Pretend Love


The Roman Goddess Mefitis

Through my son Rock Star and his band, I’ve become a fan of the Avett Brothers, and their song Pretend Love is a good theme song for this post.

If I came with a present
I would bring you a clue
In hopes you’d finally see
That your feelings for me
Will never be returned

I’m guessing a lot of you remember a cute little black and white cartoon character of the genus Mephitidae (for you non-science nerds, that’s skunk – in Roman mythology, Mefitis (or Mephitis) was the personification of the poisonous gases emitted from the ground in swamps and volcanic vapors). Pepé le Pew captivated all of us with his romantic antics and franglais: “I am Pepé le Pew… I am your lovairrrr!”

In the middle of the night last night, we were rudely awakened by a noxious smell that was so thick I could practically taste it… aaaggghh! Apparently, a skunk made its way into our cellar by way of the crawlspace under the front porch. Unfortunately, this is just where the ductwork connects to the furnace, so along with warmth, we got a big shot of… well, I’m sure you know exactly what it smells like. Enough that I needed to reach for my Vicks VapoRub (so good at masking smells that it’s reputed to be the forensic pathologist’s secret weapon).

Maybe Pepé thinks he does love me, as evidenced by his attempts to gain access to my boudoir in the wee hours of the morning. Well, Pepé, I want to make one thing complètement clair – you are not my lovair. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say I am not zee lovair of you! There may be someone, somewhere in the world – a skunk of the female persuasion, perhaps? – that considers a spritz of your pungent, burnt-garlic perfume to be an aphrodisiac… but it most definitely is not me!

I guess it’s time to tune in the Skunk Radio, an old radio we keep in the cellar. Along with a bare light bulb left on right by the crawl space, we’ve used this, in spring and fall, as a deterrent to those nocturnal visitations. Nothing too romantic, to be sure – a boring talk show seems to do the trick. Maybe I can persuade NPR to reprise the entire audio broadcast of the Iran-Contra hearings between midnight and 6 AM every day until skunk season is over!

In the meantime, I’m keeping my Vicks handy….


About rangermoi

I'm a former park ranger and teacher, mother of two no-longer-teenage sons, avid cook and reader and the Official Family Memory. I thought I'd better get some of those remembrances down before they all leak out of my senior-moment-affected brain!
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