Not Chanel N° 5

Didn’t I create a stir when I approached the counter at the Reserve post office that Monday morning? I wanted to buy stamps. I was wearing jeans and a bleach-speckled navy blue tee shirt. What’s the problem?

I stank.

Bad.

To high heaven.

At least to the post office ceiling.

On my eight-mile post office trip to mail letters and buy stamps, I had relocated a trapped skunk in a remote area off the highway. In the video demonstrating the use of the D&D skunk trap I purchased, the farmer transported his trapped skunk to a distant new neighborhood in the back of a pick up. I drive a slightly dented 2004 Subaru Legacy Outback with ample room to accommodate my D&D trap containing the young adult skunk. I felt so smug as I hoisted the trap by its handle into the back. The design, a three-foot long aluminum cylinder, eight inches across, prevents a stinker from raising its tail to the tell-tale position: SPRAY.

How could I possibly have anticipated that the odor of Mephitis mephitis would so effectively penetrate everything I was wearing? And the interior of my car? I was blissfully unaware that my relocating project left me Olfactorily Offensive. I breezed into the post office, blithely as you please, only to face the assistant postmistress who immediately recoiled.

Ho! Ho! How funny, we both agreed. The postmistress hesitantly moved forward from her desk to participate in the laughter. Less than ten feet from me she detected the odor and stepped back. Then my masseuse arrived wanting to greet me. I signaled her with crossed index fingers.

“Are you sick?”

“No. I moved a skunk.”

The scent I carried was not the nauseating smell skunks spray when threatened. Oh, no. They smell bad standing still. So did I.

At home, I left the split, torn running shoes I wear for dirty work at the door, stripped in the back hall, and threw my clothes in the washer. Then I showered, washed my hair, and changed into less odiferous clothing. Next I opened all the doors and windows in my car and placed charcoal briquettes inside.

The following morning the smell in the back of the car was still strong. I added a full bag of briquettes in that area and ordered three gallons of anti-icky poo (an enzyme-based product I’d researched before) to rid the skunk odor beneath the house.

Natural history books cite small rodents, birds’ eggs, fruit, grubs, and beetles as skunks’ preferred diet. The D&D trap site mentions their fondness for scrambled eggs with chocolate syrup. I used that for bait, and some really smelly dried cat food, and dribbled a tempting trail of kibble to entrance of the trap.

Point of information: The collective noun for skunks is “surfeit.”

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