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Friday, November 5, 2010

Ever Encounter a Skunk? In Your Garage?

We had another skunk incident this week. It's been a while since the last one. Years in fact. I had begun to think that since the Big Yellow Lab has joined our family, her very presence was warding off the little beasties.

So, what's worse than a garage full o' stink because some wiley critter decided to let go in front of the garage?

Well, dear Bloggy Friends, I can tell you first-hand it's having the darned-thing go off in your garage.

Under your Suburban to be exact.

This week's incident was minor by comparison. It just a horrendous cloud of stink that was wound-up eeking into my kitchen (makes breakfast all the more yummy!) via the garage door that was open for the dog to do her morning thing. (Fortunately, the dog didn't take the hit!) But, it did bring back fresh, fresh memories of tale that shall live forever in The D Family Lore:
The Great Skunk Incident of 2005

Allow me to share this with you... (yeah, it's long, sorry)

It was a cold November morning, and I awoke in the wee hours, gagging, because the entire house smelled of skunk.

I wrote it off as another one going off in the backyard, as they often do. And my husband likes to sleep with the window cracked open a bit. After securing the window, I went back to sleep (more or less).

When I finally rolled out of bed at my usual hour, I'd acclimated to the smell. So I went about my normal get-the-kids-and-myself-ready business. That is, until I opened the door to the garage.

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

That's when The Husband finally got up and explained to me that when he got home from work around 11 PM the night before, he thought he saw our black barn cat rummaging in the trash in the garage. Blackie scooted his bad behind under my truck to avoid being thrown out. So, The Husband smacks the top of my truck to scare him... only, it was a SKUNK!!

What's a Real Man to do, but go get the gun?
Yeah, he shot it.
In the garage. (See where this is going?)

"So why does it stink so bad? Did it spray?" I ask.
"No. It's just because I shot it," says The Husband.
"What did you do with it?"
"I put it in a 5-gallon bucket of water and set it outside so it wouldn't stink."

Wasn't working.

Turns out, he set it right next to our heat pump. So, when the blower kicked on in the middle of the night, it sucked all that stink right into the house!!!!

And, no, submerging in water does not kill skunk stink.
So, I load the girls in the Suburban and drop them off at school before heading to the office.

With all the excitement, I was a little late for an early sexual harassment training we were having that day. So I hung up my coat, grabbed a pen and ran to the conference room.
Meanwhile... Unbeknown to me, the receptionist was heating up coffee in the kitchenette, located just 4 feet outside my office door. She had to ask my assistant what's that smell? But no one could figure out where it was coming from...

Finally, about 9:15, I got called out of the training to take a phone call from the school principal. Mrs. B wanted to know if we had a skunk at our house recently.

"Why, yes, we did. Why do you ask?"
Apparently, the smell of skunk was permeating the school building, beginning at the coat rack outside the before-school supervision room. No one could find the source of the smell. They were more perplexed when the stink seemed to be spreading and the custodian was getting calls from teachers and reports from parents in two different wings of the building about the odor. (You see where this is going, don't you?)

They had the poor janitor crawling under the building with a flashlight looking for a skunk!!

When BabyD, then in kindergarten, mentioned to her teacher that we had a skunk under our porch last night.

That's when the teacher decided to sniff her coat.
And her backpack.
And her lunch box.
Yeah, it was her.

And--go figure--the smell was also in the second grade wing, in the proximity of LittleD, too.

That's when the principal thought she should give me a call. They had already put all of their belongings (coats, lunches and all) out on the playground to get them out of the building.
(Think how relieved that poor janitor must have been!)

Can I just say here that I barely held it together to listen to all Mrs. B had to say?
It took every ounce of my being not to laugh out loud. I nearly peed my pants.

I told her what happened, but attested to the fact that it didn't actually spray in the garage, so I was surprised how much it smelled. After all, we just walked the 10 feet from the kitchen to my Suburban and drove off...
Wait... I, too, walked that far too.
So, I quickly got off the phone and ran to my assistant to ask, "Do I stink?"

I didn't. But my faux fur coat, hanging on the back of the door sure did! (So, that's where it's coming from!)

That's when I called The Husband.

Turns out the skunk.... might have... sort of... ok... it did... spray in the garage. UNDER my truck!!! But it wasn't very much. And that's when he shot it.

So I make a bee-line out the the truck to put my windows down.
I opened the door, leaned in to turn the key and hit the power windows--that's all I did.

I ran back inside and my assistant immediately tells me now I stink.
Great. I had to go back to the training.

I spent my entire lunch hour searching the web for remedies for skunk stench.

Let me tell you: Words cannot describe the looks of people that evening, as I'm standing (stinking?) in the grocery store line with a cart full of lemon juice, tomato juice, Downy liquid fabric softener and kitty litter.
They all knew.

I felt like Pig Pen from the Peanuts.

In summary, here's what I've learned:
  1. Your nose becomes immune to skunk scent after a few hours. After a while, you cannot smell it on yourself.
  2. That stuff just hangs in the air and you can pick it up without direct contact.
  3. Soaking coats, backpacks and lunchboxes in 50-50 water and liquid fabric softener works better that anything else to remove skunk stink.
  4. Two weeks of fresh air on the back porch will de-skunk a faux fur coat and a cashmere sweater that can't soak in the aforementioned solution.
  5. When your husband encounters a skunk near your vehicle. Ask lots of questions. Demand details!
Smart and Trendy Moms


  1. I am not trying to contain my laughter - that is hysterical!

  2. That is too funny. We had lots of skunks around us, but never one in the garage.

  3. LOL! Thanks for sharing your skunky learnings! I am your your new follower hopping over, hope you will visit at Just Married with Coupons.


  4. And now I am MOST CERTAIN that I NEVER want to get sprayed by a skunk--inside or out!!! LOL Love the post!!!

  5. i feel your pain. we affectionately call our farm "skunk holler". i was (and for VERY good reason) terrified during my entire wedding reception because it was outdoors at my in-laws farm. and we just recently got hit TWICE by skunk. the second time our dog took the full force of the attack. that was about 2 weeks ago. she is still not allowed anywhere near the house.

    i do have to admit though....we weren't called out at school for smelling a little skunky!!

  6. Oh my Goodness, that is the funniest story I have heard in a long time! I am sure, at the time, it was extremely hard to do all the (skunk out) cleaning that it took but it is a good story now and one that you, and your ,family will be able to laugh at for a long time!

  7. Oh my word! Thanks so much for sharing! This made my night. Lol!

  8. That is one hysterical post. The traveling skunk smell. To appear a little odd, I like a mild skunk smell. Of course it can get to over powering and then it no longer is perfume to me. Sounds like your smell was beyond over powering. Ha.

  9. Brilliant. Loved the post. Thanks for giving me a chuckle over the weekend.

  10. Even my husband is laughing while I read your story out loud! OMG! Are you going tomorrow? I don't think I can even tell you what my husband just told me concerning another way to remove the odor. Now I'm going to pee my pants! I may have to send you an e-mail!

  11. I am sorry, but this is one of those hysterical things that you hope won't happen to you, but you laugh your ass off when people tell you about it.
    At least you can laugh at it now.

  12. You just can't make that stuff up. Too funny.