Monday, April 17, 2006

I'll Never Eat Pancakes Again

While I was wasting time watching my neighbors indulge their eating disorders, the maple syrup smell has returned with a vengeance. Two days ago, it rolled in during the middle of the night and engulfed the Upper West Side in a cloud of sickening sweetness. The entire Columbia campus smells like an IHOP, and the students are starting to panic. I’ve seen some wearing World War II-era gas masks, and a number of girls on my hall refuse to leave their rooms until the smell dissipates. (Though to be honest, I’m not sure if the girls in question bothered to attend classes when New York merely reeked of its usual spring bouquet—a blend of urine and exhaust fumes.) So far, however, the odor appears to be relatively harmless. The only effect I’ve noticed is a ravenous hunger and the tendency to eat entire boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. The Anorexic Chef even scarfed down some of her brownies last night.

The Irregulars can’t afford to entirely drop our investigation of the man in the stacks, but Kiki and I have taken Betty and Oona off the case. They’re now devoting their time to looking into the maple syrup phenomenon. This morning, one of the clients at Oona’s manicure shop was heard speculating that the smell was wafting across the river from a chemical plant in New Jersey. Betty and Oona are going undercover to the plant to see if there’s any truth to the rumor. But I’m beginning to suspect that the source of the smell might be a little more sinister.


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