Once upon a time...

Why DON'T people come over more often?

This morning a skunk was killed in our yard (we live in a wild and vicious area - and yet, less than five minute drive from the nearest McD's). The smell...oh my lord, the smell. I've smelled skunk before, obviously, being of a hardy and outdoorsy nature (shush. I camped once), but this was a whole new level. It was like...skunk, but A LOT of skunk, plus rotting garlic. It woke Clay and me both up out of a dead sleep, and considering that it usually takes five minutes or so of his alarm clock sounding to achieve that, it's saying something.

Stinky, is what it was.

This afternoon Raphael's youth group leader - actually, I guess that would be recently former youth group leader - came over to visit. She's heading off to join an actual convent and become an actual nun. Actual nuns. So much more effective than virtual nuns. 

Anyhow, Raphael adores Neely, and he'd wanted to say good bye and introduce her to her namesake, the chicken Neely. We'd played phone tag for ages, and finally she agreed to come over this afternoon. We figured it out about 30 minutes before she could actually be there, so there was a bit of race-around-and-shove-stuff-under-the-furniture. Heh. For a change. 

The best part of that was that Raphael got himself into a tizzy, wanting everything to be right for Neely, so he got just as uptight and frantic as I always do. Not that it helped, but it was nice to have the company in the world where Clay calls me his sweet little crack monkey. 

Actually, it did help, because we got the house picked up in record time and Raphael helped whip up a batch of no-bake cookies (a sign of true devotion, because only the best of people are worthy of all that not-baking).

Then, just before Sophia announced there was someone at the door, I realized that the house still smelled faintly of skunk. Now, I don't use air fresheners around the house, because I read something once that claimed the chemicals in them can cause brain swelling, which doesn't seem likely, but who wants to take that kind of chance with their actual brain? Plus, most of them smell like fleur de old people house, and I like to pretend I'm still young.

However, I DID magically have one tiny can of air freshener in the house. It was tucked away on top of the hot water heater, leftover from - wait, let me check the calendar - nope, in very early preparation for Christmas. It smells like a Christmas tree AND (this is the magical part) it is also an odor neutralizing spray. 

I grabbed it and spritzed it around on my way to the door, pondering how I would explain the Christmassy aroma. "We are JUST THAT DEVOTED," I could assure her, "And really, isn't Christmas ALIVE ALL YEAR IN YOUR HEART?" Then I would beam and try to glow a little.

No, I decided, the best option would be just to answer the door and ignore the smell and pretend like it's normal that my house smells like a skunk-bedecked Chrismas tree. Smile and carry on! It's what Julia Childs would do! I don't know why, but I'm pretty sure she would!

I opened the door and greeted Neely, who said, "Your property here is so pretty!" And I promptly responded, "THERE'S A DEAD SKUNK. THAT'S WHY IT SMELLS LIKE THIS. PLUS I USED AIR FRESHENER THAT I NEVER PUT AWAY AFTER CHRISTMAS."

I don't know why people don't come over more often.

Well, Neely was extremely gracious about the whole thing. Plus, she got no-bake cookies, and she got to meet her chicken namesake, and how many people out there can name a whole chicken after you? We're pretty sure Neely the chicken is a hen, making her a no-bake chicken - HA! - but I refrained from saying that in my outside-the-head voice. Yay me!

And that would be the end of the story, but guess what happened to Tre on the way home from work tonight? He hit A SKUNK! And now his car is sitting, parked outside my bedroom window, and wafting its perfume my way.  

I'll just be over here, smelling like a Christmas tree. Carry on.




Well, maybe you can combine the de-skunkification into some sort of red-white and blue no-fireworks celebration? :)


I laughed out loud at the dialogue between Neely and you.


Oh, poor you! I'd be the one spritzing air freshener, then lighting candles, then putting cinnamon on the stove, and and and. It would probably be worse than the skunk.


You had me until the no-bake chicken, and then I couldnt stop laughing. The explanation, especially after convincing yourself the smell was normal - is totally something I would do. Here is to a skunk free day!


I dub thee.....Kira Bombeck!!!

Jan in Norman, OK

Put a dab of Vick Vapo-Rub under your nose. Really...

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