The Skunk Report

It was Valentine’s Day, ten PM. The blinds were down. Thumping came from beside the house. Squeaking ensued. Definitely an animal noise. I turned. Outside lights detected motion and lit the area.

I pulled the blinds up. The squeaking came from a skunk, our skunk, as we call her. Haven’t formally named her yet but we know her by her tail, which looks like a well-used white toilet brush.

Furious squeaking kept going. She was jumping and darting briskly around. I zipped into the other room to bring my wife to the spectacle. Not much was on television and I’d just finished reading my book.

“What’s she doing?” my wife asked.

“I think she’s fighting with something.”

“I think she has a mouse.”

The skunk jumped back, leaped to one side, and twirled. “I don’t see a mouse. I think she’s fighting with something else.”

Our skunk turned and rushed away. There was no mouse. As we stood to consider what we’ve seen, another skunk darted out from under the house. Bigger than our skunk, I’d seen ‘him’ before. “Look.” I pointed him out. “I think she was fighting him. They sometimes fight.”

My wife was nodding. “Yes. I read that females will reject males and sometimes spray them in a defensive action.”

“So he came a-callin’…”

“And she said, no thank you.” The skunk disappeared. The lights went off. My wife turned away. “I think she doesn’t want him because she’s in love with Boo.” Boo is our big black cat with a single white star on his chest.

I remained doubtful. I began lowering the blind. The light appeared. ‘He’ appeared. He looked up at me.

I nodded down at him. “Tough luck, brother. Can you go somewhere else?”

He scurried off into the night. The light went off. I finished lowering the blind on the theater and began wondering what I was going to watch on the telly.

Live theater is so much better.

Guns & Love

It’s a way of looking at love and how love is expressed that I never considered.

The radio commercial featured a woman, talking to men. “Hey guys, I know you forgot to buy a Valentine’s Day gift again.”

Pause to consider the stereotype presented.

“But don’t worry. February is the month of love. So all month, you can come to the gun store and buy a gift for the loved one in your life.”

Now my stereotype is showing. When I think of Valentine’s Day gifts, guns don’t leap to mind. Candy, especially chocolates, a night out, jewelry, diamonds, flowers, lingerie…these are the stereotypes of the V.D. (sorry) gifts that come to my mind.

I suppose it’s valid for some cultures to say I love you with a gun. I imagine, outside of my sphere, there’s a whole world of gun-giving as gifts for special occasions. Keeping with paper, first year wedding anniversaries are probably celebrated with gun-range targets. In the fifth year, a nice, compact .22 pistol is given. For the ten year anniversary, give her a 30/30 hunting rifle.

The restaurant moments write themselves. He’s down on one knee, handing her a Sig. Her eyes shine with tears as she gasps and whispers, “It’s beautiful.” Around her, other patrons are gushing with appreciation. Applause breaks out as she accepts the gun and hugs her man. One woman hisses at her husband, “Why don’t you ever buy me a gun?”

I wonder if Hallmark has a range of gun cards for holidays?

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