"We have a skunk living in our shed," he said.
"No! It can't be a skunk. Maybe it's a racoon? They're black and white and gray. Or a possum?" See the structure of that statement? It starts off with denial, then offers up other possibilities of what could be inhabiting our decrepit shed because being from Brooklyn? I don't know from skunks.
"It's a skunk."
He shook the door some more and then I heard the rustling.
"What should we do?" I asked.
"Well, we should give it a wide berth if it comes it out." He's so reasonable.
"Maybe if you bang on the shed it'll leave. But wait! Let me get my camera first." Because watching my husband get sprayed by a skunk is great blog fodder. Plus I am a stupid city person.
At this point the kids were freaked out because the skunk could come out and terrorize them, I'm searching for the camera and John is looking for a suitably long instrument to bang on the side of our shed.
He found an old rusty tree pruner and began banging the shed like it was a giant drum. Bang bang bang! Rustle. Rustle. Rustle.
Then he went around the back of the shed. Bang. Bang. Bang. Rustle. Rustle. Rustle. More banging. More rustling. Us stupid city people at a loss because we don't have internet up there to look up what to do and were left to our own devices. (Obviously we will die if left to survive in a desert.) The kids cowered watched behind the sliding glass doors, fingers pinching their noses shut in case the skunk sprayed.
In the end, we left the skunk alone. Mainly because it just ignored us. But what Pepe le Pew doesn't know is that we have internet back home and the internet, wise old soul that it is, recommends placing ammonia-soaked rags in the shed because the fumes will drive it out. We can also blare rock music at deafening volumes but my money's on the ammonia. Until then, it sleeps curled up by the front tire of Sophie's bike and doesn't seem to mind when we shine a flashlight in there to see if its home or not.