Soooooo, I finally gained a true appreciation earlier tonight of how bad a skunk could smell. I’ve smelled them before … I’ve been in Virginia for a while now, and I actually spotted my first skunk in upstate New York when I was a kid. (They’re not pretty.) But this is the first time I’ve encountered a full dose from an animal that was evidently nearby.
This was the olfactory equivalent of Dante Alighieri’s worst visions of hell. The odor was at once strangely metallic, horribly organic and chemically toxic. If one of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” were possessed by the demon from William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist,” and it wielded flatulence to punish the damned, this would be it. If the three Kryptonian villains from 1980’s “Superman II” had been poisoned by chili laced with spoiled pork and Ex-Lax, this would be it.
Skunks might now top my list of hated animals, were it not for my enduring abhorrence of alligators.
Earwigs are moving up on that list, too — at least since I spotted one at 7:15 tonight in my kitchen. Earwigs look like God tried to make a proper beetle while on acid.