When You Wish Upon A Skunk

When you go to another country, you need to fully experience the culture, sights, sounds, smells…..yes. Smells. I really wanted to find of what skunk smelled like before I left the US. Much to the surprise of my American friends who assured me that no, I did not want to experience that, and also, what was I even thinking?!

I have a bit of an obsession with Australian and American animals and how they compare on the creepy/scary/dangerous scale. No Australian animals have that sort of defense mechanism, at least not strong enough to fear. The power of stench! I was assured that it would happen, that one day I would be driving along and smell something awful, and that it would be a dead skunk. But it was approaching the end of a year in the US and I was starting to panic. When would it happen? Friends tried to quell my fears by telling me that you can buy scratch and sniff samples that include the smell of skunk, but I wanted the real deal. And they just continued to wonder why the hell I would actually want that.

Finally, I spotted one. A dead skunk! Just lying at the side of the road! Would this be it? Would this be the moment my wish came true?

Dead skunk at the side of the road

Are you The One?

I stopped the car. Excited, I ran over, braced myself, and then…nothing. Why didn’t it smell? Did they have a gland or something a car needed to squish for there to be smell? Were they like air-fresheners and just ran out of smell after an extended period of time? Disappointment levels were high.

A few weeks later, I got a text message from my husband. He’d seen a dead skunk on his way to work, it definitely smelled, and he gave me its location. And this time – wish granted!

I had Australians asking me what it smelled like. I can’t describe it. I’d imagined something like rotten eggs myself, but nope. I’d been told that it smelled like marijuana smoke, nope (I’ve never partaken but I’ve been around those who do, and I’ve nevre run away gagging or anything), roasted coffee (but…isn’t that a good smell?)….nothing fit. It just smells nasty.

Delightfully so! I regret nothing!

(Why yes, I am obsessed with dead things a bit. My friend Cassie is as well, but in an actually tasteful way, it would seem.).

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I am an Aussie currently enjoying my time as a non-resident legal alien in the US. You can find me on Facebook and I have also just started lurking around Twitter and Instagram. Come lurk with me!


  1. Nev

    At a distance, I don’t think it smells that bad. Hard to describe, but skunk weed (a type of pot) DOES smell a bit like it.

    Never smelled it close up (quite happily).

  2. This is hilarious! I am also a bit jealous you saw a skunk even if it was dead.. I have never seen one, not dead or alive. It’s kind of disappointing to me. I think they are so cute!

  3. Hilarious! My dog got sprayed by a skunk once. Man that was one stinky bath I had to give him!

    You should make your own app called Skunkymon Go! Then you could find all the dead animals you want.

  4. Ha! I’ve never thought of not understanding what skunk smell is. I think what makes it so horrifying is that if you get sprayed, it takes hard work and a small miracle to get rid of the smell. It is a shame – they are beautiful animals.

  5. haha! Funny that it took so long to run across a dead skunk…when we lived in Michigan it seemed like we’d drive by one every week or two! I think durian (the famously bad-smelling fruit of my current home, Malaysia) smells worse than a skunk, though….

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