|Bad news about the lightsabers. [image via]|
After seeing the above graphic in this week's New York magazine, I immediately got to googling, but the news I found didn't yield much additional information about the stink at Staples:
TWO PEOPLE OVERCOME BY MYSTERIOUS SMELL IN GREENWICH VILLAGE STAPLES
by Andrea Swalec and Wil Cruz
Call again, Andrea Swalec and Wil Cruz! This mysterious odor, with unknown origins, demands additional description. I tried to think of the weirdest things I've smelled at my local Staples, but the scent of hot copiers and new office chairs dominates. Surely, a smell that required medical attention must be worthy of a few adjectives beyond "mysterious" and "unknown." The shoppers were overcome!GREENWICH VILLAGE — Paramedics treated two people after they were overcome by a mysterious odor in a Staples store Wednesday, fire officials said.Firefighters responded to reports of the smell in the store at 769 Broadway, at East 9th Street, just after 9:15 a.m.The two people were treated on the scene for smoke inhalation, but were not transported to the hospital.The cause of the smell was unknown.Business was back to normal a short time later at Staples."The store did not close," manager Daniel Elliott said.Calls to Staples' corporate offices were not immediately returned.
The search term "unidentified odor" returns fewer Google results than I would have expected: a relatively modest 6,400. "Mysterious odor" is more common, with almost 53,000 results, including this one, about a "widespread and mildly irritating odor." What mildly irritates me is the lack of even a gesture towards describing the smells in these news stories. I thought reporters loved a good, gross quote. What was the smell like? Was it human or elemental? Human and elemental? Sulfurous? Chemical? Medicinal? Like death? Did it have a color? That sticky fuchsia of some cough medicines? Was it putrid or acrid? Stale or just shat? Was it rotten? Or sharp in a way that scraped at your nose hairs? We don't know how to talk about smell, but isn't it better to try?