Friday, January 21, 2011

blood-freezing moment...

There was a stress-fraught year about 6 years back when I was on an anti-depressant and I've said that when I got off that medicine, I never got my "oh, SHIT" back. Used to, if I were going 2 miles over the speed limit and passed a parked State Trooper, a current of white-hot-ice would shoot through my veins and I'd just KNOW I was about to be pulled over, whether or not I did actually get pulled over. Now, I could probably fly past one, 20 miles over the limit and snorting a line of meth off some chick's hip bone and have nary a blip of nerves. NOT that I would ever have done such a thing, but just for an example. I don't get freaky-outy. I don't get the panic thing these days. I'm a lot more calm.

This is a small town, and there are skunks about. Sometimes out for walkies at night, I hear coyotes yodeling in the distance. This is just part of living in the provinces, and not something I generally give a lot of consideration. Coyotes don't make it this far into town, and the 3 times I've seen a skunk within 5 blocks of my home, I've quickly reversed my steps and avoided enjoying the discord of its race.

One night this week, I was cooking and needed to run out to the market for an ingredient. I stepped out the front door, the cool evening air redolent of skunk, but still a little faint, as though it weren't terribly close. I shrugged, but looked around carefully before making my way to my car. Got in. Drove off. Came back, and was careful to sweep my headlamps wide as I turned in, looking for evidence of a skunk. No sign. *whew* I stepped out of my car and immediately my heart sank-- my oh, shit! is back. There was the very strong scent of very fresh skunk and very close by. I hoped with every fiber of my being to make it into the house without a stinky-squirty event. Yes, I moved with great purpose and economy of action and made it through the door, my heart hammering madly. I don't smoke, but I think if there'd been a nicotine patch handy, I would have slapped it on.
Speaking of skunks, this brings to mind my favorite of Ambrose Bierce's fables featuring one of these musky beasts:

A Needless Labour
AFTER waiting many a weary day to revenge himself upon a Lion for some unconsidered manifestation of contempt, a Skunk finally saw him coming, and posting himself in the path ahead uttered the inaudible discord of his race. Observing that the Lion gave no attention to the matter, the Skunk, keeping carefully out of reach, said:

'Sir, I beg leave to point out that I have set afoot an implacable odour.'

'My dear fellow,' the Lion replied, 'you have taken a needless trouble; I already knew that you are not a rose.'


Old NFO said...

LOL- Good one, and a proper reaction!

Jennifer said...

Love the artwork! Especially the toes.

Shannon said...

Skunks always seem to give me that very same reaction ~ I'd rather have a coiled rattlesnake about than a skunk. Ewwww.

Jon said...

I think an "oh shit" moment is a requirement for being allowed to live in a rural environment. Usually, the moment is four steps past a two step retreat to safety. Although you know the skunk will probably wander away, the thought of a rabid skunk attacking, while spraying a rabid stench, lurks in the back of your mind.

What would happen after such an incident? Would the EMT's take you to the hospital? Or would they make a rapid assessment and say: "We're sorry, but in our professional opinion, you're going to die."?

rickn8or said...

Skunks don't bother me, but I hate it every time StupidDogg NextDoor re-learns his lessons about those black white-striped cats.