Some Days Stink! My Encounters with a Skunk.
Nature Does Warn Us Sometimes, Skunk!
You Probably Know the Rest of the Day or Weekend will Stink When ...
My first encounters with skunks were not too bad, I was being driven through the woods of Tennessee. My friend was taking me to visit Fort Donelson. When the aroma filled the car.
"Smell that?" she asked. "That's a skunk somewhere."
There was an odour not unlike the brewing of strong coffee mixed with new tyres and burned matches.
"So that is skunk? It's not that bad." I replied.
Oh pity me! Poor tourist from England. Pity me in my innocence.
My first major encounter came when my dog, Polly (The German Shepherd you see in my avater, ran from the house suddenly into the yard, barking. The odour was almost instant, foul, gut wrenching and painful. My sinuses burned and it was almost impossible to breathe.
So that was skunk! Now I realized my innocence. Now I really knew what Americans meant when they talked so harshly about those cute little critters. They really did have a powerful effect. After that encounter The house I was living in never quite smelled the same. Though I washed Polly, the merest hint of humidity in the air seem to surround her with that skunk odour for weeks.
I read what information I could to prevent it ever happening again. Oh, innocent fool I am. It is not a question of if, Is it? It is just a question of How long before the next time?
Shine a Light
One article I read about deterring skunks told me to shine a light outside. I have happily done that for almost five years now. As darkness approaches, I go to the back door of the house and turn on three floodlights. Being nocturnal the skunk is supposed to avoid the light. It keeps the birds awake in the mulberry and orange trees too! Quite often they happily chirp until the early hours. Keeping me awake often as I type my hubs. But the lights do keep away the skunks.
Oh sweet innocence.
Skunks Don't Read Articles!
Last Friday, June 3, was warm and breezy. I opened the house in the afternoon to let the air pass through. It was nice to just enjoy a California June day, when for once the temperatures were not hitting the high nineties or one hundred degrees.
About 8pm I went to the back door, turned on the lights and went to sit on the front porch and listen to my Kindle book. The breezes grew stronger but were nice and warm. It was an almost perfect end to a week of work and a respite before climbing into bed.
By 9:30 pm I was ready to go to bed. Walking through the house all was quiet, out of habit I stepped out of the back door. I had always done this for Polly so she had known to come in. The breezes brushed my cheek. Then it hit.
The burning was instantaneous, every nerve in my sinusses screamed, my lungs screamed, my guts wrenched. Burning matches! Burning tyres! Burning coffee!
The skunk I had just walked out upon, had obviously not read the same article as I had.
That moment was awful. I staggered back into the house.
Worst thing possible of course. The smell covers everything is seconds. You don't need to touch a thing, the stinking odour just is all pervasive. It clings, it burns, it is.
I made my way to the front of the house. My wife advising as I went. "Don't touch!" "Get out of HERE!" "Don't go through there!" I made my way into the garage, the smell rapidly filling the space. To levels which made my wife wretch. I had to undress, removing the stinking clothes I put them into the washer with extra soap. Walked naked, barefoot and stinking to the bathroom and climbed into the shower. Lathering on the soap by handfuls, the stink was never ending. on my skin, in my hair and in my lungs.
Even now, over thirty hours later, the skunk smell is on my skin. I have washed in normal soap and even oil remover. There is still a whiff of skunk when I move.
The clothes I was wearing might well be ruined. They too have gone through several wash cycles and smell even worse.
We went to Fresno yesterday, to Home Depot and bought de-odorizer, maybe that will save the furniture and possibly my clothes.
The Funny Thing is ...
Last weekend my wife and I were at one of her friends parties. Another friend is visiting California with her Scottish husband. My wife was telling her friends husband about Polly's skunk encounter. Of course after five years that encounter is now funny and almost folklore.
The husband said he had never smelled skunk. Asking in his innocence, "What's it smell like?"
Yesterday, it was my wife's job to pick them up in Fresno and take them to the airport.
He definitely has an idea what skunk smells like today.
Like me he is no longer innocent as to the power of that little black and white critter which ambles through the American night. Making life stink for some of us on occasion.
- William Elliott on Hubpages
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