Walking home yesterday evening, I was blithely swaying to Freddie & the Dreamers' You Were Made for Me* when just as I was approaching the staircase to my apartment, I found myself staring down the wrong end of a SKUNK!
I shouted YEAARRGH and stumbled backwards in my stalkiest Don Knotts impersonation. The skunk raised its tail, trembling like a loaded, smelly gun.
There was a man walking down the street on his cellphone. I asked if he'd seen it. "Skunk bro," he said. I strained to see where my skunk brother had gone, and could not.
Seconds later, another much older man was walking up the street past me. I warned him that there had been a skunk right there. He jumped back and said, "It's like the summer of the skunk."
"I know, I know," I said, but I didn't know what he was talking about.
"Where do you live?" he asked.
"Right here," I said. I explained I was afraid to go home and had visions of the skunk waiting to get me. (Even though I've been told that anthropomorphizing animals is about the cruelest thing you can do to them.)
He told me that I should be alright. He thought I could probably outrun a skunk, especially one that we could no longer see. So I bid the stranger good night, darted up the stairs and unlocked my front door. But my terror was not to end there. In fact, it was just beginning.
The door to my neighbour's apartment was wide open, as it is whenever he is home in the summer. This is the same neighbour who likes to chant, complain about noise from my apartment and tell me personal details about his unpleasant divorce in order to get me to do something about the noise coming from my apartment. In effort to be more neighbourly, I thought I'd reach in, knock and warn him that there was a skunk just down the stairs.
I turned around the corner, raised my arm to a good knocking position, when suddenly without warning there was my neighbour with his back to me, squaring himself in front of his television, and unmistakeably pantless. His right arm was unmistakably bobbing in rhythmic admiration of whatever was on the screen.
All of this suggested that he probably wanted to be alone, fully able to brave the skunk on his own. That's fine for him.
I--on the other hand needed--a Valium and a good cry.
* see here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8oRf7SMEfo or here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFECoCJk4OI
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