Walking into an ice cream shop takes us all back to childhood. Fresh waffle cones baking while dozens of ice cream flavors all fuse together for one sweet, sugary scent that we can’t get enough of.
You get a cone of classic soft serve or maybe a Blizzard and remain in the shop as long as you can because it smells that amazing.
Well, that’s how most ice cream shops are.
One Dairy Queen in Calgary, Canada, has a distinct odor – but not of fresh cones and cold treats. No, this one smells like farts and rotten eggs and it has been haunting customers for more than three years.
For a long time, the flatulence funk was a complete mystery.
Owner Sujad Bandali explained that the strange smell has been affecting the store since it opened back in January 2015. He thought it might be a gas leak or something else that could put customers in peril and called in firefighters and utility workers hours before the grand opening.
Nothing was found.
Customers complained and several rang the fire department, reporting a natural gas leak in the shop. Bandali even checked the building for carbon monoxide.
Nothing found again.
He did everything he could to locate the origin of the sinister smell, but couldn’t. It appeared that nothing was wrong, this location simply smelled like rotten eggs. Lovely.
Somehow, it didn’t plague everyone. Half of the employees claimed they weren’t bothered by it – perhaps they had gotten used to it already? Customers would sometimes run for the door as soon as they stepped in and smelled the shop, while others stayed.
This was, of course, a plague for business, as well as noses everywhere.
So what does the local owner of a world-famous ice cream shop do to get rid of the smell? Offer free frozen treats to anyone who can figure out what is causing this smell.
Bandali, desperate for answers, left the below note in the shop window:
A Dairy Queen in the North East is giving away Blizzards to anyone who can figure out why the store smells! They've been having a mysterious smell for years. – @AndrewU92 #DairyQueen #yyc #Calgary #985VirginRadio pic.twitter.com/0yH7rbusFu
— VIRGIN Radio Calgary (@VirginRadioYYC) August 7, 2018
He offered a free Blizzard once a week for a year to the genius that could figure out where the franchise’s fatal fumes were coming from. Good deal, right?
Seriously, the smell was bad. Bandali probably would’ve given up half his inventory if that meant he could get rid of it once and for all.
— Polynices (@KidNic3) August 9, 2018
People responded to the bribe, emailing from other provinces and making international phone calls from other countries to solve this issue – and earn free Blizzards.
Bandali said that the response became a bit overwhelming:
“They were leaving us voicemails and emails. Our phone hasn’t shut off, we finally had to modify the message. We almost had to hire a full-time person to answer the calls.”
ATCO, the local gas company, arrived earlier this month to perform the third inspection in three years. This time, the utility employee did something that hadn’t been done before: performing a dead check.
No, that doesn’t mean checking for dead animals. Although all things considered, that’s something to consider.
Dead checks are when a worker shuts down all gas appliances in the building and checks each one to see if the gas meter remained running. If it did, that would indicate a gas leak and, as a result, a stinky smell.
And alas, they found one!
There was a leak coming from piping in the ceiling. It was repaired and for the first time since the shop’s opening, aromas of ice cream and chocolate swirled around the shop – not farts and rotten eggs.
Bandali breathed a sigh of relief and shouted from the rooftops:
“There is no smell, my misery is over. It’s such a relief. I am so, so happy.”
Bandali, employees, and customers alike are all glad the smell is gone for good.
People are amazed that it took years for a gas company to perform a simple dead check:
It took two years to convince the gas company to try shutting everything off and seeing if gas was still flowing… that’s kind of amazing.
— Jacob Wisner (@JacobWisner1) August 9, 2018
So Calgary. If you suspect a gas leak, go for ice cream because Atco won’t be there to look at it for awhile.
— Martin (@MrBaconRaiser) August 9, 2018
Twitter can’t help but wonder: did the utility employee get the years supply of free Blizzards?
So are the Atco workers getting the blizzards?
— ObiPonKenobi (@hockeysoccer) August 9, 2018
Good luck to that beleaguered Dairy Queen. Did that gas company guy get the Blizzards?
— Hatusu (@Hatusu) August 10, 2018
Something about this whole situation seems like the company shouldn’t be compensated in delicious frozen treats because it took them this long to figure out the problem at hand.
But, then again, the employee who decided to do a dead check is probably a local hero to the Calgary Dairy Queen.
Congrats, Bandali. Well done, ATCO Blizzard Dude. Enjoy the ice cream!