Thursday, December 8, 2011

riddle me this

Monday night Mr. B and I rolled in from karate class. Mr. D was at a (very long and politically charged athletic association) meeting, Mr. G and Mr. T were home hanging out. When we pulled into the garage and exited the Momvan, we were assaulted by the most terrible odor imaginable. It took me a while to figure it out, but eventually I determined it was burning rubber. This led me to pop the hood on the Momvan and check all of the tires. You see, I was convinced the Momvan was about the spontaneously combust. It was definitely something burning. And this is just the sort of thing that would happen right after we decided to replace Mr. D's car with a salvaged hybrid. Right?

But the Momvan checked out. I went inside and kept getting hits of the odor. Basement? Everything was fine. I checked the tree, all the electrical outlets. We seemed safe from a house fire. I went back outside and kept getting the scent. I checked the electric Christmas lights and extension cords. There seemed no rhyme or reason for the cause or source, but I definitely smelled that burning blacktoppy-tar-rubber-plastic smell.

Mr. D came home an hour later and smelled it, too. We examined garage door openers, his car (about to get traded in the next morning), I even walked up the driveway to ascertain whether the stench was blowing in from somewhere else. I tore apart the laundry room adjacent to the garage--checked the dryer vent, the wiring, even pulled the dryer out from the wall and ended up vacuuming up a half pound of lint and dust bunnies. I confess I went to bed that night certain we'd be woken up by the screech of smoke detectors. I knew I'd missed something smoking, burning, combusting. What was that horrible smell? Where was it coming from?

Sure enough, the next morning we could still smell it. Strongest in the garage. Mr. D warily drove to his office and returned, checking his car once again and coming into the house exclaiming, "Smell my hand! I can even smell it on my hand!"

Reader, at this point I was certain the Apocalypse was upon us. My overactive imagination deducted that all plastics made in oh, say 1995, was melting and turning toxic right before us, creating a swamp of deadly chemicals that we'd inhale and die from--or cause electrical fires and we'd be caught up in the resulting inferno. Silly, but the smell was coming from all kinds of odd spots--Mr. D's phone, the laundry room, the garage, the Momvan, Mr. D's hand.

Tuesday, about 10:00 Mr. D calls me from work. "Jax got sprayed by a skunk!"

I gasped, "How do you know?" and run to the window to look outside at the dog who is sitting in his little house.

"I was thinking about it and you know every where we smelled that smell? Jax was right there. In fact, I even told him to move his head when I looked under my car, and that's when it smelled the strongest. I petted him--that's why my hand smelled. It all adds up, my dear Watson."

I walk outside and sniff. Now the top notes of burning blacktoppy-tar-rubber-plastic smell had worn off and sure enough, there was that sour, musky, raw skunk spray aroma. Jax trots up to me and I take another breath. Yep. Who knew? I guess the first blast of skunk smells nothing like the lingering odor we're all more familiar with.

So. We have a smelly dog, below freezing temperatures, a new car in which we will not put the dog, a house in which we will not bring the dog and a Momvan which I refuse to contaminate with skunk smell. We can't bathe him outside, it's too cold. We won't bring him inside, it's too cold to ventilate properly. Everyone's avoiding Jax like the Black Plague and I read on the internet that skunk smell lasts up to 6 weeks.


After reading the suggested remedies (none included, "let the dumb dog suffer and the smell will naturally fade and all will return to normal without any dire consequence"--and trust me, I searched hard for that advice) I finally suggested to Mr. D that he borrow a work truck with a metal cab (less likely to absorb the odor) to transport the mutt to a dog groomer's.

In other news, Mr. G woke up the other morning and went outside in 23 degree weather to take his morning constitutional off the edge of the front porch in bare feet. WHY? you may well ask.

I went into the boys' bathroom of preference to figure it out. He won't go upstairs because that bathroom is disgusting, even right after I clean it he won't use it--and it's his fault because he won't aim. Downstairs someone hadn't flushed properly (you have to hold the handle down for a couple seconds) and a pile of brown poo lay marinating in the bottom of the toilet. Of course it's easier to step outside and pee in bare feet while freezing to death than to just flush the toilet. Right???

