I received this story from my Aunt Deb of Perryville, MO.
Malodorous. When I came home Saturday night after working at the bingo hall at the Seminary Picnic in 90+ degree heat for three hours I was malodorous. You know what I mean?
Malodorous comes from the Latin mal- or malus meaning bad and the Anglo-French word odur which derived from the Latin olere meaning to smell. So there you have it—to smell bad. And I did.
I went down to the basement to strip off my sopping, stinky clothes to put them in the washer. In the quiet I heard a “scritch, scritch, scritching” sound from the dryer. That was most peculiar. I’d been gone for a couple of days and I knew, as God is my witness, that it hadn’t been used.
Then it hit me. I wasn’t the only malodorous thing in the room. Whatever was in the dryer smelled even worse than I did. And I had a pretty good idea what it was.
I opened the door just a wee crack and confirmed my suspicions when I saw little eyes and a flash of white on black. Whew! Pepe Le Pew. He hadn’t detonated, but the skunk stunk.
I eased the door closed, not wanting to trigger any fragrant discharge, when the absurdity of the situation convulsed me in howls of laughter. There we were, me in my birthday suit and the skunk in the dryer—not a pretty sight and not a pretty situation.
I headed upstairs to the shower, which was all I could focus on at the moment, and in passing suggested to John, choking on laughter, that he might want to call the police to get some ideas what we could do. I think he thought I was nuts; there I was, cackling like a madwoman because we had a potential stink bomb trapped in an appliance.
Oh, did I mention it was the weekend? Well, the dispatcher informed us of what we already knew. Police animal control specialist Bill Buerck was not on duty. But the dispatcher did empathize with us so she called him at home. God bless her.
In the meantime I showered and mulled the situation over while sluicing the dust and dirt down the drain. I had a couple of plans, one pretty stupid one and one fairly sane approach. I ran them past John and then called our neighbors, my boss and the cop, Kate and Joe Martin.
I knew Kate would never forgive me if I didn’t share this hysterical situation with her while it unfolded. Her sense of humor is even more skewed than mine. And I knew Joe would be the voice of reason and experience, and would come up with some ideas, all the while getting a huge charge out of our predicament. I was right on all counts.
They couldn’t pass up the chance to see this drama, and even as we were discussing our options, Bill Buerck called Joe to see what he could do to help. They all rode to the rescue like John Wayne and the cavalry.
I presented my stupid plan: I had an unopened bottle of ether left over from John’s late-father’s medical practice. My insane idea was to put some on a rag and slip it into the dryer. The potential hazards were numerous, including the premature discharge of that stinky stuff while the skunk went lights out. Eyes rolled. Nah, we weren’t going to do this.
The guys had a version of the same semi-sane plan both John and I had—unhook the dryer and cart it upstairs and out to the backyard, then open it up for the little stowaway to make his escape.
And that’s what they did, Bill cutting his hand on a sharp piece of metal in the process, earning the Perryville Purple Heart.
When Bill pulled out the rag he had stuffed in the vent pipe opening, eventually the skunk backed out, and was he ever cute. He was just a little guy to have raised such a ruckus, and he was kind of wobbly on his paws. Kate and I screeched and giggled, and I shot a couple of pictures of him.
He finally waddled around behind the garage after taking an initial course back toward the dryer. Our heroes moved the stinky dryer into the garage for later cleaning to remove just a small amount of residue.
There’s just a hint of Pepe Le Pew left today, but the dryer and all of us are definitely not malodorous. Just a word between us.
Glad to see that this kind of shit doesn't just happen to me! Very, very funny story and thanks to my Aunt Deb for sharing. What's that saying-the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?