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Smoking Ghost

One thing guaranteed to piss off a non-smoker like myself is being subjected to cigarette smoke. I hardly go out to live gigs because of the assault of smoke while I'm out and the horrible stench of stale smoke impregnating my skin, clothes and hair when I get home. So the one thing you can be guaranteed that my place won't smell of is cigarette smoke. The fucking pope can come for a visit and I won't let him smoke.

But I can't stop the ghost from smoking.

I'm not a superstitious person but the only explanation I can come up with for the recurring cigarette smoke smell in my place is a wandering smoking ghost. It isn't my imagination because my girlfriend has confirmed that she smells it as well. It tends to be strongest in the kitchen and I've been working on a theory that might explain it.

Before anyone gets worried and thinks I've left my stove on or my wiring is shorting out - this a very specific cigarette smell, not a generalised burning or smoke smell. I've ruled out someone standing outside my kitchen window and smoking there just to piss me off - that would be paranoid. But I'm pretty sure the ghost is a sound theory.

If it isn't a ghost I think it may be something to do with the plumbing. I learned the hard way that all the plumbing in this building is interconnected when my bathroom flooded after someone upstairs emptied their bathtub. So I'm working on an elaborate theory that involves smoke from someone else's apartment being sucked down the pipes and coming up my kitchen sink.

If anyone has a better theory, I'd love to hear it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog article this morning. I googled this phenomenon because it is happening to me.

I live in a house in a semi-rural area. there is an 80 foot wide empty lot on one side, between us and the next house to the west. I don't think anyone smokes in that house. To the east is our large garage, and the woman who lives in the house beyond that I know doesn't smoke. To the north of us, beyond our backyard is a large soybean field and no houses for a mile to the north. To the south of us is a a 50' hill to a single lane road, and the house opposite is empty for the winter season. The area is dotted with oak, hickory and pine trees and lots of grass. I've lived here a couple of months, with my husband, who is a smoker, but he only smokes outside of the house. I'm very sensitive to tobbaco smoke, as I have never smoked, outside of trying it once or twice when I was a teenager, 40 years ago.

I'm an insomniac; if I want to sleep on a regular cycle, I must use an OTC sleep aid. if I don't, I'm up all night. My husband sleeps soundly every night, from 11 PM til 7 AM.

I began to notice when I was doing one of my 'all nighters', that I'd smell ciggarette smoke rather strongly in my living/dining room (where I'd sit with my laptop). This area is 18 feet down a hallway from the master bedroom. The bedroom door is always closed when my husband sleeps.

The ciggarette smoke smell is strong, though brief, is absolutely unmistakable, and it comes from a certain area by my dining table.

No matter where I am when the smoke arrives, if I get up and walk to the dining table, the smell intensifies there. There is no window in this area, so I don't think the smoke is seeping in from outside. I thought that might be the case when the weather was warm, and windows were open at night; but it happens when the [central] air conditioning is on and all windows are closed. It happens when the furnace is running and all the windows are closed. It happens when nothing is 'running' and all the windows are closed.

My husband is never awake when the smoke 'arrives', so I'm certain it's not from him in any way. He has never smoked in the house.

The smoke 'comes' and 'goes' quickly. But it is obvious and strong enough to be very noticeable and to tick me off.

A friend of mine has suggested I tell 'whomever' is smoking to stop. I'll have to remember to do that during the next all nighter. It happened again, around 6 AM this morning.