stinky bags whinge

Early customer this morning wanted groceries home delivered, he and his wife reeked of smoke and so did all their bags.

That really strong smell that you get when the smoke has leached right into the fabrics of things and never been washed.
The smell that rises up and slaps you in the face.

I remember the things in my Dad's flat smelling exactly the same after he'd sat in there chain smoking for several years, not just the soft furnishings, but the hard stuff too, especially his TV.

Because they weren't taking their goods with them, the bags sat on the floor behind me for quite a while, before I had time to get a trolley and load them into it so I could move them away from my checkout.

I got a headache immediately, then a couple of other customers about an hour later had the same smell.

Another home delivery.
More stinky bags sitting right behind me.

These are people I've never seen before, they're not regulars, so I wasn't comfortable mentioning that perhaps they could wash their bags.
With people I've gotten to know over the years, I would have been able to suggest it might be a good idea to wash the bags.

If it had been a little later in the morning, with more checkout staff working, I could have asked someone else to step in for me for a minute, but at that time there were only two of us and L was already serving customers on another checkout. J wasn't due in for another ten minutes.

In spite of many, many panadols, and a two hour nap, my brain is throbbing like a Mack truck idling at the lights. Like a convoy of Harley Davidsons cruising the main roads.

I'll be in bed early tonight.


  1. There are very few worse smells than stale cigarette smoke. Hope your head feels better in the morning.

  2. Urk. Hope things improve markedly after a nights sleep.

  3. Veronica; I'll be taking the migraine tablets with dinner, that should help.

    EC; I certainly hope so, I have to be there at 6am again. The migraine tabs should help, and lots of water to drink.

  4. I loathe the smell of stale cigarettes and it always amazes me that people who smoke don't realise how ghastly they smell.

    I got nicotine poisoning once when we were stripping the wallpaper from a home where the woman had chain smoked for 40 years. I was wearing gloves, but the water I was using to dampen the paper before scraping it off, seeped down my arms as I worked. After a while I started to feel extremely ill, began to vomit and ended up passing out. I woke in casualty at RAH and the doc told me that I'd absorbed the nicotine directly through my skin in an extremely concentrated form and I was lucky to be alive.

    I hope you can sleep the effects off and feel better in the morning.

    And of course, I was confused because I had forgotten that you bring your own bags now in Oz. We are still in the dark ages of plastic bag use here, though I use calico bags out of habit.

  5. My husband is yet to quit smoking completely and the smell has been the butt of arguments lately. Hope you get better soon!

  6. Oooh I know that smell. We have shopowner who reeks like that and I avoid going there unless I have no choice.

    A fair few folk on the 57 tram have that in-built smokers' pong too. Even their eyes look nicotine stained.

  7. Hi River,

    Since they banned smoking in the UK (in public buildings, places of work, pubs etc.) I have forgotten what stale cigarettes smell like. I used to hate going to the pub and then smelling of ciggies the next day - now everything is fresh and I love it.




  8. I smoked for 30 years had a stroke 11 years ago and can't stand the smell cigarette smoke now it's all those toxic chemicals that get you hooked like nicotine :-).

  9. I must have smelled like that too! Smoke free now for 35 years but still suffer shortness of breath, so it ain't just the stink.
    We here in Oz also have so much public space now smoke free that I never smell cigarettes anywhere.

  10. how awful for you......hope you feel better soon.


  11. Marie; the smell builds up gradually, so when you smoke in your own home, it isn't noticeable. It seeps into everything, but because you're there and smoking you can't smell it.
    I remember wearing rubber gloves to wash down the walls in my dad's flat after he died from lung cancer. Walls that I thought were orangey beige were actually pale lemon.

    Joni; I'm finetoday, thanks. Hope your hubby gives up soon. Secondhand smoke is just as bad as smoking yourself.

    R.H. No, I'm not.

    Kath; The longer they've smoked, the worse it is, especially when they wear clothes for days or weeks such as jackets and the smoke is right in the fabric.

    Plasman; fresh air in pubs...nice.

    Windsmoke; have you seen the lists of chemicals that cigarettes contain? It's horrific.

    Stafford Ray; welcome to drifting. I have the shortness of breath too, but I've never smoked. Doesn't seem fair.

    peskypixies; I do feel much better today. Thanks.

  12. That is a really horrid smell. I cleaned out our fridge / freezer on the weekend and instead of doing my usual wash of the shelves in sink full of soapy warm water I decided to put them through the dishwasher.

    OMG! When the cycle had finished I opened the dishwasher and got a facefull of steam that smelled like stale cigarette smoke.

    Reminding me we had purchased our fridge & freezer second hand from a heavy smoker about 5years ago. Stunned that the stink stayed attached for so long.

  13. Stunned that it was inside the fridge. Maybe his wife shut him in for a smoke.

  14. Marita; I'm surprised the smell was in the fridge at all. The previous owners must have held the door open looking for snacks while smoking. The rubber seals would hold the smell too.

    R.H. ha ha.


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