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On Getting Skunked

October 18, 2006

A friend was telling me how his neighbor's dog had gotten "skunked", recently, while they were out for a bike ride. Usually, his friend is able to reign in the leash in time, but this time the little dog was too quick to lunge and startled the little beastie, and got skunked...royally.

I was thinking about how interesting relationships can go south on the rare occasion, and how one party usually gets 'skunked' in the process of the parting. Trouble is, sometimes you never know quite what spooked the stinky little seemed so pleasant and beautiful and easy going until that fateful moment. And sometimes you never see what hits you until you have a face full of stink, and then when you finally crack open an eye to look, the critter is *poof* gone!

Now, the hard part isn't getting over the incident, you can mostly easily forgive the shooter its "oops!"...the hard part is to get the stink off of you, and for this I have no good solution. In a way, if you're still in love with the stinker, you really don't smell the stink after a while, but others sure can!

I've looked to different songs to help give relief for this wretched condition, and the only one I can come up with is, "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, "South Pacific". But we all know how that shampooing never worked for Nelly Forbush, who overcame her fears and went right back to her exotic fella, that example really never washes in my book.

What songs have you found of help to get over a lost or missing love? I'm not into revenge songs, so leave those out please, although I'm quite certain they might be cathartic!

Posted by JoLynn Braswell at October 18, 2006 12:10 PM


Metaphors aside - Gary Paulsen in Winterdance (The Fine Madness of Alaskan Dog Sled Racing) used to classify practice runs by the number of skunks the dogs scared up. Anything worse than a 'two skunker' and his wife wouldn't let him sleep in the house.

The metaphorical stink is there from the start, you can't smell it, or rather you can, but you like it. Conversations begin: My partner and I... or, We were just saying... or, (put skunk's name here) always says...). After the skunk has squirted and left, these openers remain to tell others to back off. After a while you notice them and deal with them, but until you do, they persist.
Bruce Chatwin mentions in one of his books, that the scent of roses and that of dog turds comes from the same chemicals in different concentrations (honest, he does! I'm just passing it on!).

Tomato juice alone will not remove the scent of human skunk - you have to mix it with a liberal measure of Vodka and a dash of Worcester sauce, Tabasco if you're from Texas.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 18, 2006 7:02 PM

Anyway - skunk songs: Joni country again...

Coyote, A Case of you, Strange Boy, Gallery (particularly good one there), Don't Interrupt the Sorrow (darn right!).

We've got one called Drifting and one called Heather - Heather is definitely about a toxic relationship, but it isn't on the open mic (probably Johnny wasn't too keen on the feedback on FA)

Tear Stained Letter by Richard Thompson is pretty near the mark, When the Spell is Broken and I Misunderstood anre close as well.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 18, 2006 7:13 PM

When I was divorced in 1982 from my wife of only two years (I live you, but I can't live with you is NOT just a Hollywood myth), and it was ONLY Lionel Richie's "STILL" that ripped the emotions from me. Even though I was actually the last one to actually SAY that I wanted to leave, this song helped me get through it.
I did a lot of driving during that time and the damn song was on every FIFTEEN MINUTES and every time it played, I HAD to pull over!
Could I have just changed the station? - YES!!!, but it was the ONLY thing that gave/forced the release I needed.
I knew on some level that if I didn't finally get past it, I would have ended up with the typical "GUY" thing of No emotions, No closure, No peace - only continuous anger pouring out sideways, and forever!
I was VERY lucky to have that song to "use" (even though I was continuously LATE for every appointment for quite a while)!
As I am happily married now for 20 years, it all worked out the way it should have!
(Holly Crap - 20 years)!
During MANY points in my life, anything over 20 MINUTES was a "relationship"!!

Posted by: Paul Marks at October 19, 2006 8:32 AM

Never Again -

I wrote it for the "breakup" moment but kept a pinch of ambiguity in it.

Sorry for being self-promotional but I do have great faith in my lyrics and delivery. There, I said it.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at October 19, 2006 5:46 PM


Posted by: Robin Roderick at October 19, 2006 8:36 PM

Discussion ending so soon? Another wretched skunking?

Posted by: Richard Schletty at October 20, 2006 5:33 PM

JoLynn's away for the weekend dude - hang in there. I'll have a listen to your thing after Steeley Span have finished...

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 21, 2006 11:59 AM

Yeah, well I may have overstated the urgency with which I was going to peruse your song - sorry, I'm on a deadline and I got kind of absorbed in an extended proofread. Still you'll be pleased to know that I am still a genius and my editor will be satisfied, and that no-one will ever read the stuff I've finished today! Ever! Still it's money.

