Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

This is a true story, the memory of which was triggered by this Morguefile photo that is featured in Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. So apologies in advance to Roger, as this is not a flash fiction tale, and it does not fit within his suggested 200 word limit. But I think this story may be worth telling.

The incident took place maybe around fifteen years ago when I let our dog out in our backyard dog run for his last bathroom break of the night. He apparently smelled something that required him to go investigate.

Hearing his exciting barking, I hurried over to see what had attracted him and saw that he had cornered a skunk and the skunk was not a happy camper.

Knowing what was about to happen, I reached out to grab my dog to pull him out of harm’s way.

Too little, too late. The two of us got sprayed.

I lifted the poor dog and carried all 70 pounds of him into the house, frantically calling out to my wife, “We got sprayed.” I asked her to Google what to do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk.

I grabbed a few towels from the laundry room and started to pat down the hapless dog. My wife came back from her Google search saying that we needed to bathe him in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid. She also said some sites mentioned tomato juice and vinegar. “But all we have in the house is the dishwashing liquid and vinegar,” she pointed out.

Reluctantly, I drove to the grocery store to get tomato juice, peroxide, and baking soda. The good news was that it was 9 p.m. and there weren’t very many people in the grocery store. The bad news was that those who were there looked at me in horror and moved away from me as quickly as they could. Having just been sprayed by a skunk, I stunk terribly.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

When I got home, my wife and I bathed the dog in the mixture of ingredients. Twice, in fact. Unfortunately, there was no salvaging the clothes we were wearing or any of the towels we had used to dry the dog. Those were tossed into a large trash bag for disposal.

I spent the next half hour scrubbing myself down in the shower, trying as best I could to get the stink off of me.

Our dog recovered from his skunk encounter, although whenever it rained and his fur got wet, even years later, the faint smell of skunk would return.

Two Weeks

Two weeks ago today I sat transfixed in front of my television screen, tears streaming down my eyes, as I watched in horror and despair a siege of the U.S. Capitol building in an attempted insurrection against the United States of America by far-right MAGA-maniacs inspired by none other than the then-sitting president, Donald Trump. I feared that I was witnessing the collapse of the American Democracy.

Two weeks later — today — I sat transfixed in front of my television screen, tears streaming down my eyes, as I watched with enormous pride the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and witnessed the restoration of the American Democracy.Two weeks ago I was ashamed to be an American. Two weeks later, and for the first time in four long years, I am once again proud to be an American.

What a difference two weeks makes.

Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

One-Liner Wednesday — Pessimists and Optimists

“The advantage of being a pessimist is that a pessimist gets nothing but pleasant surprises, an optimist nothing but unpleasant.”

Rex Stout, American writer noted for his detective fiction

Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt. Image credit: DrAfter123/Getty Images.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #105

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Today’s provocative question is about Donald Trump and social media. Throughout his time in office, Trump has used social media to speak directly to Americans, to announce policies, to attack his critics, to lie, and to foster divisiveness. Since he lost the election in November, Trump has used Twitter and other social media sites to push unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and a “rigged” election, to claim he won the election by a landslide, to rant about how the election was stolen, to spread misinformation (i.e., lies), and to incite violence.After the Trump-inspired insurrection and deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol building two weeks ago by his army of MAGA-maniacs, social media sites Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a handful of other sites either permanently or temporarily suspended Donald Trump from posting on their sites.

Today, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, Donald Trump will officially no longer be President of the United States. So my provocative question to you is this:

Do you think Donald Trump should be allowed back on social media now that he’s no longer in office?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Pundit

FOWCWelcome to January 20, 2021 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “pundit.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.