A close encounter with Mr. Stinky

Recently my wife, Sandy, and our neighbor, Kim, planned a “girl’s night out” before the summer evenings cooled.

It was pretty low key when you consider it was to be held on our patio and Kim lived next door. The menu consisted of a bottle of wine and “girl talk.” They got settled in next to the fish pond and seemed good for the evening. My wife’s dog, Abbey, was the only other guest and she was soon snuggled up with her head on my wife’s lap, sound asleep.

I knew my role in the event as the only man was to keep out of the way, so I headed inside. I planned to curl up with an action movie with a realistic plot and a human twist. One where Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis might attempt to blow up an entire city while rescuing a nun played by Nicole Kidman who was in disguise as a topless dancer.

A movie based on something believable with an emotional connection that would be mentally stimulating.

I just got to the part where Nicole stepped on the stage in a skimpy outfit and suddenly the mirrors behind the bar were shattered with gunfire as three Chinese gunman dropped from the ceiling on long ropes as Arnold and Bruce dived behind tables — when suddenly, the backdoor flew open and the house was filled with screaming womens’ voices as Abbey dashed into the family room, jumped over the couch and headed back to the hallway.

In the confusion, I thought for a moment I was in a Mel Brooks’ movie where the action spills from the screen into the audience.

My wife and Kim stumbled into the family room both talking at once as Abbey kept bouncing off the couch and chair.

“Did he get us? Did he get us?” they kept shouting. Although I admit I was confused, suddenly everything became clear as a strong odor drifted through the open back door. “Close the door,” I ordered, trying to bring some calm to the situation.

With both talking at once, the story took shape. It seems as if all was going well as the sun set and the outside garden lights came on providing a relaxing atmosphere. The wine flowed and Abbey remained fast asleep in my wife’s lap as the girls chatted.

It was a perfect evening, when, without warning, Abbey leaped up and dove into a nearby flower bed barking loudly. Both Kim and Sandy jumped up, yelling for Abbey who seemed to be searching for an unseen intruder.

Suddenly, Kim, Sandy and Abbey spotted a large black object with a small spot of white on his head and tail scurrying from the other side of the flower patch, and everyone set a new record for the 20-yard dash as they headed for the back door, which thank goodness, was open or would surly have been knocked down. My guess is the skunk was as frightened as anyone as he left his calling card while making an exit.

The girls had obliviously run into Mr. Stinky, as I refer to him, a local resident that I have seen occasionally around the property, and aside from some increased heartbeats, everyone was pretty much unscathed.

Kim and Sandy continue to sniff the air and ask, “Did he get us?” I responded in my most knowledgeable outdoor voice, “No, he did not get you, what you are smelling from the outside air is the warning he left while running for his life from two screaming females and a barking dog. There are two reasons that I know positively that you did not get hit.

First, if a skunk sprays you, you will not have to ask anyone, “Did he get me?” Second, if he had got you, you all would be standing outside right now and not in my house.

John Kasun writes from his home in Duncansville. When he walks his wife’s dog, Abbey, at night, she is always on a short leash and he carries a flashlight, constantly whispering, “Mr. Stinky, Hi, Mr. Stinky,” to avoid any extra excitement.


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