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Monday, July 10, 2006 

the skunk story

skunks grunt in a threatening manner. you probably don't believe me if you've never encountered a live one... but they do.

april 1998, spring break of my freshman year of college.

camping for the first time. boquillas for the first (two) time(s), h/javalinas, hot springs, tequila, mexico bud.

four young men, two young women in tents (ours was yellow), a faucet just a few feet away, the bathroom a small hike.

jenny and i went to use said facilities on night two. it smelled of decades of children's urine. the mirrors were warped ---- but the toilets flushed, the faucets worked and we had toilet paper.

we pushed the door open to walk back to the campside, refreshed and happy when the most terrifying sound (other than a bear, of course) one can hear in a Big Bend canyon quickly pierced the air between the black and white beast and our eardrums.

that is right.

there was a skunk right smackdab in the middle of the street/trail between the bathroom and our campsite.

i looked at jenny. she looked at me. she indicated with rightward nodding motions that perhaps we could circumvent said skunk by veering to the right when

Nyeh Nyeh Neyh! (x3)

two other skunks joined our good friend.

we squealed.

they squealed, which was almost as frightening as the grunting, so

jenny and i ran back into the bathroom. we tore out a toilet and barricaded a door.

(i'm just kidding with that last part.)

we sat in that restroom for over an hour, occasionally peeking out at the skunks who were patiently sitting MERE FEET away from the door. ever ycreak of the metal door elicited an off-key trio of grunts.


the boys thought we were fixing our makeup (as though one could with the crazywarpmirrors) or bonding in some sort of odd gossip fashion. they finally came to look for us; i think that J and i lost a couple of lives when we heard the banging on the bathroom door. they're here for us!!!


apparently the scent of the very manly robust 19-year-olds had frightened the skunks away, and our camping buddies did not believe our tales.

we walked back to the campsite, relieved.

and then.

Nyeh Nyeh Nyeh!

we were surrounded.

our campsite had two picnic tables, which we promptly climbed upon, our smugness over being right tempered by fear of the wily striped bastards.

three skunks circled us, their little cute faces marked by a long white mark that extended to the tip of the tail, warning us of their potential to cause misery.

we sat there, stood, talked, marvelled ---- longer than j and i had been holed away in the bathroom.


eventually they left. with relieved sighs we returned to the business of camping, though we were all tempted to pile into the Ford SUV for the night,

and that was perhaps wise.

each night, quite late, i would awake to hear to a grunt or two right next to my head, i'd open my eyes to see the impression of a nose in the yellow canvas tent, a skunk right there.

i can't hold my breathe long under water, maybe twenty seconds.

i think i held it for hours on those nights.


and yes, they do grunt.