Polecat-prone Areas

Looming threats are everywhere–earthquakes in California, tornadoes in the Midwest, floods down east. Even Shelby, City of Pleasant Living, is prone to its own form of natural disaster. Several years ago, I witnessed firsthand the horrible aftermath of one such tragedy–people coughing and gagging, eyes watering, and the horrified look in the owner’s eyes as he pointed to the exit. 

“Get out! Get out! No skunk clothes!” he said, rather unkindly. You know it’s bad when dry cleaners refuse that much business, my wife’s entire wardrobe, for fear of contaminating clothes of other customers. The epicenter for the stink bomb was our house, which registered a 9.6 on the rollover gagging scale. It was a night attack, right after a lightning bolt scared a skunk taking shelter in our crawlspace. We woke up coughing, lungs burning, dazed and confused.



By Hank Ketcham. From Sept. 22nd, 1978, Wisconsin State Journal

“Is the house on fire?” my wife said.

“No, that ain’t smoke,” I said. “That’s skunk.”

Throughout the next six months, we endured a lot of side-eye and upturned noses while out in public, but, with faith, we made it through our calamity and the smell eventually dissipated.

Over the years, we’ve had many more trials with skunks, and I’m pretty sure skunks are good candidates for world domination. As far as I can tell, they have no natural predators, save cars. So, if you live in polecat-prone areas, like Shelby, be careful out there–you never know when one might raise its tail.