Animal Control is on their way to my house. They’re closed on Mondays, so they couldn’t make it out until today, four days after our battle began—the battle for our backyard.
Sometime in the early evening of Friday, a small, happy-go-lucky skunk decided to move into the wilderness that is my backyard. And while I’m all for the cohabitation of nature and man, my bulldogs are not. It is their backyard, and they guard it like a castle. This was the case when at half-past-ten Bronco, one of my munchkin-doodles, dove through the doggy-door at a dead sprint and began rolling vigorously all over our carpet in the office. Mark and I watched curiously for approximately one second before being completely overcome by the burning, musky scent of skunk, sprayed all over our dog.
If you ever want to know how you’d really respond in a true emergency, have a dog rub skunk spray all over your house. As it turned out, I reacted poorly but quickly. Screaming, tears running down my face, I chased Bronco around the house before quarantining him in my bathroom. As with all emergencies, my first instinct was to get online and google “skunk spray dog.” I now imagine if Mark lost a hand in a backyard wood chipper, I’d run inside and google “detached hand” before realizing I should call 911. Perhaps I could text 911 while googling and post a bulletin on Myspace.
Anyway, at this point Mark and I discover that I have none of the home remedies listed online and realize I’ve got to make a run to Wal-Mart because the Dollar Palace is closed (see yesterday’s post). Now, despite Bronco’s success in spreading his stinkies (this is the word we use so he understands) across the entire house, I’ve actually managed not to touch him at this point and assume I’m safe to go out in public (the fatal assumption). I jump in the Volvo and off I go.
Mere moments after walking into the Wal-Mart health and beauty section, I pass two associates who remark to each other:
Shelby-Linn: “Kaylee-Mae, do you smell sompthin’?”
Kalylee-Mae: “Damn that’s nasty… smells like sompthin’s burnin’ gurl!”
I stop dead in my tracks. “No,” I think, “It can’t be me… I didn’t touch anything. I’m just being paranoid!” Lots of things in Wal-Mart smell like shit, including many of the other customers and Loretta—the 92 year old greeter with the colostomy bag. “I’m fine,” I tell myself one more time before proceeding and encountering yet another associate, Patsy.
Patsy shouting across three aisles to Kaylee-Mae and Shelby-Linn: “Now I smell it over in aisle thurteen! What is it?!”
I’m standing next to Patsy as she belts out this proclamation. She has no idea it’s me. It is me. I’ve now got a team of associates calling a manager to come find out what the smell in health and beauty is. FUCK.
Although I never realized it before, I learned that night that my greatest fear is actually smelling like burnt rubber and musk (in public). People always say “death” or “public speaking” when polled about this sort of thing, but I’d better dollars to doughnuts it would only take one good skunk incident to get these people to change their vote. Shocked, horrified, and now crippled by emotional pain, I ran straight out of the store without buying a single thing. I vowed never to return.
Alas I was forced to call my father, at midnight, and ask him to get the products for me (including feminine douche, which he actually purchased but only after having to explain the entire story to the cashier) and bring them over to the house—the house, which at this point, I’m not sure I can ever leave again. I stayed up until three in the morning scrubbing every surface of my home, only to go to bed completely saturated with the skunk—in my hair, my eyes, my nose, my mouth, my very soul.
It’s been four days now and the house still smells. Bronco still smells. My bathroom still makes my eyes water. And worst of all, the skunk is still in the backyard, digging in for a long summer of fun. I can’t even let the dogs in the backyard because of the smell and possible rematch. I keep telling myself they will catch him; take him away, far away. I can’t smell like that again. I can’t. I won’t.