Walk anywhere on campus and take a deep breath. You smell that?? It’s a little something called “Updog,” and it might be harmful to your health. Numerous reports of Updog have been made to Whitman College authorities. Cases have been reported in classrooms, on Ankeny and even in town. This strange smell is difficult to describe, but impossible to miss.
“It’s tangy,” said one student who asked to remain anonymous, “but with a hidden sweetness to it. It burns a little at first but then you’re like, oh this is fun. I love it, I’ve been out here all morning breathing it in.”
While most experts believe that Updog is a natural occurrence, others have speculated that this could be caused by pollution from the local nuclear site. We talked to biology professor Jo Kester for her take on the situation.
“Updog? Oh yeah, it’s very serious. The last bad case around these parts was some 15 years ago. Whole town smelled like Updog.”
When pressed for more information about the chemical makeup of Updog, Kester had little input to give.
“It’s organic, that’s for sure. No one really knows what causes it yet you seem to come across it everywhere. Mostly around younger kids. It’s not toxic or anything, it’s just a nuisance. Some people seem to think it’s funny but I’ve always found all the hubbub to be a bit immature and silly.”
It’s clear that there’s one question lingering in all of our minds: What, exactly, is Updog?