Aromatic Episode

One evening in the fall of 1975 we had a most unusual experience at our home on Spotted Horse Lane in Columbia, Maryland.  Sandy Jr. was away in New England. Stuart was attending Howard County Community College.  Harold and Robert were at Wilde Lake High School, and Eric had just begun middle school.  The family had retired for the night, and all was quiet in the house.

Suddenly, Ann and I were disturbed by a noise at the foot of our bed.  A moment later both of us were awake, and I switched on the bed light.  In the dimness at the foot of the bed I could make out the form of an animal.  I was not certain of its identity, but I thought perhaps it was a weasel – possibly rabid.  Then, to my consternation, I saw it was moving towards the head of the bed.  I reached down beside the bed, picked up one of my shoes, and threw it at the unidentified creature.  Its identity was immediately established as the pungent odor of a skunk filled our bedroom.  Ann and I both headed for the bedroom door, nearly getting wedged in the opening as terror made us think only of “sauve qui peut.”

Within moments the entire household was awake and in an uproar.  I believe that one or two of the boys even went out of their bedroom window to escape the smell.  And believe me, the odor was overpowering.  

Somehow, we got our bedroom door closed and the family took sanctuary in other parts of the house.  The next morning the boys went off to their respective schools and Ann and I took measures to deal with our resident skunk. Unfortunately, we discovered that the county’s animal control officer was not equipped to control skunks.  He came by our house, left a cage trap, and immediately departed.  As it turned out, the skunk continued to occupy our bedroom for the next two days.  We finally got rid of him by closing doors to all the other bedrooms, opening the front door and our bedroom door, and letting the skunk walk out of the house.  Goodbye and good riddance!

Even though the skunk was gone, the aroma remained with us.  We tried every known remedy, but the smell stayed with us for another six months.  We entertained no visitors for a very long time.

How did the skunk get in the house?  We will never know.

2 thoughts on “Aromatic Episode

  1. LOL! I never had much experience with skunks. (Thank Goodnes!) But I was at Lackland AFB in 1972 awaiting orders and I had a boring temporary job. I was walking to work one morning at about 5 AM and there was a skunk headed the other way and on the opposite side of the road. I decided to just keep going and stay out of his way but he had other ideas and crossed the road and headed directly toward me. I briefly considered waiting to see if he would spray me and I thought that that might a good way to get out of work. But I had a date to go into town with a good looking gal later that day so I quickly dropped that idea and so I RAN! I’ve never seen a wild animal that would go out of it’s way to approach a human so I still have no idea why the skunk came toward me, other than perhaps it was rabid.

    Some years ago one of my friends was an old bachelor that lived alone and he was basically a male version of a cat woman and he had cats running all over the place, both inside and out. He would put out about 1/2 of a bag of cat food everyday so he had MANY cats that came and went. At night he would leave a door partially open so that the cats could come and go as they pleased. One night he was asleep but was awoken by what he thought was one of his cats on his bed and just above his head. He reached up and starting petting it but then realized that it had very coarse hair. He turned on the light and then realized that it was a wild opossum!

    A personal observation; no other animal smells as rank as a possum but I’m not sure that he would have noticed, if you know what I mean.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s