As some of you know, because I haven’t shut up about it for the last few weeks, we have our house on the market. It’s rough, not only because the market is rough, but because trying to pretend a house full of kids and animals is a pristine model home is an exercise in futility.
The furniture has some vestigial bite marks left over from Brody’s youth; the grass has some brown spots despite my best efforts; the walls have some stickers I haven’t managed to completely remove yet. However, those are things we can work with. These are workable.
The skunk, however, is not.
We’ve had a resident skunk for as long as I can remember living here. I believe it resides under the deck. Most of the time it’s not a big deal; he can’t be that bad if he’s never pegged Brody, because you know Brody would be all up in his business if he could be. I just get an occasional whiff in the evenings when I let the dogs out. No biggie.
However, the last few months he went nuts and sprayed all over the side of the house. It was bad. I wasn’t sure what to do. Over time, it’s lessened, and I thought we were in the clear. We had a realtor come by last week and he didn’t say anything, so I thought, well, maybe it’s not as bad as I thought.
“We have a skunk,” I told him. “Is that going to be a problem?”
“Don’t worry,” he responded.
Then the realtor came back over the weekend. I guess the skunk had made an epic return, because the realtor did an about-face and said, you need to do something about the skunk. He said, I can’t open the windows. And really, no matter how nice and clean your house is, a big noseful of skunk is enough to deep six any sale, unfortunately.
We made some calls. We were bounced around from animal control to exterminators before finally finding a licensed wildlife trapping service that is licensed through the state to carry out wildlife relocation services.
“We have two options,” the guy said. “We are only allowed by law to relocate within 50 yards of the place he was trapped,” which ruined my initial plan to relocate him to the yard of the person who complained about my Valentine’s Day matchboxes. “And if you put them down within 50 yards, they always come back.”
“What’s the other option?” I asked.
And you know, I just couldn’t. I mean, it is what it is, and we have this yard, and he lives in it, and barring the occasional whiff he hasn’t been a terrible roommate. And I just can’t bring myself to kill him in order to help us move.
So I told the realtor, who by now is probably beginning to regret his decision to work with a nutter like me, that he just has to keep the windows closed and hope the skunk is sleeping on the days we need to show. And that’s all I can think of to do.