I'm shattered - but don't worry Richard Istill love you.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 21, 2006 6:44 PM

Well, Heather is up there now. Thanks for the hint, Huw. I was not at all worried by the feed-back from FA - it's what makes this site great.
Now I know this will attract boohs and sharp intakes of breath, but there is a Phil Collins song that always did it for me - it's on Genesis - "Duke", called Please Don't Ask Me and starts
"Please don't ask me how I feel, I feel fine
Oh I cry a bit, I don't sleep too good, but I'm fine
When can I see you?
When can I touch you?"

Posted by: Johnny Mindlin at October 21, 2006 6:59 PM

Mph! Fill Collins!

Not FA Feedback John, I meant that chainsaw guitar noise! I still love it, but I hear that 60's goatee beard in the audience shouting 'Judas'...

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 22, 2006 6:58 AM

Some of my favorite qoutes...
1) "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
Moses Hadas
2) "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
Abraham Lincoln
and my very favorite...
3) "He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
Billy Wilder

Posted by: Paul Marks at October 22, 2006 8:15 AM

Oh, I see - feedback, not feedback! Ah, OK, got it!

Posted by: Johnny Mindlin at October 22, 2006 11:40 AM

Hmm... Your point being Paul?

I had a school report once said; "Huw does moderately well with the absolute minimum of effort." John 'Simbo' Simpson

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 22, 2006 7:13 PM

Funny Richard how so many of the more emotional moments of my life have been punctuated by the introductory sound effect on 'Never Again'. I think Anthony and the Johnsons might buy this off you!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 22, 2006 7:16 PM

I had a boy once tell me that I basically wasn't "built" enough for him to date and he hoped that his dissatisfaction wouldn't scar me for all men. I used to turn up the Chris Isaak ("Wicked Game") and wail.

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at October 23, 2006 10:40 AM

Oh... I killed the thread.

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at October 23, 2006 5:06 PM

He was probably gay Ann. Generally the lack of a penis puts gay men off, being built without one saved you from having to form a relationship with so callous and shallow an individual.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 23, 2006 8:22 PM

What a skunk!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 23, 2006 8:23 PM

I'm finding that as the years go by and I see what has become the new (and much lower) "norm" for men and even boys to behave, I find myself in social situations needing to publically apologize for my gender.
Now - How screwed up is that????

Posted by: Paul Marks at October 24, 2006 7:39 AM

State of Grace - Kristina Olsen, just played. I think while JoLynn is asking for songs which saw you through the post-skunk period, I seem to have got diverted into songs about it. Sorry JoLynn, but they often coincide - nothing like a real dirge to cheer you up when you're down (or is it just me?).

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 25, 2006 8:11 AM

I think most men are just fine. Women can cause their own share of emotional upheaval. It would not have been a good match, and it only stung for a little while. As for post-breakup songs, I've always been partial to "Red Rubber Ball."

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at October 25, 2006 9:22 AM

Huw: Thanks for the love.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at October 25, 2006 2:31 PM

Red Rubber Ball is one of my absolute favs. I kid you not. Check out my new post "Happiness Calling". Also, I wrote lyrics for an instrumental song by David Gomez (from Spain) called "Solitude". The genesis of the song was David's terrible, heart-wrenching breakup with his girlfriend. He described to me how he got through it and I sang accordingly.


You touched my life. You fixed my will.
New roads we followed by your guiding hand.
We bathed in sunlight. We kissed the clouds.
Our harmony: the song of life.

A better person I vowed to be.
I found new strength in your gift of love.
But then you left me. Now I'm alone.
A bitter pill to swallow with a river of tears.

I walk in half-light before the dawn.
My solitude: a space to grow.
My heart's not broken. I'll sing no blues.
God's beside me. I've gained the world.

A brand new vista, a wider view.
With different eyes I see my path.

She taught me well, that song of life:
To be alone is not to die.

Solitude! Oh, Solitude!
I'll fill my emptiness with life.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at October 25, 2006 2:37 PM

I think that Patty Griffin song "Let Him Fly" that the Dixie Chicks recorded is comforting. Plus it has one of the finest couplets ever: "It would take an acrobat/and I've already tried all that."

