Andujar: My $5 frappucino ruined—by a skunk


This is an installment of Suzette Andujar’s weekly column “As I Was Saying”

I hit a skunk. I can’t believe it happened, but it did.

It was a Saturday night. I was on the way home from a lovely Starbucks run. At the scene of the crime were pedestrians, busy shops and many cars. There was a hill and a traffic light at the top so I pressed the gas because, you know, that’s what you do when you drive upward. I thought I saw something ahead, but didn’t get a clear view. Suddenly, I felt a thump and my car filled with the most offensive, gut-wrenching, vile stench. Something caught my eye in the rear-view mirror and a big, furry object waddled away.

That’s when it hit me: I’ve been skunked. I couldn’t breathe. I rolled down the windows and turned on the air conditioning; big mistake. The stink attacked my face and I started to feel nauseous. Nothing can describe the odor but it was kind of a mix of burnt rubber, rotten milk and spoiled trash. My poor non-fat mocha frappucino with extra cream and chocolate sauce sat ruined in the cupholder.

I let out a good shriek and cried my eyes out and it wasn’t just because I wasted $5. Why did this have to happen to me? Didn’t this stuff just happen to dogs and wild animals? Don’t bite your thumb at me; it could have happened to anyone and I can confidently tell you that it happens to frappucino shoppers too.

When I got home, I threw my clothing into the washing machine with loads of baking soda. I searched for professional car cleaning services but quickly saw that I’d have to sell my arms to the Grim Reaper to afford those prices. It was time for DIY, so I jumped on Google and found a de-skunkify recipe.

I approached my car with a useless face mask because the smell was so strong that I nearly turned into liquid. I cried again because why not and sprayed everything (vents included) with the mixture. I hoped that the smell would be partially gone by the next day.

It wasn’t.

It smelled like a skunk took a bath in lemons. My worst fear was that I’d get used to the smell and wouldn’t be able to tell if the scent was gone, so I submerged the inside of my car with baking soda and went to a self car wash.

As the days passed the smell subsided little by little. I recounted my horrifying ordeal to anyone who would listen with the warning that everyone is at risk of getting skunked. I’ve heard stories about skunks and never thought it would happen to me; but it did and I am surviving day by day. Skunks are out there. Lurking. Waiting. Living up to their name. That which we call a skunk by any other name would smell as sweet—you’re telling me.

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