Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cocker Skunkiels and Other Assorted Fauna

My wife likes her fans.  So much, in fact, that I fear I have lost count of them.  Most recently a dual-fan unit appeared in the kitchen window.  This one must be truly advanced, as it has a bright red digital display, which is visible from across the house.  Why a bright red digital display is necessary (or even optional) on a fan, I cannot guess.

Fortunately I didn't have to guess.  Apparently this new-fangled dual-fan unit has a thermostat on it, with the temperature reading out on the display (which is visible from across the house).  Thrilled beyond belief, I asked if she set the temperature to sixty-five degrees, would it magically cool the house to sixty-five?  After all, we could get rid of those expensive air conditioners.

Apparently not, but my wife went on, ecstatic with her new purchase.  These fans really brought in the air, though.  I suppose they would really send out the air too, were they put into that mode.

I mention this strictly because the house started to smell really horrible last night after dark.  It was an odor most foul, incomparable to most other odors in my neighborhood (or outside of it).  After a few seconds, it started to register.... it smelled like a combination of skunk and motor vehicle accident.  I have smelled skunk before and this was worse; much worse.  Perhaps the skunk was driving the motor vehicle that got into the accident, I dunno...

After this olfactory assault started, I couldn't figure out what it was but I could figure out that something needed to be done at that moment, if not sooner.  It seems that my wife did, in fact, get a great deal on the fans, as they were doing an incredible job at bringing the horrid odor into the house.

I reasoned, correctly I assumed, that the fan would be of greater use turned off.  As it turned out, this was not going to be an easy state in which to put said fan.  In fact, like no fan I have ever seen, this one did not have a power switch.  It had all sorts of knobs and switches, like Temperature, Speed, and Stench Amplifier.  It was apparently operating in Stench Amplification Mode<tm>, as evidenced at very least by the fact that my eyes were watering and the room was moving in rather a more violent way than my kitchen is wont to do.

Right before I got out my spelunking gear to determine where the bleeding appliance was plugged in, I must have mistakenly hit the right button or knob and turned the thing off.  In the nick of time, as I was close to losing consciousness.

As the stench started to dissipate, Marshall the Terminally Cute Cocker decided it was time to go out.  Figuring the emergency was over, I let him out.

Marshall passed me on his way upstairs to lay with (some would say wake up) his mommy.  His mommy appeared downstairs in mere seconds, which is only the case when the cat trips her down the steps.  She was most terrified that Marshall had had a run-in with a skunk.  When I asked her to smell Marshall, she became satisfied that he had not, in fact, done battle with a striped cat from an old cartoon.  Unfortunately he did walk through the area of the battle, attaching a bit of a scent to a paw or something.  This became evident when the smell returned to the room at the same time as the dog.

My poor wife was kept up for thirty minutes with the near-impossible task of keeping Marshall off my pillow.  There's something tragically attractive about my pillow to Marshall.  This becomes a serious issue after Marshall goes for a swim in his pool (yes, Marshall has his own plastic pool, which he adores) and wants to snuggle with my pillow, making the bedsheets all sorts of damp in the process.  If the wife manages to keep him off the bed, the moment she dozes off, he senses it and leaps up.  It is very similar to Vulture Mode<TM>, where Marshall watches her eat.  The moment she gets up or turns her head, he leaps for whatever he can get.  Mind you, he's perfectly happy with a dirty napkin to shred, but he'd definitely prefer some meat, ice cream, or cat food (his Native American name is "Smells Like Cat Food").

In the end I won, as Marshall generally likes to sleep like a parachute or umbrella over his mom's head.


The Skunk Issue cannot compare to the Ant Issue, though..... (how's that for a segue?)
Everybody I talk to tells me that they are having a terrible time with ants this summer.  I feel their pain.  I have never seen ants like this in the twenty years in our house.  They're flipping everywhere.  I finished a piece of fudge and put the wrapper down on the table next to me.  In twenty minutes, the thing was full of ants.  I'm finding ants in places there is no apparent food at all, like the upstairs bathroom (unless they're particularly fond of shampoo and body lotions, of which my wife has a small amount that will last long after the nuclear winter).

The ants have no fear of people either, as I frequently find them on my arm.  No idea what's so appetizing about my arm, although the cat frequently licks my hand.  I refer to this as him tenderizing me.  I prefer to have neither activity in my general vicinity, thank you very much.

My wife, who keeps an eye on this sort of thing, tells me that we have a skunk because we have red foxes.  We don't have bunnies because the red foxes ate them.  Are you taking notes?  There will be an oral quiz later.

I wonder what would happen if the ants met the skunk.   Whatever happens, I don't want it happening out back or anywhere near the fans.

1 comment:

  1. Buffet w/no avatarAugust 17, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    I live in Kentucky, a long way from you. All summer I've listened, as people have commented on the ant problem almost verbatim with what you said? Interesting. My house had a few for a while - the first time in twenty years.
    My (unsolicited) advice on the window fans? Launch 'em in the dumpster, close the windows, change your filter, and crank the A/C. Who am I to dispense such advice. An HVACR Master technician. (In case the Mrs. asks)