2007_01_balboni.jpgOn the one-week anniversary of the noxious natural gas-with-mercaptan stink that took over Manhattan, eastern NJ and parts of other boroughs, we thought that new NY State homeland security chief Michael A. L. Balboni had an interesting idea. The NY Times reports he expressed frustration about the lack of an answer, “What if next time it smells like almonds and it turns out to be cyanide?” He also said he would "put people’s feet to the fire" to get to the truth.

Dude, feet + fire probably = stinky, too. At any rate, we applaud his interest in getting to the bottom and would also like him to look into the Mysteriously Recurring Case of the Maple Syrup Smell. And we're keeping tabs on the crazy Austin bird deaths (also from last Monday). Attacks on East Coast noses and Texan birds should not be ignored!

The Daily News interviewed a Con Ed mechanic, whose job is to respond to gas leaks. David Rosario said he found nothing last week and that the worst smell he ever encountered was a dead rat that a "lady mistook...for a gas odor." Uh oh - could that have been the smell? The many corpses of rotting rats in the sewers?

Photograph of Michael Balboni by Tim Roske/AP