Opinion

Me vs. a Skunk -- How I Survived an Uninvited 'Skunking'

It was a regular evening. It was 8:30pm and my husband and I were in bed, lying in our king-sized bed like the number 11. He was reading his paper. I was reading my book. When he tried to share an interesting tidbit, I grunted.

The only difference was that spring was in the air. We had opened our ranch house’s windows all the way and we were listening to the peeper frogs.

Then I smelled something funny.

“Honey…” I said.

“It wasn’t me,” he replied.

We looked at each other and took multiple, aggressive inhalations.

It could have been the sudden newspaper page turning or maybe one of my grunts, but we realized that we had just been victimized by a drive-by skunking.

Something had startled a skunk outside our bedroom windows--it was bad, and it was getting worse really fast.

We leapt from our respective sides to close the nearest windows, but there was no escaping the smell that had already gotten in. Even with the windows closed it was getting worse.

He closed the bedroom door, and we stood motionless staring at each other, breathing in a stink we couldn’t drive away from, realizing we were trapped in skunked hell.

“Now what,” he asked. (I usually have the answers.)

I shrugged and did what any normal person does in a crisis—consulted the Internet. And as always, it provided.

Here’s what you need to do after being skunked:

1.) Curse. It really does help.

2.) Before taking on the skunked area, apply Vicks VapoRub to your nostrils—you’ll suffer less during “clean-up.”

3.) Put coffee grounds into shallow dish and place near the skunked area. (All I had, of course, was expensive espresso beans. I considered using yesterday’s used grounds, but decided it was not a time to be cheap.)

4.) Put apple cider vinegar in a shallow dish and place near skunked area—like coffee beans.

5.) Wonder why coffee beans and apple cider vinegar?

6.) Light candles—it works for the bathroom, why not skunks?

An hour later we were back in bed, VapoRub on our nostrils, the smell of coffee on our hands, flickers of candlelight bouncing off the walls. We looked at each other, dazed and confused, united in misery.

But by the morning the smell was gone.

It was a divine miracle that I had VapoRub, apple cider vinegar, coffee grounds, and candles in my house--all at the same time. They now represent my Emergency De-Skunking Kit. I promise you, if you get skunked, you’ll want one too.

Jennifer Quasha is a writer and most recently the co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Canine Companions" and "Chicken Soup of the Soul: My Cat's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Feline Family Members." Check out her website at www.jenniferquasha.com.

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