A Short and True – Smelly Story

This a true story as reported in the local newspaper and a local television station. They reported that a strong and obnoxious chemical smell had attracted a lot of attention at one of the buildings at the Veterans’ Hospital in Hampton at about 2:30 PM on Wednesday. The smell was so overpowering that two of the floors of the building were evacuated, policemen and firefighters were summoned and a hazardous material team was called in. No hazardous materials or contamination were found, and firefighters gave the “all clear” at about 6:40 Wednesday evening.

The source of the smell turned out to be a urine sample from one of the veterans in the Hospital. Two employees who were exposed to the sample were sent to a local hospital for observation, but no patients needed additional medical treatment and no one was injured. The urine sample was sent to Richmond for analysis and results are expected in about a week. I hope that the results of the analysis are made public, and if they are, I’ll keep you informed.

I prefer to believe that the obnoxious smell was the result of something being added to the sample after it was delivered, and the immediate reaction of most people I’ve talked to about this has been amusement. Here’s an example of a joke about the incident: “Did you hear how the patient’s roommate responded when he heard the news?” – “Well Roomy, I’m glad it’s urine, not mine”.

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