A Funny Story

Sometimes you just have to laugh. There is no other option. Well I guess there is, but sometimes you have to choose to laugh instead of the other options. Allow me to paint you a picture.

The rain of the night has turned to mist of the morning. It floats to my windshield and smears in the pre-dawn darkness. There is a low fog along the roadway. Everything is made up of blacks and grays. The trees beside the twists, the fences near the turns, the puddles in the middle. The country roads I ride on rarely have reflective paint. They are well worn by tractors, cars, four wheelers, and occasionally livestock. I wind through on autopilot, as if my car is driving itself. The headlight beams search the asphalt like plane lights looking to land. I keep my eyes on the rays, which are the only things to cut through the black. I search the edges without even thinking about it. Habit.  

Suddenly, I see in front of me a bump along my way. Roadkill. A common enough occurrence on these types of roads and the reason my eyes are always scanning the sides. Over the years, I have hit deer, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, even mice. A hawk flew into the grill of my car and I watched him flap in my rearview until he stilled. I killed a mama racoon and her baby one time. I cried. The next week, I almost hit another racoon and William told me it was the brother looking for his mom and sister. I cried again. Had a near miss with a bear once. Kind of gets your heart pumping. I call it country-road cardio.

Just to be clear, I never intentionally hit animals. They run into the path of the car, usually in the dark, usually at night. And I usually cry. I have also, stopped in the middle of the road to let all of those animals listed cross the road. I am a turtle-saver. The crazy car that stops for the geese to cross. And guinea hens…who don’t bat an eye, or move an inch. If a cow is out, I will try to shew it home.

Today, I wasn’t the one to do the deed. The lump was already still and blended into the black of the road. It blended in so well, I was on top of it before I could swerve so it could pass under me. Instead, I hit it straight on with my tire. Bump. Bump. Front tire, then back tire. It wasn’t until I was passed it that I saw the tell-tale white stripe in my mirror. It was at about the same time my car filled with noxious fumes. Overwhelming. So much so it was as if the skunk was in my passenger seat. With his tail up. Spraying my face. I do believe I squished his stink gland with my car.

In an effort to breathe, I rolled down my window. My face was blown by the cold misty skunk-filled air. Obviously one window wasn’t going to do it, so I rolled down all of them for ventilation. My hair took flight. Absorbing the odor. My clothes too, flapping in the wind. After a few miles, I was trembling but the stink was fading. I made it the rest of the way to work without further incident.  That is, until I opened my door. I had the sudden urge to drive my car through a muddy field to allow whatever residue was on the tires to rub off.

Our dogs have been sprayed by skunks in the past. We tried shampoo. Tomato juice baths. Baking soda. Vinegar. Every home remedy we heard. Nothing works on skunk stink. Anyway, I don’t know of any tomato juice car washes in the area. Hmmm…that could be a million-dollar idea!  But, until I get my patent, if you smell me coming you will know why.  

One thought on “A Funny Story

  1. Amazing frequency of skunks in our neighborhood, especially along Briarcliff Road, would have me considering a heiicopter except we don’t have room for a landing pad!

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