Thursday, May 31, 2007

Turn Up the Funny, Turn Down the Suck

Remember when I used to be funny?

Yeah, me neither, actually, but if you look in the sidebar, there is a little-used button there that confirms someone once thought I was funny enough to nominate me in a humour category. Of course, I also seem to have been nominated in a 'freaky' category, so I maybe I should just strike the nominator off my Christmas-card list and retire to Boca Raton.

You've all been wonderfully indulgent as I've whined and moaned and made an ass out of myself, and I wish I could say: the end is nigh! But the truth is, this post is not going to be funny, either. Sorry. All of you funny-enthusiasts can just take your raisinettes and please file quietly out the back door. There will be no killing of the goat today; we might poke it with sharp sticks, or call it fat, or make fun its orthodonture, but no goats have been killed in the making of this blog.

Skunks, on the other hand, were not so lucky.

The other day I happened to mention that I liked the smell of skunk. This is true. It's not that I don't mind it, I actually think it's kind of nice. And there were a couple of brave bloggers who also stood and confessed that they too are as retarded as I am.

Yes, yes, retarded is a harsh word, but the thing is, a skunk's spray is such an effective deterrent that even bears will leave the lowly skunk alone. In fact, of all the animals that would willingly eat its meat, only the horned owl actually preys on skunks because horned owls apparently have little sense of smell. All the others think he's just too stinky to take the risk. Kind of like my Uncle Roger. He always offered $1 and a Tootsie Roll to any kid who would hug him, but his boiled-cabbage, overpowering-armpit, steeped-in-cheap-rye, just-finished-shovelling-out-the-styes scent proved too much. No takers.

So yes, it does seem kind of odd that I should like the smell of skunk. I feel I should use this gift to my advantage, but hunting skunk just seems a little pointless, although I'm told that in certain states (and I won't name names, but you know who you are...coincidentally, many of the same states where it's legal to marry a first cousin), skunks are kept as pets. Of course, in that case the anal glands (the ones that contain the spray) are first removed. I wonder who's job that is? And can they possibly be paid enough?

And what is a skunk without his anal glands? I mean, the word skunk literally means "one who squirts", which makes me glad that my parents called me Jamie, which, if a little boring (Scottish pet form of James, which is biblical), at least doesn't refer to what I may or may not do with any of my orifices. The species of skunks found in Indonesia are called "stink badgers", and while that's not exactly the pretty kind of name you get engraved into 14K gold, I do find it highly amusing.

Anyway, I just think that the anal gland approach to self-defense is both practical and ingenious - and far more convenient than carrying mase! And isn't it impressive that they've also developed strong ass muscles so that the spray will shoot out a good 7-10 feet? I mean, I think Glade should study skunk butt. Every time I buy one of those air fresheners, it promises to make the whole room smell good, but usually you have to stand right next to it to pick up the scent. Skunks get the job done right!

However, I find their baby-making to be a little less romantic than the suave and debonair Pepe le Peu might have led you to believe. In fact, after mounting the she-skunk from behind (ahem), he repeatedly bites her in the back and the neck to induce ovulation. Then he loves her and leaves her, no child support or anything, and if she should happen across her baby daddy again, watch out because the boy-skunk is likely to snub or even try to kill his offspring. But oddly, though skunks might claw or bite each other to death, they will never ever spray each other. I guess that's their equivalent of hitting below the belt.

I realize this is a lot of skunk talk, probably more than you wanted to know, but the thing is, I was walking down the street trying to think of what to make for dinner. There's a little butcher shop near my house, and generally speaking, I love to buy food this way: cheese from the cheeserie, bread from the bakery, fruit from the's all so much more fresh and wonderful. But I'd noticed that this butcher sells strange things, such as ox-tail, and yes, goat. Goat!

Now, I realize that lots of people eat goat. Curry goat seems to be a real favourite around here. I'm not a goat snob, but basically we're all born thinking that some animals are food and others are not - me, I think cow = yum, cats, not so much. So I worried about going in and finding that large sections of goat are actually fairly unappetizing, but then fate once again stepped in, because as luck would have it, I didn't have to enter the shop to be grossed out.

There in the window, hanging for all to see, was not a goat, but a skunk, still in its skin (or I might not have recognized it), freshly dead by god knows what means, trussed up by its hind legs and with a price tag hanging from its snout.

Now, I had worried over goat which I acknowledged was food, just not for me, but I had never even considered that skunk might be considered a meal. But then I looked it up on the internet, and sure enough: "Skunk meat untainted with musk is tender and good eating." Good eating.

Can this be true? And who could confirm or deny such a thing - for surely to admit to having eaten skunk is tantamount to...well...well...well there's just no precedent! But I'd certainly have to strike them off my Christmas card list as well. Feeling somewhat faint, I came across a recipe for Baked Skunk, which claims that when seasoned with paprika and sage, the meat is quite tasty.

Now I'm a bit afraid to leave my house. I'm afraid to see either a skinned skunk or a slightly-decaying skunk hanging from the same noose....or worse, to see that the skunk is gone, has been purchased, and is roasting in one of my neighbours' ovens as we speak...the question is: WHICH ONE?

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