Fleas, Skunks and Other Irritants — Linda Knight Seccaspina
I have encountered my fair share of skunks growing up as a child in the Quebec townships. But, last week my husband Steve got sprayed by a skunk in the yard while the sun was coming up. It seems everyone has come to me throughout the years to remedy an immediate crisis.
Like my sons when they were young, my husband came into the bedroom and almost killed me with the stench. I pretended to still be asleep, but believe you me I knew what was cooking in the bedroom, and it wasn’t love. No matter how many Pepe le Pew jokes you make I wondered if I should wash him in tomatoe juice and baking soda as soon as possible.
Instantly I sat up and asked a very stupid question.
“Did you REALLY get sprayed by a skunk?”
Steve replied with a sad tale about the wee critter lifting his little bottom up in front of him. Now my husband is an American from Berkeley, California and one would think the message about skunks had gotten that far west by now.
What to do? What to do?
It’s not like I can tie him up outside for the day, or get the garden hose out and hose him down.
It reminded me of the year 2006 when a small flea had been found by my son, and he had told everyone it had not been found on the dog– that they were somewhere in the house. After assuming the necessary precautions, nothing else was found. All of us, with the exception of my oldest son, had green lighted everything. The crisis was over as far as we were concerned. At approximately 2:30 am that night a large flashlight was pointed in my face while I was fast asleep. It was flea fighter son number 1 with a look of terror on his face.
“Mom, I have been in here for 10 minutes shining this flashlight on my white socks and I have found two fleas”.
Apparently the white socks were used as bait and displayed whatever he thought was a flea in fine form on the white colour.
“I can’t sleep upstairs,there are fleas everywhere,” he said.
I strongly and silently disagreed with this as we have gone through this many times with other creatures and insects such as bats and spiders. It never fails that when the oldest is not Kosher with something he comes downstairs to his old room where I sleep so he can sleep in his old bed.
His former room still holds his childhood Bobbleheads, Beanie Babies, hockey posters, and two small pocket mirrors taped to one of his shelves across from his bed. He constructed those mirrors at age 9 as a plan to see if the boogeyman was coming into his room.
“Mom I don’t think anyone realizes how serious this is as no one will own up to the grave problem we have here,” he continued.
I shot him a look that said everything. How could I take anyone seriously that was going to walk around all day in the summer heat in long jogging pants with white socks pulled up almost to the knees and white shoes. Mind you the white shoes were very soft leather fashionable ones from Aldo. But still–no dice kid!
In the morning he cleaned his room for the upteenth time in 24 hours. He vacuumed, he sprayed, he vacuumed again, and then more spray. To appease my child I vacuumed everywhere also and he followed me and sprayed again. In this house that’s a big job and I was sweating like a dog– the same dog who caused this issue who was now relaxing outside on the veranda not worrying about fleas.
After lunch son number 1 yelled information down the stairs each time he thought he had found new alerts about fleas on the internet. Anyone who has been sick and looked up things on the web knows for a fact that you can scare yourself for life with some of those articles. So far, not one flea had been found, but I began to Google “Symptoms of Toxic Brain Freeze from Aerosols” on the internet.
That night Sky came down the stairs dressed in the same outfit as the night before. White shirt tucked into white printed PJ pants, and white socks pulled up to his ankles. I was exhausted from his shenanigans, and so was the dog who was still crashed out on the veranda. With that he wrapped himself up in two sheets much like a mummy with a giant flashlight in one hand and a cell phone in the other. I shook my head and realized that thoughts like fleas jump from man to man– but they really don’t bite everyone. The dog looked at me and nodded his head in agreement.
Epilogue- 18 years later come Spring, when the spiders begin to venture out I get the occasional text photo from my son about the spiders in his basement– and asking if he should sell his home.
As for Steve I just called him at work this morning and told him his Warrior’s Tshirt didn’t make it no matter how many times we washed it –but he will be allowed to stay as he has now passed the smell test.