The curse of the stinky manky mank
April E. Clark
A recent shower in tomato juice and vinegar had me thinking of funk. Not the booty-shakin’ George Clinton-with-Parliament kind, but funk characteristic of a 20-year-old college student’s apartment shared with three other guys. Or worse.
After a long day of work last week, I headed out along the Red Mountain ridges behind my apartment for a sunset walk with my two long-haired red dogs, Jake and Elwood. Instead of the peaceful state of mind I sought, I was introduced to the wrath of one of nature’s stinkiest species ” the skunk.
Originally, my dogs caught on with vigor to an animal’s scent. Tails were wagging, and I was nearly dragging behind them as they rushed to an overgrown area that did not allow for much visibility. If I had seen the black, weasel-like animal with the white stripe I would have run like a Crystal Lake camper in “Friday the 13th.” By the time I realized the skunk had released the infamous funk from his musk glands, it was too late. The dogs were rolling in the dirt, and I faced a pet owner’s nightmare.
My first reaction was to follow the old wives’ tale that involves the application of cupboard classics such as tomato juice and vinegar. I not only doused the dogs with these items, but took a little soak in them myself. Vinegar is definitely not an ingredient in the No More Tears shampoo formula, and tomato juice is sticky and stinky itself when used in excess.
After staying up until 2 a.m., the situation was not resolved. The dogs still reeked, so I spoke with my editor, who suggested a concoction found on the Internet. Chemist Paul Krebaum has created a “new, more effective formula for de-skunking a dog.” The recipe: mix 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1⁄4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap such as dishwashing detergent in an open bucket or bowl and watch it fizz. Wet dog and thoroughly massage the solution into the coat, avoiding dog’s eyes, nose and mouth. After applying the mixture to all of the dog’s parts that were sprayed, rinse thoroughly.
Of course with any science experiment, there are warnings. The mixture is explosive if enclosed in a container, so mix in an open container and don’t store unused portions. Besides the volcano science-project-type reaction, which I avoided, the formula seemed to work. The stench remains on their faces close to their eyes because I wanted to avoid blinding them, and they smelled a bit after being out in the rain Saturday night. Out of paranoia the next day, I sprayed on so much perfume that my co-worker Kara thought I made the newsroom smell like a brothel. But overall it was a cheap, effective alternative to a ridiculously smelly situation.
I thought the fox-lure senior prank and the milk-carton-behind-my-current-events-teacher’s-heater joke in high school were two of the foulest-smelling scenarios I had experienced, but a skunk spraying two dogs at once takes the prize. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I do suggest giving the peroxide mixture a whirl instead of tomato juice.
And leave the funk to the musicians with the slap-style bass.
April E. Clark does not typically bathe with Southern-style barbecue sauce ingredients and prefers more of a tropical flower-scented bath gel. She can be reached at 945-8515, ext. 518, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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