Posted by: Joan Kennedy at October 25, 2006 7:37 PM

Oh the congress of the velociraptor/I moved in with my chiropractor

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 26, 2006 10:48 AM

A new friend unwittingly (I think) just sent an interesting poem which seems to fit right in here. This seems to be from the Boo-Hoo period:

"The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies,
With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of the whole life dies
When love is done.

- Francis William Bourdillon

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 26, 2006 12:39 PM

...and Mexico was wonderful! I ended up staying some extra days and was happily invited to an al fresco late night, fire side birthday party that last night with MUCH music and celebration..was even whole heartily serenaded with many love-lost songs ("Volver, Volver" (Return to Me), etc.), which I found interestingly ironic. It was all theatrics, but good for the soul!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 26, 2006 12:47 PM

..whole heartedly?? (I haven't yet slept since my return.)

"Let Him Fly" - Patty Griffin/The Dixie Chicks rates tops with me. It's bittersweet, with a touch of wisdom and knowing what's best for moi in spite of the love which still remains.. may always remain.

And Richard - No moss on these feet! Thanks for this!:

"A brand new vista, a wider view.
With different eyes I see my path.

She taught me well, that song of life:
To be alone is not to die.

Solitude! Oh, Solitude!
I'll fill my emptiness with life."

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 26, 2006 12:57 PM

And on a blue note, Tom Fairnie has a song on Open Mic makes that blue feeling last just a little longer, and sometimes that can be sweet. Is it so wrong to actually enjoy the melancholia?

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 27, 2006 1:37 AM

The one songs that helps me cheer up is "La-Di-Da-Di-Da": from "That's a Pretty Thing" Words and music - D Carter, Noel Gay.
Immortal lyrics like:
"If you've run out of Gin and the bailiffs are in and it's three hundred miles to the bar, try this:"
"Try to rejoice,
Don't be depressed,
Lift up your voice,
Throw out your chest"
"Strike up a pose,
Turn to the south,
In through the nose
Out through the mouth!"
Makes me smile every time.

Posted by: Johnny Mindlin at October 27, 2006 4:43 AM

Glad you liked my lyrics. My wife and I are going strong after 30 years of bliss and blisters. I just try to channel other people's miseries. Like this poem. Just a bunch of made-up stuff from a happy guy:

Miseries, the handmaidens of our broken dreams,
The siblings of our misfortunes,
Mistresses for our grief and anger,
Wherein we plunge our shards and daggers.

So blind as to see no hope,
So brazen as to win no favor,
So ugly as to lose all contests,
Silent as our Mighty God on high,

Miseries love the company of fallen angels,
The gatherings of other Miseries,
Begetting more pain and sorrow,
Driving nails through our knees.

Oh, if we could only vanquish their kind
and gain admittance to The Garden.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at October 27, 2006 5:10 PM

I don't really have a song, as much as an observation. I noticed this thread because of the "skunked" term. I actually raised 4 infant skunks from a day or so old to maturity. NO, I am not going to object to the term on some soapbox - they stink - and the metaphor works. But thinking fondly about those great, friendly, loyal but nearsighted little stink bombs brought to mind a question.

When I think about those little guys, I don't focus on the occasional accidental (only had two), but on their wonderful personality and the general delight of having them around.

Surely there must be something beyond the 'stink' left after even a pretty poor relationship. I wonder if in washing the experience away, we might be losing soimething more than just pain?

Posted by: Keith Mears at October 27, 2006 6:18 PM

Melancholy was my good- trusty friend for sometime when I was single again. I watched Hope Floats and Breakfast at Tiffanyís over and over and over. I also painted every room in the house-good therapy!

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at October 27, 2006 6:18 PM

Beats lying in bed, crying, masturbating and reaching for the gin (a combination better than lithium from what I gather). Always try to take off the crap-tinted spectacles when choosing colurs for the rooms mind!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 27, 2006 6:26 PM

OuchÖwell...yes, after almost ten years, the paint is getting old, and the colors have grown ridiculous. Aqua and pale yellow- doesnít suit me anymore. (What was I thinking!) I have fixed a couple rooms though.

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at October 27, 2006 9:49 PM

Sorry Shannon - you obviously avoided the more unhealthy aspects of loving a dead-thing. Aqua and pale yellow would look good in a London, Victorian house. Black, dark-brown and navy-blue should be avoided at all costs!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 27, 2006 10:00 PM

I was thoroughly impressed by the brilliant white walls in the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey. "Open the pod bay door, Hal." "Sorry, Dave. I can't do that." Now THAT is rejection of the highest order.

