Skunk Protocol

Volume 7, Issue 4 - June 11, 2003           

Skunk A young skunk has moved into the neighborhood. There were no moving vans, but he announced his arrival just the same. Actually, we got the news second-hand (or second-nose, if you will), when Sunny, the cat, moseyed into the house smelling like... well, a skunk!

There really is nothing quite like the smell of fresh skunk. For the benefit of the UK contingent, I'll make a futile attempt at describing it:  Imagine a pot of boiling cabbage and onions, now toss a few old gym socks into it, a pail of jalapeno peppers, add a bottle of vodka for that special 'kick' and top it off with a gallon of nail polish remover. Boil for a several days, then bury in the backyard for a couple of weeks. Dig it up, open the lid, stick your head in... and take a whiff! This recipe still won't come anywhere near a strong whiff of skunk, but it will at least achieve the similar effect of blasting opening your sinuses, accelerating your heartbeat and bringing copious tears to your eyes.  

Now here's a tried and true recipe for de-skunking any hapless animal or person that has the misfortune of startling an ambling skunk. This recipe came in mighty handy, many years ago, when our old dog Barker came inside reeking of that unmistakable perfume. Go to the nearest 24 hour convenience store and grab as many quarts of tomato juice as you can carry. The night I had to de-skunk Barker, they were out of tomato juice, so I bought up 6 cans of V8 (tomato/vegetable juice) instead. As I approached the counter, a knowing clerk shook his head and said, 'Skunk?'. I guess he could tell (or smell) from my demeanor that I wasn't mixing a vat of Bloody Mary's for a football party.

I returned home armed with my V8 and led Barker into the bathtub, where I proceed to empty six quarts of V8 all over him and rub it into his fur.  Now, you all know what dogs do when they are completely soaking wet. He shook vigorously, spraying V8/tomato juice all over the bathroom walls - and me.

It looked like a mass-murder had taken place. But incredibly, through the magic of chemistry, it worked. Somehow, the acidic tomato juice neutralized the pungent aroma. Well, at least, most of it. We didn't let Barker in bed with us for a week.

Anyway, our new visitor has been making nightly raids on our trashcans. We have to be extra careful, now, securing the lids, and we tread lightly when stepping outside in the late night hours. We also do a lot of aimless whistling and loud jabbering to let him know in advance that we're heading outside.

I can't help but wondering, though, about this little guy's self-image. Grown men and women freeze in their tracks at the sight of him. Dogs and cats, that know better, give him a wide berth. You think he's got a complex about this? What if he's a really friendly skunk, hoping to make friends in his new neighborhood, but everybody keeps running away from him? Is he self-conscious about this? Does he feel ostracized? Or skunkacized? Or do you think he just figures he's a real tough, bad-ass and likes the fact that no one's gonna mess with him?

I can't figure this one out.

Meanwhile, consider this:  If you ever get the feeling that you really are a bunch of oddballs and misfits (be assured, I include myself in this category.) check out the folks at the following website. Now these folks are really an unusual bunch:

Hope everyone's enjoying the warmer weather.

Be well and catch you soon.


PS:  If you're living in the vicinity of Skunkville, USA, don't forget to check out these upcoming gigs:

Wed 18 Stone Pony  w/band  Asbury Park, NJ            

Thur 3   Makor w/band New York, NY                        
Sat   19  1794 Meetinghouse (solo) New Salem, MA     



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