I know, I know . . . I’ve been slacking. I’ve been waiting for the repercussions from my video post. It went ok, I suppose. I appreciate all the comments you guys made and attempts to make me not feel quite as silly as I did. I’d like to say that I scripted it all out, planned and did a dry-run first, going through all the things I wanted to cover, but I can’t say that. I flipped that iPhone camera lens over to the front side, stood outside the door and pushed record . . . and totally winged it.
Note to self: Next time, plan ahead. And shower.
On top of that, I’ve had a total block the last couple of days. I decided a while back that I wasn’t going to put too much effort into the blog on the weekends because everyone has lives and they want to go out and do things and enjoy their time off and not be in front of the computer, so that is what I did. I did NOTHING this weekend. That was sort of the plan. Relax, chill and just hang out. Give myself some time to recharge and reflect and maybe dream up some great ideas for some groundbreaking blog posts.
This isn’t one of those.
You know what kind of ideas you come up with when you spend all weekend doing nothing in a tiny little town with nothing to do? NONE. So I sat down yesterday in front of a blank box and I stared. A couple of hours later, still nothing. A total block. So I gave up and went about my day. Nothing came to me all day and into the evening.
So I was outside last night, talking on the phone and wandering up and down the street in front of the house. It’s what I do. I can’t sit still when I’m on the phone, I don’t know why. I never could. I can sit for hours and type something to someone and never move, but put me on the phone and I have to be moving. It’s like my mouth is run by a treadmill and I have to be moving to keep going.
As I wander up the street a little way, I catch something moving out of the corner of my eye. At first I thought it was one of the neighbors cats, so I thought nothing of it until I looked a little closer and thought, “That’s the bushiest damn tail I’ve ever seen on a cat”, and the nose is kind of pointed, like a possum, which we have lots of, but their tails are all like naked and stuff, so unless this is a circus freak, bushy tail possum, it’s not a possum either. From what I could see at that angle, I saw white fur.
In case you haven’t been following the blog up to this point, I live in an area that can really only be described as “the wilderness”. We have mountains and trees and just our little tiny town and then pretty much nothing but forest for miles all around us. It is absolutely commonplace to walk out to the car and scare off a couple of grazing deer in the process. My parents actually woke one morning to the Sheriff’s Department in the front yard warning them to stay in the house because a bear had come down from the mountain and into the edge of town . . . which just so happened to be their front yard. So we have our wildlife.
About a month ago, I was standing outside at about 1 in the morning and saw a white cat walking down the hill toward me. Thinking it was a friendly cat, I just stood there and waited for the uncomfortable greeting. Mostly because cats and I generally don’t get along and they seem to sense that and choose to feed on that by loving on me even more just to be irritating. As the cat got within about 3 feet of me and was looking me dead in the eye, I noticed that it had a particularly bushy tail, and the pointed nose. That’s when I realized that it wasn’t a cat at all, but a full-on, rarely seen, albino skunk. I thought this was really cool until it occurred to me . . .
. . . but it’s a SKUNK!
I wasn’t really sure what to do. I wasn’t going after it so it shouldn’t be defensive, in fact it actually seemed to be approaching me. Whether it was out of curiosity or friendliness, I don’t know, but it’s nocturnal so I know damn well it can see me and it was walking right at me. So I didn’t move. It reached a point where it had a decision to make and it could either step onto the porch and walk right up to me or walk around a little bit and go under the porch. It chose to head under the porch and it walked right under my feet – and stopped. Fearing that the devious little bastard was planning a surprise ambush, I creeped carefully across the porch praying I didn’t make the boards creek and ducked back into the house. I stayed inside after that.
About a week later, I was again out in the street, talking on the phone and nearing the end of our conversation as they were going to bed. I had walked down to the end of the street to drop some mail in the mailbox to be picked up in the morning and ended the phone conversation at about the same time. Standing at the mailbox as I was putting my phone in my pocket, I clearly see the common markings of a skunk heading up the street toward me. Black with the divided white stripe up it’s back, I had the advantage of the easily recognizable pattern as my early warning system and headed back up to the house. As I started to move, the skunk started to move faster, sort of jogging toward me now. I watch behind me as I move up the street and I notice that once it reaches the mailbox, it turns the corner and continues to follow my path up the street.
For a moment, I had to think that it was a coincidence and it just happened to be going my way, like over to try to raid the trash cans or something. It wasn’t to be. I figured I would test it to see if it was actually following me and I cut across the front yard. Sure enough, in the exact spot I turned into the yard, the skunk turned too and continued to jog in my exact path. I approached the dark corner of the house which goes directly downhill and realized how incredibly dark it gets down there and I wasn’t about to head down that hill at full speed in the dark.
