Cafeteria Smell

  1. The odor of: fried food, mixed with old mop water, mixed with cookies, mixed with bleach, mixed with hot dumpster leavings – that emanates from every cafeteria
  2. A sign that sloppy joes are being served at a given location
  3. A sign that pizza will be served in the form of a soggy rectangle

Usage Example: “I wanted to try that restaurant, but it had that cafeteria smell.”

Background: There is no escaping the cafeteria smell. Every cafeteria, whether it’s found in an elementary school, college, hospital or standalone “buffet” restaurant, has the exact same smell. It doesn’t matter if it tries to make itself upscale, the cafeteria smell will always be present.

The cafeteria smell is a complex bouquet of pleasant and disturbing odors. Due to its complexity, it can be difficult to identify its individual components. However, in spite of its complexity, the cafeteria smell is instantly recognizable. One single whiff of cafeteria smell immediately takes a victim back to standing in line at an elementary school cafeteria, waiting for his chicken patty sandwich, pudding, chocolate milk and carrot sticks.

The cafeteria smell is comprised of equal parts of odors from the following categories:

  1. The food category
  2. The cleaning supply category
  3. The dumpster category

This combination creates a smell that is somewhat appealing and somewhat revolting at the same time. Cafeteria smell is the primary distinguishing characteristic of any cafeteria-style dining establishment.

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Air Mattress

  1. Sleeping surface designed to take a person from beach ball to floor in six hours flat
  2. Stealth torture device for visiting guests

Usage Example: “Hey. Wake up. It’s 3:30 am. This air mattress is almost completely deflated. Do you think we should turn on this incredibly loud pump?”

Background: The air mattress is a popular sleeping accommodation for visiting house guests. Air mattresses have gained popularity because they are easy to store, quick to set up and efficiently torture anyone who sleeps on them. Users can expect to begin the night by bouncing around on a beach ball and finish the night by waking up on the floor – in the hateful embrace of a puffy air pillow.

There are many different varieties of air mattresses available, at a wide range of price points. However, all air mattresses share a few basic similarities. In order to qualify as an air mattress, a product must possess the following qualities:

  1. The product must be a sleeping surface that is initially filled with air.
  2. The product must lose at least 50% of its air over the course of six to eight hours.
  3. The product must lose air regardless of whether or not any holes are present.
  4. The product must be designed to emit faint hissing sounds, even though no actual holes can be detected.
  5. The product must contain a useless “placebo patch kit” to make the user feel good about covering up a hole, even though the kit cannot actually patch anything.

Some air mattress manufactures attempt to fight the fact that all air mattresses slowly deflate, by installing incredibly noisy built-in pumps. This innovation allows users to add some additional air to a half-inflated air mattress, while promptly waking up the entire house at 3:00 am. Making this choice allows a user to enjoy an awful night of tossing and turning, combined with experiencing a new level of searing hatred poured out by the rest of the house, thereby ensuring a spot on the air mattress for any subsequent visits. It is a vicious cycle.