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November 13, 2013

Skunk Holocaust: Nothing Left to Lose

The days shrink away from me now. The leaves fade and fall and slip down the hill in tight creeks. Gold doubloons fading in Autumn's arms. Whisked away. Out of sight. Out of mind. All that's left now is a frozen bird bath cowering beneath a naked Mountain Lilac, clawing madly at sullen skies.

I lay in bed doing precious little as the seasons pass me by. Sometimes, I wake up and if it's light outside, I go sit on the front porch in a shattered wicker chair and wonder what we're here for.

Pygmy Nuthatches stand, frustrated upon the bird bath skating rink. Wanting water, but finding only ice. I push the ice onto the ground and refill the bird bath with water.

The bird feeders are empty now. I know what's tearing them open these days. Big orange fox squirrel comes in the morning. Pokey goes nuts at the window. Jaw snapping wildly, open and shut in a stuttering motion, like a epileptic having a seizure. I let her out, and she chases off the squirrel, and bicker like married people. Inter-species trench-warfare.

I have my daughter on the weekends, but the weeks are long and stretch on for miles, it seems. I dunno what to do with my time. I sit outside and take pictures of my cat stalking the birds. I'm not really sure what to do. There's so many hours in the day and precious little to do, it seems.

I sort of try to leap from Sunday to Friday, but it's a long way to go all alone. I dunno how to do this really. And then, when she'll leave, I'll sort of have to leap from Christmas to Thanksgiving somehow, and I don't think I can do this. Just can't imagine how,really.

My yard looks like military scrap yard. WWII vehicles scattered hither and yon. I have a DUKW, two weasels, an M37, two trailers, three motorcycles, two four-wheelers, and a Tahoe. Those are mine. And then Jen has her Jeep.

We don't get a lot of visitors.

At night, I try to imagine what I might need. I keep a collection of guns out so I can get to them quickly. The bottom of the staircase is just a pile of machine guns, spotlights, ammo, and other tools. I've been keeping these here lately, trying to solve my varmint problem. Normally, I keep most of my guns put away. I only sleep with one or two.

But now, I have this arsenal piled up at the landing on the staircase. And Jen's friend comes over to spend the night with us. She doesn't know about guns. So, I make Jen tell her..."Don't touch the guns. They're off limits."

We make this very clear to her.

Her mom came to pick her up and was not impressed.

"What are all of these machine guns doing lying around? Are they real?" she stammers.

"Uh...yeah...they wouldn't be much use if they were plastic," I explain.

"What about the grenades? Are they real?"

"Well, no. I'm mean...the're real military dummy grenades. And the rifles will really fire them. See...this is all from WWII..." Like, I'm so proud of my collection, right?

She looks at her daughter. "Why aren't you wearing a bra?"

She looks at me. I just shrug my shoulders. Like..."I didn't dress her. I haven't seen her. She's been in Jen's room the whole time."

She collects her child and drags her out of my own little private Camp Shelby and I doubt we'll see her again.

I live on Ramen noodles and Bachelor Chow. So low on food now that I don't have anything for the trap. It goes for days without being set. The skunks come and night and spray my house out of spite, I suppose. So far, I've relocated 2 skunks and 1 fox. But I'm sure I've still a long way to go.

The bears are hibernating, so that's nice. I don't wake up to shattered feeders any more.

Tonight, I ate the oysters out of a rotisserie chicken and put the carcass in the trap. Reset the cameras. Reset the trap. Hook the 20 foot tow strap onto the trap. Turn off all the outside lights. Lock the cat inside. Charge the spotlight. And climb in bed and pray to God I don't catch another skunk.

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 13, 2013 at 1:10 AM


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