I Discovered That Starbucks Smells Just As Bad As Subway And Now I'm Scarred For Life
There was a short period of time during adolescence when my world revolved around meeting my friends at one of two places - the mall or a Subway down the street from said mall. When I was 13 or 14 years old, the mall was the place to be on the weekend, and Subway was the impromptu hang out spot after school.
This whole thing about hanging out in public arenas only lasted about a year, but it was during this period that I discovered something - if you spend more than five minutes in a Subway shop your hair, your clothes, hell, even your skin is going to smell like a literal asshole.
I would leave Subway after telling a few crude dick jokes and buying a cookie and a fountain Coke to find that I smelled like I had just bathed using wet, expired bread as body wash. Even to a person with the least sensitive nose in the world, the smell of Subway on your clothing is one that is unmistakable.
It’s offensive in the same way that another person’s flatulence is, the only difference being that this smell does not go away after a few minutes. It lingers. While I loved the fact that I wasn’t under adult supervision at Subway after school, the smell of that place began to take a toll on me, and after my freshman year of high school I stopped going altogether unless it was to pop in quickly to get a sandwich. Anything longer than five minutes and you have to burn your clothes and wash yourself with a product that has “extra strength” in the name.
I’ve avoided that smell for nearly a decade, only eating at Subway restaurants under the most dire of circumstances (i.e. road trips). You know the smell that I’m referring to, of course. I mean you have to. Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a Subway knows - it’s bread-like but like if the bread was cooked in an oven that someone had just vomited in. It’s sour, sweet, and altogether horrible.
I avoid that place like the plague, as I prefer to make my sandwiches at home now, using prime cuts of meat from my grocery store deli which is a nightmare unto itself.
I sincerely thought that Subway restaurants were the only places in the world with that rancid odor until yesterday when I sat down at a Starbucks to hammer out a few emails, write a blog, and enjoy a cold brew. I must have been sitting in that Starbucks with backpack in tow for no more than 40 minutes when I decided I was sick of the music the place had on and left.
I noticed the smell on my person almost immediately after stepping outside. It was unmistakable. My backpack, the ballcap I had on, and every article of clothing - all of it smelled the exact same way as that fucking Subway from my youth, except with the slightest hint of stale coffee.
When I returned home I threw the clothes and the hat in the dirty clothes hamper and guess what? My entire room smelled like shit just a few minutes later. I hung my backpack outside to catch a breeze to hopefully get rid of the smell but it didn’t really work.
I haven’t the slightest clue how this is the first I’m noticing of “The Odor” inside of Starbucks chains. It might be that because of their expanded food menu they’ve ventured into Subway territory, perhaps their coffee is what is reminding me of the smell. Either way, I don’t think I can voluntarily go into Starbucks anymore, because the PTSD flashbacks I’ve been having since yesterday are nighmarish. Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I found myself staring at the ceiling, thinking about that Subway and the Starbucks I had visited earlier in the day, muttering to no one two words over and over - “The horror! The horror!”