22 January 2008

Skunk Killa

Today I killed a skunk.

I've never before killed an animal, even accidentally. I once nearly took out an oncoming car and a few innocent bystanders as I swerved to miss a squirrel...but never have I taken a life.

On The Commute this morning, I was cruising along in the rain, minding my own business, when a skunk just waddled right in front of my speeding car.
I swerved a bit to try to avoid it, but the road was very wet and there were other cars around and, well, I'm afraid I crushed its skull with my front, right Yokohama. Ugh.

Note to other operators of motorized vehicles: Skunks cannot - or do not - turn on a dime and scamper back to the curb like squirrels. Also, apparently, they are extremely nearsighted and deaf. The car in front of my barely missed him and he just kept on comin'.

Based on this experience I've learned there is a precise sequence of events that takes place when a woman - or any sensitive human - commits vehicular critter homicide:

a.k.a. - Order of Operation When You Kill a Baby Skunk's Momma:

1. Gasp so as to suck all the air out of the car
2. Scream
3. Cup hand over mouth to squelch scream
4. Try really hard not to look in rear-view mirror, but fail
5. Burst immediately into tears
6. Pick up telephone and confess to whomever normally acts as your confessor (The Hubster)
7. Continue to cry in traffic
8. Cry some more
9. Try hard not to look in rear-view mirror at how horribly your makeup is ruined, but fail
10. Try not to imagine all the baby skunks back at the nest waiting for momma to bring back breakfast.
11. Fail miserably.
12. Cry some more.

You'd think that after a dozen years living in rural America I'd have toughened up a bit, but as a recovering vegetarian I think I'm incapable of it. Back in the burrow of every dead animal is someone who misses it. Even if it's a stinky fluffy rat with Paulie Walnuts whitewalls.
The irony? The cartoon - including Pepe le Pew - valentines I was going to send out this year.

I think I'll go buy some Ann Coulter valentines and hope for a repeat incident. That'd cheer me up. *sigh*

9 comments:

Cometgirl said...

I don't know if you remember but at our former workplace I came in sobbing after a squirrel doubled back on me. He was safe and free but then chose to double back! I still feel it, the change in sound and texture as the tire went form asphalt to squirrel. He instantly became she with a nest full of hungry babies somewhere in a nearby tree. I was so upset the co-workers thought I'd hit an old lady. I said I wish that I had. At least she would have had a chance! I feel your pain.

Country Girl said...

I hit a cat once, and had to pull off to the side of the road. It was 30 years ago and I still get sick thinking about it. I think this has to do with our overwhelming inherent sensitivity.

On the other hand, a deer hit ME once and I hope that sucker SUFFERED.

City Girl said...

CG3: Now that you mention it I DO remember that!

And that's why I love you. :o)

fatboyfat said...

I once had a duck fly into the side of my car whilst I was driving along.

I can still remember the sound, the thud, the muffled quack on the point of Daffy/car door interface.

Anyone for Duck a la Alfa Romeo?

City Girl said...

Fab Boy: Nigella meets Jeremy Clarkson? :oD

melissa said...

I agree: deer are just rats on stilts. I.Hate.Them. I know too many people who have hit them and I've had a few close calls myself (live near a nature preserve).

And it wouldn't be good to actually kill Ann Coulter. You know, the whole martyr thing. Just wound her in such a way that she can't write books or be on tv anymore.

Tom said...

You've evidently never had the opportunity to wipe out Oppossums. They are nearly impossible, IMPOSSIBLE, to kill. You have to be TRYING to annihilate them. I have wiped out a couple deer and a dog once.
Not all at the same time.
The dog was on an ice covered gravel road and I was in a 10 ton truck with a trailer on. I saw he looked at me, made eye contact, and sped up to try and beat me to the intersection. All that did was make sure that he was under the wheels and I nearly ditched the truck but there was no stopping in time.

I prefer to think that he was intending to do it and had thought about it several times. I'm betting that if you checked, he would've had scars on his wrists/ankles.

Rurality said...

I was just thinking the other day about how there aren't as many skunks as there used to be... I've never even seen a live one. I think around here the coyotes must get them!

We hit a large hawk not long ago. It was heartbreaking. (And expensive to fix the car.)

fatboyfat said...

You see, as a blasted foreigner, I had little idea who this Ann Coulter character was. Now I've just spent a few minutes googling on the basis of these comments.

Blimey. That's an American export we don't want, thanks....