Mandan News

Dan Ulmer: Getting skunked once again: part II

Layout 1 (Page 1)Let’s imagine for a moment that you had this nightmare where a skunk was lurking around your abode. Let’s say it all began when one of your out of town guests asked if there were skunks around here and when you asked why he said, “I think I saw one last night.” The next night another guest said they saw one too, and the next night another guest tells you that she saw a skunk eating the dog’s food. Since we’re imagining here, besides hoping to wake up from your dream, what would you do?

If you’re anything like most folks you’d want it removed from your premises and you’d be wishing with all your might that you could find someone else to do it. But, alas you’re the chosen one… and the nightmare continues…

In an effort to appease both of my fragile loyal readers we need to make this a PG nightmare. So let’s just say the skunk was removed in the form of a carcass and spare the gory-yucky-icky details involved in getting it to that point and pick up your nightmare at the dead skunk removal process.

First a few words about skunks that you need to know: Skunks are nocturnal; thus, it’s normal to see them at night, so one should be really wary when they’re spotted during the day.

Skunks are not aggressive animals, they like to live under sheds and decks and such. The first time most folks actually see a skunk they are usually impressed the two white stripes down its black back. These stripes are cool but they’re not meant to attract you towards them; rather, they’re meant to warn you away. Thus, skunks can usually go wherever they want to as most mammals know enough to get out of their way.

Skunks don’t usually spray until they raise their tail, so when this happens it would be a good sign that it’s time to do all you can to get away from its rear end. So let’s get back to your nightmare of carcass removal, which involves you having to get up and personal with it.

You know this is gonna be awful, the carcass is dumping its spray, and all you can do is urp and urp while you’re tugging it into a trash bag. In order to catch your breath, you drop the bagged carcass and move into what you hope is a clean air space and breathe…

You now realize that the skunk’s spray is an oily aerosol similar to insecticide (think ‘Off’ insect spray, it’s oily). So when it sprays the air itself stinks. This cloud of putrid aerosol drifts onto and sticks to everything – leaves in the trees, flowers, cars, golf carts, walls on the house, anything this cloud touches smells like skunk.

You recall those internet instructions that came out of nowhere… mix hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid dish soap… so you do that and cover the spot where the skunk met its maker… five times… but by now your sense of smell has mercifully shut down.

The cloud is still slowly drifting around your yard when a neighbor walks thru a pocket that drifted into his yard and suggests a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. As you round up the vinegar you run into pockets of greasy putrid urpy skunk gook. Finally you begin to spray vinegar everywhere because it seems to either cut through or drown out the cloud with its own pungency. For a moment there you seem to be breathing easier, but then the mixture of vinegar and skunk burn your nostrils and eyes to the point that you just can’t take it anymore.

The whole thing makes you woozy so you take a break and pray that you’ll wake up and it will all go away…

Sometimes bad dreams like that can really happen you know…

Here’s wishing you sweet dreams from now on, and may you always wake up just before any nightmares set in.