A Close Call

I just had to preempt myself from what I expected to post today to relate a fabulous little gem of an incident yesterday morning while most of you (if you’re half sane that is) were still asleep, regardless of time zone. Well, except for our dear and quite polite neighbors in Great Britain. Then again, I may be wrong. Correcting course…

Anyway, the whole thing so totally blew my mind that I blanked it out until last night before I laid it on Di. She, of course, was completely enraptured by the brief adventure as well as my skill at self-extraction, and replied (lovingly), “Ok. Go watch the chicken. And don’t screw it up.” We have been here before, and the wife was angry that day, my friends.

Luckily, this vignette is completely unrelated to any spontaneous rage on Mrs. Rants’ part. Instead, this is a picture-perfect example of the completely incongruous, needle-across-the-record, “WTF” kind of whackjob shit that only – only! – can happen to yours truly. As we like to segue with in the Army, “So there I was…”

It was probably about 0415 yesterday. Dark o’ clock in the morning. I’d managed to brew coffee, disinfect my teeth, and scrape my face by Braille successfully. Note: we have electricity, but no amount of voltage will open my eyes at 0400-ish. I poured a cup of joe, extracted my one morning cigarette, and stepped onto the back porch to apply the chemical paddles to my heart. That task complete, and the lung-butter expectorating finished, I was just standing there, sipping coffee, puffing groggily, minding my own business.

Then shit got exciting.

Straight out of some dark shrub stage left (my left, your right) comes this enormous black and white cat. At least that’s what the brain part of BrainRants registered in the first .228 seconds. Said animal proceeds to just crawl its bad self all up into the terra cotta pot I toss meat bones in for later garden use and begin helping me clean the fuckers. As the black and white stripey pattern soaked in deeper, I naturally froze, trying to recall anything of value inside my head that might possibly be of value in extracting myself from a close encounter with a skunk. This is precisely what I got:

[Insert sound of wind rushing lazily through a large, empty space]

The good news is that the rapid-fire mental pictures I generated (after the rushing wind part) as to what would happen to me caused me to freeze still a bit longer. The skunk was apparently not opposed to secondhand smoke from my Marlboro Ultra Light 100, but I worried that a sudden move would directly translate to enactment of the movie in my head. That RantTube video went something like this:

BrainRants accidentally causes skunk terror, and with fluffy tail raised jets a steamy, pungent jet of musk which catches Rants mid-chest, chin, and coffee-swilling suck. Instant neurotoxin reaction occurs, making me projectile vomit on self, dropping to knees, and triggering fight-or-flight bowel evacuation. These movements and musk-trumping stench cause skunk to freak out, empty glands, and flee. Rants, in fetal position in the dark, continues to vent interior contents onto self and porch. Eventually autonomic system relents as Rants is unconscious. Five hours later, Mrs. Rants is awakened by the powerful stench and opens back door just in time to find MP’s hauling Stupid Husband away for public intoxication*… at 0900-ish.

The awesome news is that the RantTube video remained a work of fiction. I got back inside and reviewed my options. Sadly, I can’t get caught performing I’m not allowed to participate in rodent control. Eventually I figured if the stupid fucker wanted to suck my used BBQ rib bones, fine with me. I can produce powerful stenches myself, though not on command, so I judged the skunk to have the upper hand, given the restrictions and all.

– – – = = = – – –

* MP’s – Military Police – are widely known in the Army to not be the sharpest of tools in the box, so being arrested for PI in a cloud of skunk musk would not be beyond the pale.

40 Responses to “A Close Call”

  1. And this is why waking at 4:15 a.m. is a bad idea.

  2. “our dear and quite polite neighbors in Great Britain” – Quite Polite ahaha 😛 Yes we were up! ahaha

  3. savorthefolly Says:

    Here kitty kitty….

  4. “not allowed to perform rodent control”. I am pretty sure you should have that made into a t-shirt.

    Great post.

  5. great morning waking-up description. funny. glad no skunks were harmed in the making of this rant. continue…

  6. I was distracted during the story…. Does your wife say, “Don’t screw it up” alot? Because I’ve noticed that in more than one of your posts. Maybe you shouldn’t screw stuff up so much….

  7. John Erickson Says:

    Rodent control is highly over-rated, hence God’s reason for inventing the cat. Unless they are of the size you describe, which is why God invented automatic firearms. Your wife should be thankful you’re a tanker, and would thus most likely be armed with 9mm or 5.56mm. You COULD have been a Grenadier, with the resulting chaos 40mm brings.
    And people wonder why I STILL want either a Bren gun or a BAR for Christmas. (I’ve asked for an M-5 Stuart, but I got a definitive NO from Santa……)

    • 120mm smoothbore is not recommended for small rodents, but it is mighty fun and exciting.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Pity they never upsized the World War 2 37mm canister rounds to 120mm. Perfect for killing rodents – and anything else in a 60-degree cone in front of the barrel……

        • They did, based on the Viet Nam era version of the class of ammo. It’s still far to destructive for mere rodents; the titanium ‘shot’ will go through engine blocks like butter. In the end I’ll have to rely on my scatter gun, handheld, 1ea.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Was that 90mm for the old M48, 105mm for the M60, or for one of the various artillery pieces (105/155/203)?
        Just remember, there is no such thing as “overkill”. As long as the real estate is still usable, any caliber is cool.

        • Not if I’m ventilating Mrs. Rant’s house. It was modded from the M60, which was put into service based on USMC 105 artillery “beehive” rounds, as I understand it. They may have added a caliber for the Sheridan.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Oh yeah, that silly 152mm for the combo gun/Shillelagh missile launcher. Blew the tank into the air every time they fired the cannon, or so I’ve been told. That must’ve been a sight!

      • John Erickson Says:

        I thought they had one for the Sheridan, too. Let me go dig out my armour book and check…..

      • John Erickson Says:

        We’re both right – the 90mm, going all the way back to the late WW2 Pershing had a canister round, plus they had the “beehive” 152mm round for the Sheridan when the Shillelagh missile didn’t pan out (they used a lot of Sheridans as gun-only ACAV tanks, since they were so light they could be easily air-transported). In case you don’t know, or for our avid readers, the Sheridan was supposed to shoot the missile out of the gun tube as well as fire shells, but the special combustible casing the gun round used fouled the tube and shook the electronics up so badly, the missile didn’t work – and the missile was not that great in and of itself!

      • John Erickson Says:

        Dude, you did it for a job, and moved on to other things. I study this stuff as a PASSION, and have tons of books on the various topics. And I’ve been reading on this stuff since I was 5 – no kidding, the first book I read by myself was a history of WW2 by Robert Leckie. I’d be REALLY scared if you DID know more, ’cause that would mean an obsession on your part. 😀

    • Should’ve asked for a Abrams and then Santa would’ve gotten ya a Stuart as a consolation present.

  8. I’m going to assume the two of you are speaking about weaponry of some kind and I’m just going to leave it at that.

  9. They should develop skunk missiles. And then, of course, stink-seeking missiles.

  10. Poor little guy probably didn’t even know you were there. They can’t see anything much past about 2 feet in front of them and I don’t think they can smell too well either, Hell, I’ve been 3 or 4 feet out and just talk to them so they don’t run into my leg and all they do is stop, listen, and go another direction. 😉

  11. While visiting a friend once, outside San Francisco, I was working in his yard, and a whole family of skunk ambled by, agreeably. They even later crossed under the steps as I climbed up, and I forgot to worry about gettin’ all skanked on

    They was good peeps, them skunks.

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