My husband frowns. “I do? Like what?”
I sniff the air and grimace. “I don’t know. Bad.”
My husband tugs back the sleeve of his t-shirt, takes a big whiff of one armpit, then pulls an unconcerned face: Smells fine to me!
“Well?” I demand.
“All I smell is deodorant,” he says with a shrug.
I throw him a judgy eyeball. “It’s not really a B.O. smell,” I clarify. “It doesn’t have that ‘Italian sub, heavy on the onions’ quality.”
“Well then, what is it?”
I make a big production of pinching my nostrils shut. “Maybe it’s your crotch,” I suggest nasally.
My husband pulls the waistband of his running shorts wide and wafts some man odor up to his nose with one hand. “Nope,” he concludes, letting the elastic snap back against his stomach. “Not that.”
I sigh dramatically, let go of my nose, and lean in for a closer sniff. “OH, BLECH! It’s even worse up close.” I descend into a fit of coughing and hacking. “It’s THICK. It’s like it gets into your THROAT or something.”
RELATED: A Woman’s Confession: “I Smell”
My husband glares at me. “Well, what on Earth do you want me to do about it?”
“Take a shower?” I propose.
“I just took one!” he protests. “Less than three hours ago.”
“Maybe it’s just Old Man Smell,” I offer.
I decide to let that one go.
My husband lifts a finger—I have an idea!—and checks his breath behind one cupped hand.
“Any luck?” I ask.
“No,” he replies, mystified. “Minty fresh. The only other thing left I can think of is—” He grabs a fistful of his t-shirt, dips his nose down into it, then inhales deeply.
And immediately gags.
“OH, JESUS,” he chokes. “OH. OH, JESUS.”
“What?” I say, a little too enthusiastically. “Is it the shirt?”
My husband dry heaves. “GLRARGH.”
“It’s THE SHIRT!” I crow.
“ACK,” he gags again.
“I knew you smelled bad. I knew it!” I perform a victory dance that may or may not involve the “nae nae.”
He rips his shirt off and flings it on the floor. “I think it’s mildew,” he pronounces. “Gross.”
My husband cranes his head back and gives me the stink eye. “Wait a minute. You’re calling me gross?”
“You’re the one who smells like a towel that hasn’t been washed in five years,” I point out.
“Yes,” he agrees with an overemphatic nod of the head. “Exactly right. That is EXACTLY how I smell. And whose fault is that?”
“I have no idea what you mean,” I lie.
“No?” asks my husband, with a mirthless smile. “You have no idea what I mean?”
He’s on to me.
“Hey, you look mighty fine with no shirt on,” I say coyly, running a finger up his chest. “Maybe we could take advantage of this situation . . . ”
“Don’t change the subject,” warns my husband, pushing my finger away. “Admit what you did.”
“I don’t know what you—”
I sigh in defeat, and then I mumble something.
“What was that?” my husband asks, tilting his ear towards me. “I didn’t quite hear you.”
“I SAID I LEFT A LOAD OF YOUR T-SHIRTS IN THE WASHING MACHINE, OKAY?” I bark.
“For how long?”
“I DON’T KNOW.”
“How long?” my husband insists.
“OKAY, FINE. THREE NIGHTS.”
“And then what did you do?” my husband prompts, his expression self-righteous and gleeful.
“I DRIED IT ANYWAY. I PUT IN LIKE TWENTY FABRIC SOFTENER SHEETS, HOPING THAT WOULD HELP, BUT IT DIDN’T.”
“Interesting,” says my husband.
“AND I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE WASHING THE WHOLE LOAD AGAIN SO I JUST PUT IT AWAY AND HOPED YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE.”
My husband smirks. “So whose fault is it that I smell this way?”
I glare at him.
“What?” he laughs. “Aw, come on. Don’t be mad.” He pulls me towards him. “What were you saying about taking advantage of this situation?”
I yank myself away. “I think I was saying: ‘Enjoy washing your own shirts for the rest of ever, douchebag.’”
Editor’s Note: Got mildew? Don’t lie. You know you do. It happens to the best of us. Here’s how our Editor-in-Chief solves this very common problem. In fact, it’s such a universal issue that this is the single most popular post on her blog. (And not just because of the dirty jokes.)
But why stop there? Buzzfeed rounded up an entire hamper of laundry hacks that everyone should know. (And one of them might look very familiar!)
Better still, you can make (almost) every single spot in your home smell better with these great tips from Ask Heloise.(Better smelling husband sold separately.)