Sunday, 15 August 2010

My greatest friggin fear - realized


You may recall that I have a very particular significant fear.  Dirty. Rotten. Skunks. 

Since I exposed "my greatest friggin fear", I've had a few run-ins.  A few close calls. 

Once, we were pulling onto the highway and, yes, a Dirty Rotten Skunk wobbled across the on-ramp.  If I had hit that thing and released its stench into my atmosphere I might have died - from panic, or from puking, or simply from driving into the concrete wall to avoid the cursed thing.  

Then, a few weeks ago, I could smell that familiar stink in our back yard.  I was nervous, of course, but, in the spirit of facing my fears, I knew I had to go out - into the pitch black - to turn off the sprinkler.  So, I slowly crept out and very slowly walked away from the back deck, one step at a time, eyes darting around, clapping my hands.  Repeatedly.  Loud short claps over and over again.  CLAP! Step. Clap! Clap! Step. Clap! Clap! CLAP! Step.  Talking to the effer.  "Stay away! I'm bigger than you!  I have a weapon!" (which I didn't, but I thought I should bluff it.)  I eventually turned the sprinkler off and raced back into the house.  Clap! Clap! Lunge. Clap. Clap! Leap. Clap. CLAP!

But the closest I've come to death was two nights ago.  Primary cause of death: heart attack.  Secondary cause of death: Dirty Rotten SKUNK.

It was late, and very dark.  I was going to take some kitchen remains out the composter.  I was holding a big plastic cutting board piled high with pineapple and watermelon shells, on my way through the TV room to the back sliding glass doors.  When I opened the door the smell was pungent.  It was repulsive.  It was strong and thick and gag-worthy.  In other words: it was close.  I slammed the door shut.  "Ew!  Skunk!  I smell skunk!"  Hubby came into the room and opened the door.  Pungent, he agreed.  

Well, we know there was no way I was going outside.  Clapping wouldn't save me from that one.  But Hubby stood in the open door for a few moments (trying to see it, I think).

And then the real heart attack came.

I was looking into the yard through the sliding glass doors, and I saw it.  I saw it run up the deck stairs toward us!  It had a black and white pointy little face and it was coming right at me!

I screamed and Hubby slammed the door shut.  I fell to my knees, dropped the pile of fruit on the coffee table, and began to hyperventilate.

"What?!"  Hubby said.

"Tuxedo!"  I shouted.

It wasn't a skunk.  It was our little cat Tuxedo, running toward the open door.  And through the dark reflective glass, his little black and white reflection was coming up the deck stairs to get us. 

In hindsight, I guess a skunk, no matter how dirty nor how rotten, probably wouldn't run toward us into our house.  Fair.  But I still threw a shit fit.

So, it turns out, as I suspected all along, death by skunk-induced heart attack is fairly likely.  Fears not unfounded.  Point proven.  Greatest friggin fear officially realized.   

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