It is widely thought that I am a little strange. Not in a bad way, but in an amusing, friendly way. Let it never be said that I am not in touch with who I am.
Much has been made of the fact that the sense of smell is extremely powerful in its ability to evoke memory and emotion. That said, I hope you will read the entire piece before you dismiss me as completely nuts, especially in light of my next statement.
I am not averse to the occasional scent of skunk. You could even stretch it a little and say that I actually kind of like it. In small doses. Yeah, and now here I go, trying to justify my assertion.
When I was in fourth, fifth and sixth grades, our school building apparently attracted skunks when the weather would turn cool. They would get in under the building and either mark their territory a little bit, or get aggravated by the rats protecting their home. We would come to school in the morning, sometimes with a faint “bouquet d’Mustelidae” in the air. The school day would progress as usual, with no frantic calls to parents to evacuate because of a dangerous chemical release. Students and teachers alike would marinate all day in the perfume. There were no ill effects recorded. Olfactory fatigue was designed by our Creator for just such occasions.
Sometimes, a polecat would amble through the yard at our house, maybe startle and squirt a little, and then keep moving. One time my dad was forced to dispatch one with my .22 pellet gun, because it apparently got drunk and came in looking for trouble. I held the flashlight for the operation. We had a cat, and didn’t like the idea of her wearing eau de LePew for a week or more.
GranMommy’s house had her share of polecat visits as well. Most were only the passing odor of a shopper. But there was the implied excitement of the chance of Mike Barnett chasing it across the front yard with a broom. That only actually happened once, but the possibility of a repeat was always anticipated whenever we smelled that smell.
My cousin had a dog that would routinely challenge skunks, and would thus be banished for two weeks only to be able to return to the back porch pending a family review.
But overall, I suppose the scent of a skunk reminds me of the simpler times when it was possible for wildlife to interact with “civilized folks”, and when the worst thing that could happen was that you would forget some inconsequential factoid about Massachusetts on a Geography test.
So, true to the title, I am taking a poll. In the comments, please confess whether you are mortally offended by the smell of a skunk, or does it spark nostalgia. Those of you concerned with your credibility and “image” need not use your usual names…
If anyone else owns up, I’ll post an update.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Posted by aA at 2:24 PM