Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Skunk Tail

My previous post on a family of skunks reminded me of yet another skunk story. This one took place as I was driving back to the farm from college late one night and about ten miles from home, I nailed a skunk trying to cross the highway. Immediately the smell was overpowering inside my car and I rolled down the windows and made my way home. Even as I parked the car in the driveway leaving the windows down I couldn't help but wonder how long it would take the smell to dissipate. That was Friday evening.

Saturday evening I happened to walk by the car and noticed that the smell was still overwhelming. I didn't think that was right so I got out the power washer and set out to wash the car. I was laying in the gravel trying to wash the underside really well where the skunk had passed through after I hit him when I noticed it. There beside the muffler was a skunk tail hanging down. Not only had I hit the skunk but somehow it had gotten wedged in the space between my muffler and the under body of the car. Since I had driven over a hundred miles before hitting the skunk, the muffler had been red hot and I had literally cooked the skunk the rest of the way home and now it had been mellowing out in the hot fall weather for yet another day. What to do?

The only plan I could come up with was to get into some clothes I considered disposable and as quickly as I could, slid under the car enough to grab that skunk's tail and pull him free of the muffler. As soon as I was clear of the car, I ran with the skunk to a nearby fence and tossed him over as far as I could, gagging and wretching the entire way. I quickly disrobed and sprayed myself down with a garden hose before going inside and finishing the job with hot soapy water. Despite having the smell still etched into my nose hairs, my parents assured me that I didn't smell like skunk.

On the way back to college the next day, the car still smelled like skunk until the muffler eventually got hot enough to burn off what remained of the skunk and by the time I got to college I couldn't smell it inside the car. However, it took a few weeks and a few more washes before I couldn't get a faint whiff of skunk whenever I was near the rear of the car.


Kelly said...

Oh, geez... what were the chances of that happening! At least you have to figure it was an instant death for the skunk.

I had a hawk swoop in front of me on the highway a few years back. Not seeing a body in the road in my rearview (having heard a loud thud), I pulled in at the next gas station to find the huge (dead, thank goodness) bird mounted on my front grill. No odor (as in your case or that of a friend who had a similar encounter with a buzzard), but it saddened and disturbed me a bit peeling it off my car.

"Skunk" is an offensive odor, but I almost think "chicken litter" is worse!

Ed said...

Kelly - Unfortunately I've pulled a few different types of creatures out of my front grill as well. I'm always amazed that as fast as we hit that the animal didn't go clean through my radiator and cause more damage.

You do know the last thing that went through that hawk's mind don't you? It's ass!

Kelly said...

Ha! (Poor thing). Seriously, though...I'm surprised it didn't cause any real damage as hard and fast as it hit.

And now if I hear that thump, yet fail to see anything in the road, I might check under the car...especially if it's a skunk!

sage said...

Wow, I've heard of eating road kill, but you cook it while driving! Funny story that probably wasn't a funny at the time.

Ed said...

Sage - I remember trying to cook some food on an engine block once when I was young and heard it could be done. I don't remember it being especially appetizing. The skunk definitely wasn't!