Because the little bastard was still following me and its got the advantage of that nocturnal, night-vision bullshit going on. So I cut back up the yard to the street, walked up and around my car and headed back down to the other side of the house which is on the street light side and has a set of stairs down to the back porch. As I approached the corner of the house, I turned around to look and sure enough, the little shit was coming around the back of my car in the same path and continuing to follow me.
I didn’t really think I was going to be able to reason with it, but I did finally speak out loud in its direction. “Dude, seriously, you’re an ASSHOLE!” I took off down the stairs and I saw it appear at the top of the stairs as I reached the bottom and I headed around the corner toward the door. As I pulled the screen door open, I stepped inside just as I saw his little head appear at the corner near the bottom of the stairs. I closed the door and stood inside for a moment and with the “thrill of the chase” behind me, I pondered the skunk’s intent.
Yes, I did put my ear to the door to see if it was trying to pull on the latch.
[SIDE NOTE: Just to make my “Where Were You When” entry for the day, as I sat here quietly typing this post, the entire house began to shake and I looked out the window to see the plants shaking madly on the back porch. As I stood up, the ceilings and walls started creaking. Moments later, I saw on the news the 5.9 Magnitude quake that occurred in Northern Virginia. . . . and yes, it WAS a 5.9 and not a 5.8 and I was NOT being a “drama queen”! 😛 ]
Back to last night . . .
Now looking at the large white being moving across the front yard, I believe I have made contact with the albino skunk again until for a moment it turns to the side and I see that it isn’t the albino, but a HUGE normally colored skunk and I just couldn’t see the black in the lighting. I have a problem at this point because now this large, and very likely rideable skunk is between me and my only viable escape route unless I decide to walk up the street and get in my car, which is locked and my keys are in the house.
I’m rather deep in conversation and I look at the skunk thinking “this is just some random nature going on, no need to disrupt the conversation. I got this.” I stand very still and watch to see what the skunk is going to do, trying to keep my end of the conversation as quiet as possible and not attract the skunk’s attention. Finally, it spots me. At first it paid me no mind and went on about it’s skunk business, but then it changed its mind and decided to come and investigate. This skunk was indeed huge, which as it turned out was an advantage for me, because even though it picked up its pace as it headed in my direction, it was kind of slow and lumbering.
I moved up the street, hoping it would follow my path, taking it out of the yard and giving me an open to get back to the house. I gave up on trying to be quiet at that point because it had me spotted, yet I still never let on that I was having a showdown with nature and continued with my conversation.
The skunk made it far enough up the street to leave me a window through which I could make it down the dark side of the house. The skunk lumbered around behind me and I made it down to the back porch, all the way across and back up the other side to the front yard again. I think I lost it. I finished my conversation and I stood there in the street, watching around the house looking for my smelly stalker.
Finally convinced the coast was clear, I made my way around to the back of the house to go back inside. As I reached to open the door, the air became thick with the smell. I had escaped the wrath of the skunk, but somewhere nearby, someone or something else had not.
I wonder if this is a trait for skunks, making them afraid of almost nothing. Or maybe they are just overly friendly and just wanted to pop over and say “Hi” and beg for a pat on the head figuring nobody is going to mess with them. Maybe they think I have food and will feed them. If this is the case, they sure are some cocky little bastards. I mean, they’re just small furry animals. They don’t have very big mouths, they aren’t real fast and in a face to face showdown, I’m relatively sure I could kick thier ass, but let’s be honest, who of us is going to fuck with a skunk?
For those of you that have never had the opportunity to smell the results of a skunk attack, consider yourselves lucky. It is foul, enough to water the eyes and trigger your gag reflex and it gets into everything and hangs around for DAYS. I’ve never been directly sprayed by one, but I once hit one with my car by accident. I couldn’t ride in it for a week afterward.
I don’t know why these creatures have decided to stalk me, and I’d love to get a picture of the albino if I could but I’m afraid the flash would scare it and I’d end up bathing in some anti-skunk smell concoction for the next couple of days while wearing a gas mask. I’m kind of fond of the stalkers that I have here on the blog and Twitter, Facebook, etc and I appreciate you guys coming by every day and expressing concern when I’ve failed to make a post in a couple of days.
Please, to all the skunks out there reading this, please leave me alone . . . and, if I seem distracted on the phone in the future, you may want to ask if I’m being pursued by nature.
. . . and I’m not a drama queen.
[EDIT August 24, 2011 – After reading this post, Christina over at Talking In Circles was inspired to make a post and do a creative cartoon based on my skunk experience and it was really awesome. Please be sure to check out her blog and leave her some comments. This the kind of stalker I can deal with. Thanks, Christina!]
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