Posted by: Richard Schletty at October 27, 2006 11:10 PM

Keith - I agree with you totally. "Surely there must be something beyond the 'stink' left after even a pretty poor relationship. I wonder if in washing the experience away, we might be losing soimething more than just pain?"
Yes, I celebrate those wonderful and marvelous moments with lost loves, again and again in those quiet moments. After all, it is they who have had part in making me who I am today as a result of all that "we" had been together.
And I speak highly of each one's excellent talents and good qualities, tend to keep private their less than admirable tendencies and hope that they have grown past those things and have found it in their experiences to forgive mine as well and to cherish the positive. And for the most part, all (save one) have gone on to let me know of all of the kindnesses they remember, and remain friends who touch base once in a while.
I don't think it is really possible to have loved someone and move beyond caring deeply about them and what becomes of them (from an appropriate distance).
And as for that one who has nothing to do with me or mine since he ran away...well, he probably loved me the best he knew how. I had to release that one and count my blessings.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 28, 2006 2:06 AM

And congratulations to you and your lady, Richard,
And to Huw and Veronique, who are just behind you with 25 years! You're inspirations.
Those are very moving verses, Richard. We'll keep feeding you our pain if you will keep writing things of beauty like that!
I've come to think of poets as painters - it's the close observations which translate to canvas and paper.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 28, 2006 2:17 AM

When it takes you all night to do what you used to do all night...

Posted by: Huw Pryce at October 28, 2006 7:02 PM

Sometimes taking your time is a good thing, a very good thing..

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 28, 2006 8:30 PM

I sent Jolynn a bit of writing I did in honor of her current situationÖshe said it would be all right to post it.

God bless Jolynn, the Concord grape and TexasÖ

Texas Star
© Shannon McDaniel
October 28, 2006

Got a great big bottle of wine, sitting here just for you,
We have paper and canvas, itís what gets us through.
Jolynn, itís not a sin to cry-yourself- to-sleep at night,
Tear apart the wrongs, that keep you feeling right.

Little girl loves Texas, little girl loves space,
Literal independence, just like the whole damn state.
You shine up right, and thatís what we love you for,
Itís what keeps the cowboy-clowns, running- right outside your door.

Jolynn, the whistle sounds, just beyond the borderlines,
Larger than Texas, thatís what they think theyíll find.
The love you knew still waits beyond this barnyard door,
Itís a common watch we know, itís what we love you for.

Truth is never hidden, in the face of coincidence,
Getting our attention, and the reality it brings.
Jolynn, pull your boots up, shine-shine like a Texas Star,
Itís a common hope we have, itís what we love you for.

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at October 29, 2006 12:50 AM

Thank you, Shannon - I am greatly moved by this..

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at October 29, 2006 1:28 AM

Now tell em what you did for Halloween JoLynn! The answer, as Kenneth Williams once said, really does lie in the Kitty Litter...

Posted by: Huw Pryce at November 1, 2006 3:25 PM

(grin) Let's just involved a very, disgustingly realistic kitty litter box with Grape Nuts cereal "litter", globby chocolates, mini Snickers bars in dark brown wrappers and a pooper scooper and a black cat mask. And I have pictures.
Let's see if anyone comes looking for "treats" next year! Mmmm....yard chocolates...want any?

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 1, 2006 10:40 PM

A new collab...with Kent Andersson from Sweden...inspired by Kent's nightmare about love. Chill out on this one.

"Who will repair the holes in our souls?"

Posted by: Richard Schletty at November 2, 2006 11:12 PM

Now that's one spooky love afair! Nice song collaboration, Richard.

"Dream in the Cup" - David Wilcox from Big Horizon gives me a lot of solace. We are all broken cups, some more so than others. It helps to have an understanding of this common human condition. We can come together without such grande expectations that another can fill that broken cup.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 3, 2006 10:06 AM

"Take Me Back to Tulsa (I'm Too Young to Marry)," by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Those lyrics helped me put more than one incendiary relationship into a little better perspective.

Posted by: Alan Bliss at November 4, 2006 12:43 AM

This is SO what we'd all love to hear from our lovely "stinkers":

"Apology" - George Papavgeris

What a brave man who speaks these words!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 5, 2006 12:46 PM

I, too, am currently living with newly-lost love, and got a moment of clarity from Jackson Browne's "Fountain of Sorrow". So often we fall in love with someone we only imagine to be the one, and breaking the illusion is the thing that hurts.

