Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two Nights, Two Skunks And The Boldness Of Noah

Have you ever noticed there are literally hundreds of references to water in the Bible: The parting of the Red Sea, turning water to wine, the washing of feet, baptism in the river, Jesus walking on water, the woman at the well—you get the picture. Water seems to be everywhere in the Bible. I suppose it shouldn’t be all that surprising, what with three-quarters of the earth being covered with it. Then there was the Great Flood when all four quarters of the earth were covered. Let’s face it. If we get a bit concerned about reports the earth’s oceans are rising a few inches, think of the headline when water covered Everest over 29,000 feet above sea level! Some things are way beyond imagination. We’re talking epic proportions here!

Which naturally brings me to skunks. Yep. That’s right. Skunks. OK. So, my transitions could use a little work. But think of it. Using what can only be described as his extraordinary negotiating skills, Noah managed to get two skunks onboard the Ark—and keep them INSIDE for over 40 days and 40 nights. And no one in the family was thrown overboard.

But wait! There's more! The 40 days and 40 nights don't begin to tell the story. According to Genesis Chapters 7 and 8, the elapsed time Noah, his family and all the animals were on the Ark was over a year. Is that impressive or what? Covering the earth with water was indeed miraculous. But I can’t help but think hosting two skunks on a boat and living to tell about it was pretty amazing in its own right. As a matter of fact, in some small way I had my own epiphany about such acts of faith just last week….

Years ago, we converted our heating/cooling system to gas, which was supposedly cheaper and more efficient than our electric system. If memory serves, “brilliant” was the humblest of words I could find to describe my stroke of genius at the money we were going to save. In retrospect, there appears to have been one minor shortcut during the installation. But how was I to know there could possibly be a downside to running the gas pipe under the house and out through one of the crawl space vents rather than poking a hole through the stucco? Besides, the wire mesh patch job the installers did seemed secure at the time.

Fast forward to one evening last week, my wife and I were tuned in to “Jeopardy” and “Wheel Of Fortune”—What? You thought we would be watching “Masterpiece Theatre”? Suddenly, we heard a strange bumping and scratching. The location of the sounds was rather non-specific except they seemed to be coming from under the family room. As it turns out, I should have been a bit more diligent about inspecting the aforementioned wire mesh patch which had apparently worked its way loose over the years.

Somehow, an enterprising skunk had found its way under the house below the family room. There was also the slightest hint of something ominous in the air. If you have ever wondered how air tight the ductwork in your house is, wonder no more. It ain’t. And did I mention skunk mating season is in February and March? Fortunately, the gestation period in skunks is 60 days. So, time was on my side.

The next three days and nights were a blur, mostly due to the tears in my eyes. I was Trapper Bill by night and a critter relocation specialist in rubber gloves and a HazMat suit by day. If you are wondering, my wife did mention Animal Control once or twice—OK it was several times. But why would any self-respecting Eagle Scout resort to such tactics. Besides, just think of the money I saved—a Scout is Thrifty and all that. Admittedly, buying febreeze by the gallon isn’t cheap and salvaging my Honda Accord after transporting skunks in my trunk is still a work in progress. But I really feel the skunks and I have cleared the air in our relationship.