June 26, 2007

Random Commuter Observation

Slogging back and forth between Orgle Manor and the office during these long summer stretches of heat and humidity, I often find myself thinking that Agent Smith had it about right:

I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it.

It is the smell - that combination of garbage, car fumes and overheated Humanity which lingers in the Dee Cee air, growing in potency each day until finally washed out by either a heavy rain or a blast of cooler, dryer air. What exactly is the physical mechanism that causes warmer, humid air to trap odors? Can any of you Mr. Wizards out there put an answer in terms a simple English major like myself could comprehend?

Posted by Robert at June 26, 2007 08:16 AM | TrackBack

My guess, and it's only a guess, would be that with higher humidity the scents are saturating the water molecules in the air allowing them to stay airborne longer.

Sounds like a pretty good science experiment to me.

Posted by: phin at June 26, 2007 09:11 AM

I would guess some type of inversion layer that traps the nastiness close to the ground. Kind of like the dome on the Capital Building holding the putrid stench of the political class close to the ground where us commoners are forced to sniff it at every turn.

Posted by: Dick at June 26, 2007 10:12 AM

Its actually a miasmal life-form that has existed in the swampy DC undersoil since before the indians. Dry cool air forces it back into the underground, but the heat and humidity of summer draw it upwards where it feeds on turon armpit stains and BO. It smells exactly like uncollected garbage.

I can offer you a talisman against it for a mere $29.95. You just hang the charm in the vent of your car's air conditioner and turn the air on high. It protects you from the smell of the beast as you drive!

Posted by: Chai-rista at June 26, 2007 10:35 AM

Wow Chai - That cracked me up!

Posted by: Babs at June 26, 2007 01:22 PM