I am still very close friends with my love, but now we see each other for what we really are, and are able to move past the illusions. Mostly.

Posted by: Meg Carignan at November 6, 2006 8:29 AM

Meg - I'm still trying to sort out the presented 'persona' from the real man in this most recent relationship. Some questions have gone unanswered, which is what makes this such a difficult situation. I may never know who this person is..really. But he did introduce me to Folk Alley, so it's not a total loss!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 6, 2006 4:15 PM

I heard a comedian remark that "for the first three months, my representative is dating your representative." Maybe even more painful than realizing you'd been laying some very strong feelings on a very flimsy illusion, is when you see your special love beginning to realize the same thing about how he used to see you. It's so cool to feel fascinating and brilliant and adorable. Why can't that part go on just a little longer? Cheryl Wheeler's "Arrow" captures that fleeting intoxication about as well as anything I've ever heard.

Posted by: Joan Kennedy at November 6, 2006 8:32 PM

Yet, I've observed my parents create and recreate that special bond over and over and over again, culminating in over 50 years of joys, trials and a deep love, admiration and respect for one another.
It's a living thing, a loving relationship. Nothing is taken for granted.

On the other hand, I've been thinking about how falling in love and prescribing to that illusion is a bit like gazing into a mirror. At first you think what you are hearing from that other person is coming from them, but in reality it may just be one's own longings being expressed and reflected in that mirror. We hear what we want to hear, and interpret it as such.


I heard you speak words of amour to me
Bathed in the sweetness of love's command
But in the end it was I
Who was singing such lavish verse
Dripping with the hope of lover's 'troth
Instead of you, I saw myself

(c)2006 JoLynn Braswell

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 7, 2006 12:46 AM

After my wife left, I discovered a lot of new music, but the three songs that seemed to speak the most to me during that time were "Noah's Ark" by Jeff Black, and from Mary Chapin Carpenter there was "Shelter of Storms" and "I Am a Town". Taken together, they seemed to sum up what I felt inside and what I saw in my wife along with the confusion and hurt that raged inside. Now, a couple years later, the sharp pain is a dull ache. I hope she is happy now with her new husband, and hope that someday I will have someone to call 'lover' again.

Posted by: Mitch Voigt at November 7, 2006 1:37 AM

Yeah, it's amazing how our musical library can swell with the onset of heartbreak. And the nicest thing is that we actually start to pay attention to the lyrics and consider them.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 7, 2006 5:54 PM

I have been happily married for the past 20 years, but a prior error in judgement left me with one of the best songs I ever wrote called Lonely Town. I played it incessantly and it became one of the favorites from all the song lists in various bands I have been in since then.

Posted by: Jack Swain at November 8, 2006 11:30 AM

Jack, do you have a link to that song? Will you post any here do you think? I miss hearing you. And congratulations on your 20!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 8, 2006 1:37 PM

Dripping with the hope of lover's 'troth
Instead of you, I saw myself

Beautiful poetry Jolynn!!

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at November 8, 2006 2:15 PM

Thanks,'s usually a painful experience to put some of these things to paper, but i figure - someone else might benefit from it, so...

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 8, 2006 3:09 PM

(especially painful since my stinker is no doubt reading all this!)

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 8, 2006 3:10 PM

"I'm Not Getting Any Better at Goodbyes"
- Buddy Miller (from Cruel Moon)

A particularly gentle, delicate blues song. It feels good to cry o this one. The words are beautiful and mournfully delivered by one of my favorite singer/songwriters, along with steel guitar accompaniment which really tugs on your heartstrings.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 9, 2006 3:49 AM

Heh-heh - walked out on my porch this evening to the butt end of a pretty little skunk! She seems to have befriended my cats. The kind of step back and stand real still and let her have whatever she wants. The greyhounds are in hot pursuit, courting disaster. OH boy!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 14, 2006 1:42 AM

Be careful with skunks around your pets. They are one of the most common carriers for rabies down there in Tejas.

Posted by: Jack Swain at November 14, 2006 10:01 AM

Thanks, Jack. Will do -

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 14, 2006 5:34 PM

"Be careful with skunks around your pets. They are one of the most common carriers for rabies down there in Tejas"

When we decided to take in a batch of them for the raising, we checked with the US Dept. of public health. Turns out that while skunks are considered a potential rabies vector - there were only an average 2 (two) cases of human contracted rabies the year before we called, and they were both in Texas, and traced to dogs. Apparently, statistics show a much higher rabies prevalance in squirrels, chipmunks and rodents than in skunks. But, unfortunately, this old assumption is still treated as gospel, primarily due to the many skunks suffering from distemper mistaken for "rabid" skunks. It probably doesn't help that skunks have few advocates among people.