Straight from stinky dog to funky bathroom. Which explains why I'm dressed like this lately:


  1. And today, I can be thankful I am not your dog groomer ;-)

  2. You might want to tell him that his you-know-what will freeze right off if he keeps peeing outside in the winter.

    Of course, you know this is not an issue I'll ever have to deal with.

  3. Everyone denies making the splashes on the floor to the left of the toilet but I know damn well it's not me making them.

  4. You are suffering from "too many stinky males".

  5. That picture made me cackle!

    I can't believe the smell was skunk! I would have freaked out. I was in a fire a long time ago and since then, any hit of burny smell makes me cRaZy. I can't imagine being a MOM and smelling something plasticky-burny in the house. You must have been completely panicked.

    Thank God it was just a skunk.

    Good luck with the bathroom issues. ;)

  6. Ack!!! Skunk, don't they hibernate?!? Maybe...obviously not in your 'hood ;) Hope you find an easy cure, Quick!

    Boys and bathrooms, just as bad as dirty dogs (Except, the dog is a dog and doesn't know better!)

  7. Okay, I'm glad I won't have the boy/bathroom issue. Maybe you guys should invest in an outhouse?

    We had a skunk stuck in a Scapewell window well a couple of years ago --poor guy had woken up from his winter sleep and stumbled in. We've fenced it so it doesn't happen again, since we had to pay someone (who got sprayed) to come out and rescue him.

  8. Curls and a gas mask are strangely hilarious.

    Is the smell at least gone from inside the house now that Jax is no longer there? I do hope so!

  9. Okay, here's what takes skunk smell out of pet fur. Ready? Douche powder. Mix with water, and rinse the offending pet. Seriously, the pharmacist swears no one else buys it for any other reason. We tried it, and IT WORKS!

    On the other hand, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman (PBS Kids) says baking soda and peroxide. But wouldn't that bleach the dog?

    I'd recommend wearing a bag over your head while you buy the douche powder.

  10. And your dog groomer is okay with this?

    As for peeing off the front porch: my husband always does this. Did, I should say. Now that we live on a street with other people, he switched to the back yard. Don't ask me why. It's a nature thing.

    To cheer you up I have a lovely heart garland sitting here for you. Where would you like me to send it?

  11. We won't be visitng Jax for a while. P-U. Ick. :)

  12. my third loves to pee outside, and he doesn't need the excuse of the dirty bathroom (which HE makes dirty, thankyouverymuch). I chalk it up to another boy-mystery.

    sorry about your skunky dog. clever solution! Before you came up with that, I was voting for waiting it out.

  13. Ah, the scent of the country. And the boys. I mean the men.

  14. Ha -been there on both the dog-skunk encounters and the funky bathrooms. I'm getting really good at snaking out toilets, and wondering when it'll be safe to invite people over again.

  15. Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, my. Under those circumstances I think I would decamp to a hotel.

  16. I have smelled fresh skunk and it always smelled just like fresh skunk! We have always done the tomato juice bath--it never occurred to me to do the groomer--I hope it works!

  17. I have always described fresh skunk spray with burning rubber, yet I did not deduce that is what your odor was when first reading your account here, but the ah-ha! moment came shortly after you divested the cause...we live in the semi country and I have not had fresh skunk odor in quite some time. Yet, the other night, I opened my back door to a BIG ass skunkie-poo dude with tail flung high at me! I casually followed him as he trotted away from me, me talking all the while "now dude, you need to keep going to the gate, exit, do NOT find the 18 yr old cat, do NOT shoot out a spray of death on said 18 yr old cat, etc". He followed my commands, exited thru the slightly opened hillside gate, turned and gave me a dirty look, whiffed his tail as if to give me a final parting spray gift, and went on his merry way! Skunk, it's whats for dinner. Oh, whoops, wrong animal.

  18. Funny stuff, your sense of humor will see you through. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Also, for the future (dear god I hope you won't ever need it. But skunks make families, too...*haha)

    Tomato juice bath.

  20. gross. but i sure needed the laugh.


    that's why the boys at my house sit. of course, one no longer has a leg to stand on so he MUST sit. the boy visitors know that i better not find anything i have to clean up.


Spill it, reader.