GLADSTONE, MB –
For decades, arena attenders have marvelled at the scent emanating from the cozy urinals in the men’s washroom at the Gladstone rink and they are delighted to know researchers at the University of Manitoba identified the source.
“It’s such a familiar smell,” Herb Friesen of Westbourne said. “Every time I go to there I get a whiff and it takes me back to the good old days of going to the Lakers’ games with dad and Uncle Sam.”
The odour is widely viewed as nostalgic by many Happy Rock rink regulars.
“It smells like victory to me,” Brian Watson of Gladstone said. “It takes me back to the last time the Lakers won a championship in the mid 90’s.”
Despite over 40 years of cleaning efforts, the sanitation crews in Gladstone were never successful in ridding the rink of the smell. While not overpowering, the scent has permeated nostrils and drawn criticism of visiting hockey fans for years.
“I can’t stand the smell in the Gladstone shitter,” Marvin Metcalfe of MacGregor shared. “I take a big gasp of air as I walk in and slowly exhale while I take a leak to try to avoid the stench.”
“I thought that was just how Gladstone smelled,” Emily Broadbank of Neepawa said. “The whole town kind of smells like that. I notice it’s quite a bit stronger in the men’s washroom but I don’t go in there that often so I never complain.
A local faculty of science student, Chase McLean decided to study the smell as part of a university study into the origins of scent.
“All my life I heard people talk about the smell in the men’s washroom so when I became part of this research team I suggested we try to find the source,” McLean said. “It’s the only washroom in the study but it was rewarding to get some answers for my hometown.”
The results reveal the odour is from a sampling of adult male urine from the mid to late 1970’s that contained high levels of alcohol and various prescription medicines. The offending urine managed to spill onto and penetrate the floors, walls and ceiling in the washroom, making surface cleaning ineffective in eliminating the scent.
“It seems to be a powerful cocktail of urine with a perfect storm of booze and meds combining to create something timeless,” McLean explained. “Its comparable to a combination of chicken excrement, tomcat spray and skunk scent but with more staying power.”
Now that the Gladstone Arena is aware the scent can only be removed by demolition of removal of the hard material it has decided to forgo that process and not bother with future surface cleaning.
Rink officials say the smell is part of the history and culture of the rink and plan on installing a plaque to explain the source.
“With talk of building a new rink someday I sure hope we can find a way to save a piece of the wall so it can be put on display,” Watson said. “It is good for people to stay in touch with the past. Smells have a powerful way of bringing back memories and emotions. We shouldn’t lose that.”
Notice to readers/disclaimer – click here to read the full disclosure and find links to even more legal rhetoric on the fictional, fanciful and satirical nature of this story and website. That means this story is not real. Gladstone is real. The Gladstone rink is real. However, the rest of the story is made up. Although there have been real rumours of an odour in the male washroom this website does not imply or believe that Gladstone smells anything but wonderful, even in the rink.