« Video from Chicago Tonight appearance | Main | The habits of pals on a train »

Ooh ooh that smell! And the quest to determine its origin

The morning commute south on the Red Line starts fairly uneventfully. Bleary-eyed passengers shiver and shake their way onto the train car.

But then something -- some smell -- begins to permeate the car starting at around the Sheridan stop. It seems to work its way through the car from the far end.

People begin covering noses with hands and scarves. The little 5-year-old girl sitting in the seat ahead of me makes a point of holding her nose with her chubby little fingers while talking in nasal tones with her Dad about the "poopy smell."

It's hard to figure out at first what it is. Human? Animal? And why did we only just recently start smelling it? So I decide to walk to the other end of the car as I exit at Grand to do some investigative research.

I can only determine that the awful smell is dog poop. It just seems like someone must have brought it into the car on his/her shoe.

Thank you so much. I hope you were able to clean it off at work.


On that note- why do blue line cars always have a very vague "poopy smell"? Am I the only one who notices this? It on damn near every car on the blue line, and its just faint enough to be maddening- I'm always worried there's a stale log curing underneath my seat, but I can never find the source of the offense. Ick!

Funny... I had the same poopy ride on the Red Line coming home on Thursday. It was gag-worthy. Eh, must've been the same car.

The most overpowering smell I've ever experienced on the train was, sadly, a homeless lady. People were pretty mean about it too.

quack, that's the residual smell from the Clark/Lake stop. It's probably the worst smelling station in the city and yet it's the main stop where people visiting the city depart the train. What a great first impression.

The worst smell is the Wilson stop on the Red Line. The train smells horrible between 2AM-4AM on a weekday with the homeless population lounging around also.

On the Blue Line, it's primarily the older cars that smell bad...the ones with the double doors. They always seem to have a musty odor.

I thought it was a skunk more than dog crap. It
smelled horrible.

They seem to be much better about cleaning the cars than they used to be, especially the Red Line cars; back in the early 90's you would want to throw up they would smell so bad, but now that so many more white people with money have moved into the neighborhood, it's much better. Might I mention the Wilson stop, before and after?

A couple of years ago there was a mentally ill homeless man on the train, talking and singing to himself, okay, but his smell was the worst smell I ever smelled from a human being - you people talk about gag-worthy, this was like the man had some kind of health problem and was rotting from the inside out.

The train was crowded so people were forced to sit fairly near to him, and you saw many of them holding their scarfs to their faces, or pulling their shirts up over their noses - it was that bad. Then, at one point in our long, torturous ride, someone started gagging, and it started a chain reaction amongst the riders sitting closest to the man, and moving throughout the train. I would say 3 out of 4 people on that train started gagging and heaving. Some people immediately bailed on the next stop; I was getting off at Lawrence but in desperation got off at Sheridan. I think many people wanted to kill that man.

If anyone remembers that ride you ought to post - back me up on this! The worst ride I ever had on an L train.

The comments to this entry are closed.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ooh ooh that smell! And the quest to determine its origin:

Share news tips