Genetic Disorder Puts The "Oh" in "Odor"
He smelled like nasty, rotting fish.
It was the one thing that could make the king of our 1st grade mole hill into just a gopher. Somebody would just have to say something like, "Lonnie, did you shower in dog poop?" or "You smell like a fart." I called him a "Fish Head." It was the one way to escape his wrath, as Lonnie the bully would be so embarassed and just walk away.
Lonnie isn't the only one who suffers from smelling like fresh ass 24/7. It seems people all over the world have been suffering from this terrible condition, called Trimethylaminuria or TMAU. It's a metabolic disorder, and people with this condition smell Gawd-awful no matter what they do.
Someone with TMAU lacks a certain enzyme that breaks down trimethylamine. The body therefore releases this chemical via skin pores, mouth, or bodily fluids. Trimethylamine also happens to smell strongy of rotting fish.
Camille, the subject of an ABC News story and online video, is a former model and beauty queen. She also smells like decomposing fishies. Unfortunately, her job also puts her in very close proximity to little kids. Camille is a teacher.
"They would say things like, 'Ew, this classroom stinks like dead fish.' They would call me 'Miss Fishy.' I didn't know why I was emitting such a strong odor. I mean, it can fill an entire room. Recently, it filled an auditorium."
I'm hot for teacher...NOT!
One of her first jobs was at a bank. Her terrible smell haunted her there as well. "My supervisor would come by and spray my area with perfume, Lysol, and they put me in the drive-through section, which is separate from the rest of the teller area," Camille said.
TMAU is extremelly rare, with only 600 documented cases in the world. The first official case was written about in the 1970s, but if you go through all of world literature, you'll find references to people smelling like rotten fish:
"What have we here? A man or a fish? Dead or alive? He smells like a fish; a very ancient and fish-like smell . . ." — William Shakespeare, "The Tempest."
Even an ancient Hindu tale describes a maiden who "grew to be comely and fair, but a fishy odor ever clung to her."
Damn that's gross. Something IS rotten in Denmark for sure.
There is no cure for TMAU currently. However, there are special diets patients can adopt to help minimize the severity of the fishiness. Chlorophyl tablets have been known to help those with the stank emanating from their mouths. Scientists hope to do more research and figure out a way to help those lacking that special enzyme that breaks down trimethylamine.
So Lonnie, wherever you are, I am so sorry for having teased you. I should've been a better person and understood your plight. Now I understand why you were such a bully. And for mashing my PB&J sandwich back in 1979, I hope you smell like an unwashed crusty anus for the rest of your life. Jerk.