A few weeks ago, R and I woke up to the smell of burning plastic. We have a water distiller, and the smell seemed to be coming from the motor, so we freaked, unplugged it.. and returned it for repair.
Then 2 nights ago we woke up to this faint squealing noise, and the smell of burning plastic. I mean this is one of the most TOXIC smells I have ever encountered-- I thought for sure this time it was our heater burning up! We live in an old building, so I just thought maybe the wiring wasn't great and was burning up our appliances.
Rob and I thought the sound was divine intervention, ya know, saving us from our heater catching fire.
Then last night, my cousin visited me while she road trips to Dallas, and the squealing happened again.
We go outside, investigate the sound, open the grate to the crawlspace under the building, look in with a flash light.. and the burning plastic smell takes over the alley. I start freaking out.
"THERE'S THAT SMELL AGAIN!"
We're both completely repulsed, and I honestly start to panic. This is the 3rd time-- I keep thinking.. THESE ARE THE SMELLS CANCER IS MADE OF.
At this point I'm thinking that I am breathing in some awful plastic fumes. I am quite anti-plastics. I know you can't really avoid it all the time, but I store all of our leftovers in glass, drink out of glass (we even have glass water bottles) and ya know, plastic fumes kind of freak me out.
So after my cousin and I determine this is some kind of animal being killed under the building, I notice that my neighbor is up, spraying her apartment with lysol.
I know on the door and ask her if she smells it too.. She only speaks Spanish, so she said to me:
"¡Es una mofeta! ¡Morirse! " (I think that's how she said it anyway)
I didn't know what "mofeta" meant, but I did understand the second part "Dying"
So I start putting two and two together, and ask the great google:
"What does skunk spray smell like"
Google informs me that skunk often smells like burning rubber/plastic.
Ladies & Gentleman, we have our culprit.
A skunk, is living & dying under my building. The smell is atrocious. It sticks to the inside of your sinus, and lingers for hours.
The good news is, I haven't been poisoned by plastic. The bad news is, my apartment smells like skunk & it is making me ill.