Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Great Skunkapade or How to get New Carpet...


Have you ever sat down to relax, after a hard day, and had your entire world disrupted in an instant? It’s commonplace around here. Everyone and everything on the place seems to know exactly when I’m slipping on my tattered old flannel housecoat and settling in front of the television to unwind before bed. ESP? Or it is some insidious underground network that has been set up to prevent me from ever relaxing for the rest of my life…?

Last Tuesday night I had worked diligently on my pitches for the upcoming HOD/Huntsville Library Luncheon and also on my newest book. A good day’s work and I was tired. After a soothing shower, I dressed for bed, grabbing my favorite flannel housecoat. I sat down in my recliner and flipped on the television, surfing channels for at least something to watch. My hubby, good man that he is, always takes the dogs for a walk before bed. I never do this after dark because I am night-blind and could fall down a hole before anyone knew I was missing. Any way, I had finally found something on TV when I heard the back door open. The dogs flew into the room, panting and whining. Then it hit! SKUNK!



Of all the people you will ever meet, I am the most squeamish when it comes to bad odors. I have a weak stomach and bad smells make me heave, a lot. This odor was enough for me to lose my lunch for a week. I jumped up, trying to determine who had been sprayed. Mason, the Doberman, was running around the bedroom, whining and pestering the mutt, Rusty. My Sheltie was cowering over in the corner – obviously the smell was getting to her sensibilities too. So, it had to be either Mason or Rusty. My husband came in and said that a skunk had sprayed somewhere near the house. I gave him a nasty look and informed him it had also sprayed one of the dogs. He argued that it was just the smell from outside until he got closer. He, coward, backed out of the bedroom, leaving it to me.

It only took one whiff – Rusty had taken the spray head-on. She was rolling on my carpet and then running to me to try to swipe the offensive odor on my favorite housecoat.





Mason, who seemed to be the only one enjoying the whole mess, was grinning from ear to ear. Chaos! It’s great! The lady is running around - time to have FUN!!!

I immediately tried to get Rusty out of the bedroom without touching her. Not happening. Every time I got near her, she began rolling and whining. I screamed for my hubby to help me before the entire room was permeated with the smell. He studiously ignored me, staying in the kitchen. Deciding that I was on my own, I tackled Rusty, pinning her down. I picked her up and, heaving until my eyes watered, stumbled to the garage. The smell in there was horrible! I remembered the thiotrol I had gotten from the vet for just such an occasion. This stuff is supposed to neutralize the smell of a skunk (no – from experience – tomato paste does NOT work). Now that the threat of contamination had been defused, hubby was more than happy to drench Rusty and me with the stuff. Rusty was relegated to the outdoors for the night.

Returning to the house, I stripped and threw everything I had on into the washer. I took another shower and then set about trying to do something about the smell in the bedroom. The thiotrol helped but it stinks too. Febreze, vinegar, baking powder – I attacked the carpet with everything. Around midnight I had the smell under control enough to finally climb into bed after changing the sheets and blanket. Exhausted, I fell asleep, still smelling skunk. (Not to worry, I cleaned the entire carpet the next day – all better, but I am going to get new carpet…)

Have you ever planned to have a quiet evening and had it horribly disrupted? Or had a time set aside to relax and had someone or something disturb your carefully laid plans? I know kids are good at that, probably more so than my lovely pets. Share an experience of total chaos with us!

16 comments:

  1. Life is chaos! Apparently I thrive off of the stuff. I love being alive! ;)

    There are too many instances for me to recall one in particular. Please forgive me if I don't recall them. I've made it my life's mission to always look ahead.

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  2. Oh, and I meant to say, Cheryl, you amaze me! You are full of grit and spirit, woman. :D

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  3. What a nightmare, Cheryl! I have a skunk story, although the incident did not leave as profound an impression as yours.

    Skunk is one of my totem animals, and every now and again the critters like to make themselves known to us. One night some time ago, we had just settled down in search of sleep when the scent of skunk began to permeate the place. No rest for the wicked. Awful trying to breathe through it. We feared one of them had gone off underneath the house. After a little investigation, we determined that one of them had taken a stand near our heating/cooling unit, which is located at the end of the house, near our room. Luckily, we have not been gifted with that particular fragrance in person.

