Friday, August 28, 2009


The best thing about going camping and ending up placing the tent by a skunk den is that showering definitely lowers on the “to do” list:

To Do List While Camping

1. Bug Spray
2. Lock Bike
3. Megan Fox
4. Shower
5. Roast Marshmallows

To Do List While Camping Next to a Skunk Den

1. Bug Spray
2. Lock Bike
3. Megan Fox
4. Roast Marshmallows
5. Shower

You see…VERY different.


Darron (you may know him as one of THE Casual Critics, or from his exploits as playing the “pea” in a recent rendition of Princess and the Pea at the Huntington Beach Playhouse. Don’t believe me? Check it out.)and I had some free time this summer, so we ended up taking a camping/road biking trip to Lake Cachuma, California. When we arrived at the campground, we asked the ranger on duty which site would be the best. She said it depended on what we liked, and we should go check out the campsite to see. We didn't seem to mention that we liked being haunted by skunks, but that's what we got. Remind me not to ask her for any financial advice.

We went out and drove around…finding that site number 455 was somewhat isolated with a great view of mighty Lake Cachuma. Why we wanted isolation, in retrospect, seems odd. We are two relatively straight guys.

Once we found 455, we hurried back to the ranger, not wanting anyone to stake our territory. I even let Darron out before I parked so no one would take our wonderful and fresh smelling spot.

Lucky us, number 455 was still available. When we returned to set up our tent, we found that the ground was dry, hard, steel-like, and impenetrable. But we kept at it. Taking our time to get our tent set up in the PERFECT spot.

That night, at about 8:30, while we were grilling up our dinner, I happened to watch two skunks walk right toward us. The two turned into four. As we try to figure out where they are coming from, we find two of them, turned...butts and tails up, facing us. We ran. And then ran some more.


The next morning, I ask Darron if skunks are nocturnal. He says yes. I walk out of the tent to use the restroom, and there is one of the skunks. Waiting for me. I run back into the tent. The skunk it right outside, and starts calling his friends: Gaguuuu...Gaguuuu...Gaguuuu. And we hear them answer back from around the campground: Gaguuuu...Gaguuuu...Gaguuuu.

I have translated that conversation into:


I am a linguist after all.

We have had enough, so I call Tauni about how to get rid of skunks. It turns out, we could use fox or coyote pee to keep them away. Unfortunately, we were fresh out, so we discuss peeing directly into their den with our own urine. I'm not saying we did this. But I'm also not saying that we didn't.

The second night, camp 453 (which was vacant the first night), has some campers. I ask Darron if we should warn them. He says: No. We had to find out the hard way; they should, too. I ask him if we should at least move the tent away from the skunk den before it gets dark. But he again declines and states We’ve made peace with the skunk.

At about 8:30, they return, and Gaguuuud us all night long. I'm STILL sore.


If being attacked by the skunks wasn't enough, here are some of my favorite Darronisms that came up in no particular order:

Darron's Take on Wildlife

If you are even exposed to a bat, you should seek medical assistance immediately because they could bite you so quickly, you might not even know it. And then you could have rabies....and die.

Darron's Take on Sports

I am really looking forward to the Angel game. I just hope no one gets killed. Two people have been killed there this year.

Darron's Take on Farm Animals

What a beautiful horse. Just don’t pet it. It will think your fingers are carrots and bite them off.

Darron's Take on Piers

This is a great pier. If I were going to kill someone, this is where I would take them.

Darron's Take on Swimming

Mark: If I pushed you off this pier, would you forgive me?
Darron: NO!
Mark: No? Come on…you wouldn’t?
Darron: I wouldn’t have time…I would be dead.


Shasta said...

Does Darron have a legitimate DSM IV diagnosis? Because he should.

prez said...

Shasta, just because I have narcissistic personality disorder doesn't mean that I can't enjoy camping immediately next to a den of wild skunks.

Stick to anthropology.

ann marie said...

I think the skunks just wanted to befriend you. Haters!

Michelle Panik said...