The skunk.

Wrote this after an interesting morning. I was going to post up a picture of some of the carnage...but decided against it.


This Friday morn, please sit down and join me for a short story that will amuse:

As I left the house at my usual time today, and headed up Ritson Road for my journey to the north (away from the traffic of the city), I could have hardly realized what a tragedy the morning commute would be. The little black Jetta cruised lazily up the back roads, unexpectedly obeying the speed limits, and my thoughts were on the lovely surroundings.

Now, as commuters have been known to do, my attention wandered from the open road in front of me to things that tended to stand out. I entered a longer straightaway and saw a bump on the road, but could not make out what it was. At any rate, it was in the other lane, so my attention was more of a curious nature. As I drew closer, my nostrils betrayed what the decrepit bump on the road was, and my attention, now much more alert, was drawn to the large yellow object converging with the bump on the road.

It was a full-size school bus, trundling down the road making the morning stops, oblivious to anything in its path, because after all, it was a very large bus! A small bump on the road was no match for the sheer mass of the chassis, and could not cause the large diesel engine to cease its limitless output of torque. This was unfortunate. As I drew up to the deceased animal, the bus, somewhat tauntingly, sped up (or so I perceived), and my mind breathed a sigh of relief when the front tire of the bus only just missed the very smelly bump.

What was all the more unfortunate was the unpleasant fact, for myself, and the dead mammal, that school buses have not one but two axles. This would normally not cause me any worry, except that as the bus and I passed each other, and the skunk lay there in a fetid pile, my brain told me in a pleasant manner that not only do school buses have two axles, but the rear axle, the one about to pass me, had two wheels on either side.

So while the front wheel had missed the bump, one of the two rear wheels most certainly would be hitting the skunk, and this is a point I shall expound upon.

If you have ever blown up a plastic bag, and then popped it, you know that the air inside rushes out from the first weak point in the bag it finds. Let's reassign the properties of that analogy so that the plastic bag is the body of a skunk, and the person popping it is the dualie rear wheels of a school bus, and the air inside...well, you get the idea. Thanks to the significant mass of the school bus, and the rather poor qualities of holding in skunk innards under great pressure a skunk's body posseses, you begin to see what was about to happen.

Now, there are all sorts of places for innards to leave an animal in such a condition. The faux pas of the skunk was to die with his bottom facing my lane. My faux pas was to drive the speed limit, and simply stare in unbelieving astonishment at the aforementioned unfolding events. As we all know, skunks spray rather horrific smelling liquid from their bottoms at predators. When the majority of the inside of the skunk exited via that most potent area, it did so at an impressive velocity. This was not lost on me, as I experienced what could be likened to someone throwing strips of uncooked and marinaded beef at the side of my car. The audible nature of such an event was forever impressed upon me at that point, and even now, as I write this, I can hear it.

And now begins the tragedy of my morning commute. You see, it takes me approximately an hour to drive to the office. I had been on the road at this point for five minutes.

I had also, rather unfortunately, chosen to tilt open my moonroof as I left that morning for some fresh air. And such fresh air I received. I felt as if I could taste death and skunk potency in my very throat, and the urge to regurgitate my 'Oatey O's' was rising, no pun intended. I quickly rolled down all the windows, only to be smashed in the face with the full brunt of surely ethereal skunk's fury. My eyes began to water and I choked as though drowning in the smell. It is the single most horrifying smell to ever have crossed my nose, and I pray to never encounter it again.

At this point I left the speed limit far behind me, in an attempt to do the same to the fury of the skunk. It seemed to dog my every move for several kilometers, and then, suddenly, I was on the highway, and the smell diminished, and I no longer felt the shadow of the skunk tailing me. I luxuriated in the rich smells of a burning fire as I passed a farmer at work, and then the smell of freshly sprayed manure crossed my senses, and my spirits leapt in joy! What a smell...it was glorious!

And then I came to a stoplight. And the evil I had left behind hit my consciousness like a speeding train carrying dead skunks.

I could go on, but every story must come to an end.

There is no need to say that every car behind and around me must have been gagging as well. I noticed, at stop lights, the driver of the car behind me gesticulating wildly. Whoever you are, I am deeply sorry for the emotional scarring you received today.

I drove as quickly as possible to the nearest gas station and inspected the damage. I would have taken a picture, but the smell....it was horrifying. There were two strips of, I shall call it 'meat', now fused to the front bumper, approximately 18 inches long. Several other 'chunks' around 1/2 inch in size were splattered elsewhere, and there were droplets of skunk blood all over the hood.

One Ultimate Car Wash later, the detritus was gone, the smell was gone, but the shock remained. I believe that the skunk strips also remained, attached to the brushes in the car wash. This amuses me, in a rather awful way. I expect to see the car wash closed when I drive home from work.

In closing...the mess is gone, but the smell remains. While opening the windows gave me respite from the smell...it also ingrained the smell into my clothing.

And that is the story of Trotter, the skunk, and the school bus.

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