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  4. oh my gosh, that is horrible!!! You deserve new carpet, Cheryl, especially after your hubby left you to deal with the dog in the bedroom!

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  5. I can't top a skunk but this comes to mind. It was right after finals at the end of my junior year in college and I'd just come home for the summer. I was exhausted and went to bed early. Almost as soon as I turned off my light I saw a round light, like a flashlight beam, reflecting off my window shade. I was just sure there was someone right outside my window, so I eased out of bed and crawled (yes crawled; after all my prowler might start shooting any second) out of my room. Then I crept quietly to my parents' room and whispered my plight. My daddy got his gun. (Doesn't that sentence deliver all kinds of comfort?) He turned on the outside lights and ran outside, ready to defend his family, hearth, and home. There was nothing. He told me to go back to bed, that if there had been someone out there, he was gone now. I was happy to do it, given that advanced creative writing and Chaucer had just finished working me over. No sooner had I turned off the light, my friendly little beam lit up again. This time, I screamed like aliens were abducting me, which I would not have ruled out at that particular moment. My parents ran in my room, turned on the light, and my daddy jerked open my shade—to find a lightening bug. I called that bug a name I doubt my parents sent me off to school to learn. They didn't say anything. I guess they figured I'd just made the Dean's List and it wasn't every day that one has an altercation with a lightening but.

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  6. Sorry I'm late - the never-let-you relax monster got me, again. I should really give him a name (That is printable). Any suggestions?

    Kathy - My motto is "no guts no glory or stink."

    Melanie - I have to go pick carpet out and new paint and new curtains and a new comforter set and new recliners and anything else I can think of. Just got the go ahead from Pepe' La Pew for a remodel.

    Crystal - Maybe you can help me with the remodel! Thank goodness the skunk didn't spray the air conditioner unit! I cannot believe how bad that smells up close and personal. Although everyone assures me that they cannot smell it in the bedroom, I still catch whiffs. I think it's in my nose permanently.

    Jean - A lightening bug? My, no wonder you're such a good writer! Your mind goes to places where no woman has gone before! And yes, I learned a few of those creative words in college too! My mother threatened soap so I had to learn to curb my language (I still do around her - she still buys Dial - ick!)

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  7. Oh and Crystal: I have been meaning to ask you and Kathy. How do you determine what is your totem? I am curious. Mine would probably be a rat.

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  8. OMG, Cheryl! Only you, my dear. :) What a story!

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  9. I know Lynn - the Fates have decreed that I shall be tormented like Prometheus. In another life I must have been mean to animals - I love them now and cannot stand anything that would hurt them. So, I suffer because of it - Karma?

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  10. If you want to know your totem, check out tomorrow's blog, Cheryl. I'm going to post about it, just for you. ;)

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  11. Aw darn (Jean - the soap)! I wanted to know now!!!!!! Guess I'll wait...

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  12. I don't even know what a totem is, except as in pole.

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  13. That's why tomorrow's blog will be perfect. ;)

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  14. It's a symbol of your spirit - the animal that guides you. Like I said, mine's a rat.

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  15. You would think with no husband, no children, and no pets that my life would be calm and smooth but it seems that I must have chaos in my life. I figure I must like it since I can't ever seem to get out of it. Of course, I now have a new measure of yuckiness thanks to Cheryl and Pepe!

    Cheryl- Great post, as always.
    Good luck with the re-decoratng!

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  16. Ugh! A skunk? That’s horrible! Thankfully, we haven’t had any “uninvited guests” in our house so far. I have a saying: “Let chaos introduce itself.” And so far, well, life’s been exactly that: chaotic, both of the good and bad kind of chaos. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t revel in chaos but rather, it’s more like chaos adding more spice to your life, giving flavor to what would otherwise be a very bland journey. How long did it take you to remove the skunk smell from your carpet?

    Bong Kingsley

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