THE SCENE: In about fifteen minutes, a dozen people are descending upon my house for dinner. I love all these people, but I am a nervous hostess. I tend to over-do. I panic. I froth. All my upholstered furniture has cat-shreds on the corners and I have no true gift for domesticity and I am sure this says terrible things about my character. I would say I was at def con 4 except I am not sure how many def cons there are and if they are bad when they go up or bad when they go down.
I better do Old School Trek: I was on Yellow Alert.
Digression: I never understood Red Alert. The captain would order it, and a God-awful, nerve-tearing, WHONK! WHONK! sound would begin. Immediately, a whole slew of panicky looking red shirts and big-eyed yeomen would gallop up and down the corridors of the Enterprise, each in a separate lather. HOW DOES THIS HELP?
All I learned from Star Trek was, when things get bad, I should run in circles screaming until Spock fixes it. (The good news is, I MARRIED a Spock, so at my house this is an effective solution a shocking percentage of the time.)
So, back to the scene: the oven is preheating, the pans of lasagna are sitting on the stove-top, and it is juuust about time to put them in, my house is as clean as it EVER gets. Good? Good. And THEN (cue ominous music) from the backyard, Bagel the Big Dog makes his polite throat-cleary sound that means he has completed his business and wishes to come back inside.
I open the door. Ansley comes in. Bagel comes in. And with them…THE SMELL COMES IN.
The Smell is terrible. The Smell is terrible beyond description.
It is like if there were trolls and trolls had a butt and you had to go live there, in the butt. It’s like if you killed a whole room full of people, stacked a lot of unpasteurized French cheese on the corpses, and then left for a week. It is like if a fart became sentient, did a lot of evil, died, went to hell, rolled in sulphur and then clawed its way back up to earth through layers of poop. It is an oily, biological, pungent, evil ENTITY of smell.
In short, oh my beloveds, it was Skunk.
I have smelled Skunk in passing on the highway, a faint whiff of some poor hapless little fellow who wandered all entitled under the wheels of a noseless truck. ONLY noseless trucks would DARE to hit a skunk. The smell is so…immediate.
And Bagel’s WHOLE FRONT, his legs and chest, his shoulders and the folds of his throat were all sprayed and coated in that OILY, GLANDULAR Repulsifyer. And people were coming in 10 minutes, WHOLE CROWDS. And the Lasagna was not in.
So I went to red alert and ran in circles, the smell SO bad I was gagging on screams with my eyes bleeding. Spock was still on his commute, due to arrive at the same time as our guests.
So I SPOCKED UP and threw money and teenagers and Lysol at the problem. While I blasted all the air molecules with the scent of Fresh Linen, Sam and Maisy got Bagel on his leash and walked him up to PetSmart with my credit card and orders to ask them to FIX it.
AND IT WAS FINE, except, ya’ll, there is a SKUNK. And he has moved in UNDER THE SHED and Bagel is as stupid as a noseless truck, Lord love him, and even just letting them in and out to pee, Bagel has already re-skunked himself. THAT time we cleaned him ourselves as professional deskunking costs a MINT and it was four gagging hours of my life I will never get back. We used SO MUCH hydrogen peroxide that Bagel is VISIBLY A SHADE BLONDER.
And yet I have no faith that he has learned ANYTHING. Bagel is SO dumb. Ansley gives the shed a wide, respectful birth because she is a genius, but Bagel…He does not associate ANYTHING with, well, anything.
Bagel lives in an eternal NOW. “Oh LAR LAR LOOKY! Thing under shed. Must get thing. Now a Smell is stunged me in my eye. Now a terrible endless bath is happen. HO DE DO! LA DE DA! LAR LAR LAR!” None of these events are connected in his 4 brain cells by even the remotest INKLING of cause or effect.
He WILL go see what that skunk is doing again. And skunks are SUCH entitled animals. They trundle along, secure in the knowledge that HELL RESIDES IN THEIR GALNDS and NO ONE is going to fuss with them.
And yet! I know my dearest, dumbest Bagel—-HE WILL. What do I do? How do I get rid of a SKUNK?