Ice cream doesn’t fix everything

Skunk smell on dog. Ice cream doesn’t fix that.
In fact, nothing really fixes that indescribable stench, including the hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda concoction I found on Google.
Of course, in my wisdom, I added vinegar. I’d heard what a dishful of the liquid could do to absorb household cooking odours.
I also learned very quickly—at the moment my dog’s fur puffed out like an erupting volcano on four legs—that the chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda is best left to the high school science lab.
I’m convinced, after this latest spray park episode in my neck of the woods, that my dogs are cousins of the deer family. Neither genus remembers nor passes down to their young the traumatic events that involve skunks or traffic.
I hardly ever see the skunk. The standard is that it just lifts its tail from deep in the long grass of the field where the dogs are playing and BAM!
But of course, my neck of the woods is about as far from the norm as one can get.
The latest prequel consisted of me minding my own business on the lawn tractor, catching a whiff of skunk, rolling my eyes, cursing the umpteenth encounter of the summer, and then moving on to the uncut portion of grass.
It also consisted of me minding my own business on the lawn tractor, coming ’round for a second cut, and seeing the canine stupors literally in a tug-of-war with the skunk, which was gnashing, spraying, and quite rightly and most seriously furious.
But as I have alluded to in other chicken scratch columns, the rodents of this world are no matches for “Dot.” She, of course, was at least smart enough to have picked the skunk’s head in battle.
“Cash,” meanwhile, was headlong at the tail end of the fight and hence became my science project on four legs.
And then there’s the rat story. Ice cream didn’t fix that, either, but it did cross my mind to use it as bait.
Instead, I turned once again to Google and typed “rat poop” and “weasel poop” into the Images link. Clearly the little black droppings on the laptop screen looked exactly like the gazillion count I found in a corner of an old horse stall in the barn.
I had a rat problem.
Time for the big guns.
I called the Lone Ranger, known to have one of everything, including a live trap. But by the next morning after we set the catch, I was convinced I not only had a rat, but a smart one.
In what I took as a sort of middle finger gesture, it had climbed on top of the live trap and pooped all over it instead of venturing inside for the juicy piece of pork rind left for the little devil.
Time for the bigger guns.
I made a beeline straight for the hardware store, stocked up on little green squares of rat poison, and placed them strategically on the snack table of my enemy.
Just then, while down on my knees and in full vulnerability of “Willard” and his sociopathic brood of rodents, a small, fast thing whirred past my peripheral vision. I froze.
A chipmunk? Was that a white flag he was carrying?
I hadn’t even considered Googling “chipmunk poop,” and as it turned out the little striped sassafras was the culprit all along.
Of course, it’s a given that I now cater to “Elvis” with a daily supply of unshelled, unsalted peanuts.
And when it started to rain a few days ago, all I could think about was how the wet weather thankfully would put a damper on the wood tick population in my neck of the woods.
In a minute of panic that rivalled the shower scene from the movie “Psycho,” I recently fought with a wood tick that was stuck to the arch of my foot. I didn’t have my contact lenses in and thought it was sock fuzz until, when I tried to flick it off, it got stuck to my index finger.
I freaked out and tried to boil it off with the showerhead before watching it slide down the drain.
I then imagined it clinging to the side of the drainpipe until the middle of the night, when it would crawl back up the drain hole and be waiting for me on the toilet seat in the morning.
It’s amazing how scared I get of something so small—just like thong underwear. Scary. Very, very scary.
Ice cream doesn’t fix that picture, either, but a big bowl of it sure would taste good right about now.

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