“Mommy, wanna play Skunk?”
“Psshhh, you got skunked!” C giggled as she wiggled her tush at me. “But that’s ok, because you are wearing skunkscreen! So you won’t be stinky.”
That’s right, SKUNKscreen, not sunscreen. If only someone made such a product, then F could apply some every morning before he starts his run to work through what I call “Skunk Alley.”
As part of F’s “get running” plan, he has started running to and from work several times a week. His run starts shortly after 5am and takes him through our dark neighborhood, down a long windy hill, across a creek and past one end of a sketchy park, after which he begins the final flat stretch to Cottage Hospital. There are the usual dangers to be aware of — speedy drivers, low branches, road debris, and thugs. But skunks? Who’d a thunk?
Sometime last week, one of the nurses who lives in our neighborhood said to F, “Hey. Do you run down that hill to work? Be REALLY careful. There are always skunks along that part of the street.”
A few days later, F got to work and his co-worker asked, “Hey, do I smell like skunk?”
“No, why?” F asked.
“Because I was riding my bike to work and saw a skunk up ahead. It lifted up its tail and just as I rode by…PSSHHH. It sprayed!”
And then just two days ago I texted F: How was your run to work? Any skunks? Ha ha.
He responded: Yes, in fact, I did see a skunk as I was running down the hill. It was about 5 feet in front of me. I slowed down to a walk until I heard it scamper into the bushes. Then I ran as fast as I could.
And the skunks aren’t out just at dawn and dusk. One afternoon last summer, I looked outside one of our windows to see a skunk lumbering through our front yard, while being stalked by a neighborhood cat. The skunk meandered into the bushes across the street, and the cat eventually gave up. Good thing, too, because the last thing I wanted was a Tier 1 Trauma: Cat vs. Skunk on my front lawn. And on a different morning, while doing dishes, I spotted a a mother or father skunk with its 2 little ones casually walking through our backyard. What the funk?
If F does get sprayed by a skunk and can’t get away with claiming that Eau de Moufette is the new Old Spice, does the tomato soup bath really work?
Beware of skunks.