Strokes, skunks and sex offenders … a thursday in November to remember

Starts out like this, noticed my dad (age 73 and lives with us) had a half grin half grimace on his face at our Wednesday night community lifegroup at church, his words were a bit slurred and he seemed really mellow and that was unusual. After a few minutes I noticed his entire left side of his face had gone smooth…no wrinkles… like a massive Botox treatment had been delivered. Uh-Oh I knew what that probably meant. My sister-in-law had just survived a massive stroke two years prior and given that my dad was a quad bypass survivor already, things were not looking good.

My dad was having or had a stroke. Time to get him to his doc and fast. Only problem… He HATES doctors. Took my mom and I a bit of convincing to get him into see his heart doc, who promptly sent him to an ER and then it was a rush of blood work, EKG’s, MRI and three days in a hospital for some additional heart and neurologic “tests”… That’s how my thursday STARTED.

Spent the rest of the day in the hospital anxiously awaiting results from dad’s tests, taking calls, texts, FB alerts and emails from concerned family – friends etc… by 10pm that evening, the danger had passed enough that I felt like I could take the 15 minute drive home to crash for the evening. On the way, my wife calls and suggests casually that I not go through the garage door to our home, but use the front door… ?


It seems that my daughter Bethany had heard some “scratching” on the back door from our kitchen to the garage and thought it was our newly adopted kitty “Piper” wanting some milk or food. Piper – the kitty cat – lives in our garage and has this cute black and white fur pattern, a stripe in fact on her head…

Bethany opens the door and without thinking reaches down to pick up and pet the cute little bundle of fur she automatically thought was “Piper”…  only it wasn’t “Piper” it was her very distant most likely rabid cousin “Pepe Le Pew” !

I’m told the sounds of her echoing screams could be heard across a significant portion of Spring Hill TN.

When I arrived, I quickly checked the situation from the closed outside garage door and found that indeed as advertised, a large skunk was rooting through our trash and recycle bins at the top of garage stairs only a foot from our kitchen door. It seemed intent on making the large pile of old newspapers and toilet paper we kept out in the garage for storage… into his/her cozy new home.  Seriously?

Now it would seem a simple thing to get a skunk out of your garage… turns out… it isn’t.

Two hours and a two BB/Pellet guns later, I gave up and decided it might just be wise goto bed. Somehow throughout my honking the car horn in our garage, mom sprinkling black pepper on our back door floorboards  (which she claimed would scare away the skunk), and my chucking basketballs, soccer balls, any loose object I could find laying about… miraculously the thing never sprayed us.

I have no idea why or how I avoided being hit by some napalm from its legendary rear end waste cannon, but it must have been out of juice? I have no idea how or what had driven this nasty bugger into our garage this particular thursday evening… but I had pumped the skunk with at least 100 rounds of bb’s that seemed just a little less than strong enough to penetrate its furry nasty hide. But it did seem to sting and irritate it enough to jump around a bit when I got off a good shot. Never leaving the garage despite the fact the doors were wide open and I had cat food on the driveway to “entice” it to leave the premises as soon as possible. It never got the message.

As I was pondering my options on the driveway in the dark, a duo of Blackhawk military choppers flew DIRECTLY over me about 50 feet off the ground with their lights off and all their thunder noise makers on. It was a bit of a surprise since we don’t live within 100 miles of an airbase and fortunate that I didn’t wet myself from the surprise. As I stood there, I got a bit nervous as the realization I had been standing completely silhouetted in my driveway with two rifles, one in each hand (of course I knew they were pellet guns,but they might not see it that way…) . This was NOT in ANY way shaping up to be  a good situation…

Awakened by the deafening sound of the two copters, my wife came out  in her PJ’s and informed me why they might be out and flying over our neighborhood, it seems our local TV evening newscast had confirmed  a sex offender/rapist had been seen in town that day and the kids were put in lockdown for a bit in all the public schools. They had not caught the guy, but he was described as being over six feet tall, wearing a black/dark down jacket, had a beard and beanie hat, and police were canvassing the area looking for suspects, leads, witnesses etc…as I stood there exhausted, confused and more than a little disoriented from recent events, her words started to slowly penetrate my sleep deprived brain.

I realized I am over six feet tall…

I was a wearing a dark grey/ black down winter jacket….

I had a beard…

and…I was wearing my wool black beanie hat at that very moment.

I decided this thursday just really needed to be done and over. I mean a guy can only take so much…so  I went quickly into my house and my warm bed. No Police came by to ask why I was outside my home at midnight in our quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood, shooting guns at “something” in the garage.

Next morning…I did a quick search of our wide open garage and found the dang skunk had suspiciously disappeared. When I arrived at the Hosptial my dad was wide awake, alert and asking for some more coffee from the nurses, a very GOOD sign. It seemed the  insanity of the night before had completely evaporated overnight.

GOD WAS GRACIOUS TO ME… I am reminded of the truth that it’s really the little things in life that matter. Like no skunks in your garage, health and safety and security for our families and homes. I’m thankful that days like last thursday are a rare event, God’s blessings in my life are ever-present…but until there is a skunk in your garage… you just might forget for a moment to see them as them as such.

Peace out and Happy Thanksgiving early!


PS – I’m asking Santa for a .22 for Christmas !

2 thoughts on “Strokes, skunks and sex offenders … a thursday in November to remember

  1. Brad, that was exactly the little story that I needed to start my Saturday morning. It was just too funny. You really have a gift for writing. Marvy Parr

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