Anyway, while care is always needed, a normal looking skunk is statistically less likely to be rabid than any rodents ore other critters that cats are chasing during the day.

Posted by: Keith Mears at November 15, 2006 5:49 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Keith.
We also have problems with rabies in the coyote and fox population down here on occasion. When things get really bad, there may be air drops of innoculation bait. Living near the river as I do, there are lots of wild animals around here, even though I'm near the center of the city. Skunks, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, the occasional ring tailed cat, the list goes on. My Aunt & Uncle had seen a young fox which would come by during the morning mists to play with their cats on a daily basis for a season. As it matured, it stopped coming by.

This little skunk on my porch certainly appeared to be healthy and in her prime. I'm always surprized as to just how shiney and pretty they really are, seeing as I just don't try to get all that close that often!
Always best to have your pets protected annually, just in case, and so they won't become part of the threat themselves.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 15, 2006 7:16 PM

Keith, when my wife and I first moved to Austin and she was pregnant with our first daughter, she got bit by a squirrel in Zilker Park. We freaked out a little bit and her obstetrician was frantic. we called the Disease Control Center in Atlanta and her doctor actually got hold of the head of the department and told him the situation. We were informed that there had not been a reported case of rabies in any rodents in over 20 years at that time and that the most common carriers were skunks followed by racoons. This was in 1986, so it is possible that the statistics have changed dramatically in the past 20 years, but that was direct from the "horse's mouth" at the time, not from any assumption on my part.

Posted by: Jack Swain at November 15, 2006 9:15 PM

I forgot to mention the armadillos which occasionally amble there's a leprosy threat with them to be concerned about. As a young child, I had kept one for a time in my back yard, but those days are long over.
Skunks and squirrels and raccoons, and bats, etc....all wild animals and to be respected as such.
All we can do is to protect our pets, and try not to leave tastey tid-bits out where their paths will cross.
There was a rash of cases of distemper amongst the raccoons a few years back, and none of the cats were allowed out of doors, for fear that they'd be contaminated via the water bowl.
Part of the reason that it's not wise (and illegal in some cases) to pick up dead foxes, or to take them to a taxedermy, is the threat posed by rabies. Just a scrape across an arm by one of their slobbery and infected fangs, and you must endure a series of painful shots in the belly button. Definitly not worth the risk!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 16, 2006 7:20 AM

Jack, forgive me if it seemed I assumed I doubted your information. I simply heard somnething froma different "horse", one that differed on his numbers. I'm not really surprised to get two different takes from two different "authorities". And if the statistics for rabid animals are as sparse as it seems, a very small variance can result in very different statistical results.

Either way, it seems that a normal appearing animal proving rabid, while possible, is not very likely. This conclusion not only reassured us and allowed us to have great time raising 4 of the best animal friends I have ever had (and I have had more than almost anyone - let me tell you - and skunks reside at the top of the loveable list). The low chance of a rabid beast also made me feel better when I was bitten by a small critter I had saved from the cat, later in the same year (ungrateful wretch).

Karma does appear to hold true in the animal kingdom, however. As I shook the little biting beast from its attachment to my palm, it dropped before me, and was almost immediately grabbed by a dropping owl, an owl I had taken in and saved from a highway injury some months before. I had released the owl upon a successful recuperation, and it had taken up residence in the oak in front of my abode. Was it paying back a favor? Did it think I was simply feeding it again as I had to when it was huddled in a cage inside the house? Who knows? But in this case, that little sharp-toothed rodent bit the hand that fed it (inadvertently, to an owl).


Posted by: Keith Mears at November 16, 2006 8:49 PM

On the topic of break up songs, there is a song they play on this staion that I can not get out of my head, and I can not locate it in the site search. It is sung by a man, and it is a sullen, tounge and cheek song about the "joys" of being single, and has multiple lines in it stating "I'm so happy happy happy happy happy" and "I get to do my own thing" & " I get to have my own way" Does this ring a bell with anyone? If so, please state the title and artist. Thanks.

Posted by: David Zimmerman at November 18, 2006 9:13 PM

I believe you are talking about Greg Brown- Just By Myself.

Posted by: Shannon McDaniel at November 18, 2006 11:18 PM

"Just By Myself"
- by Greg Brown (from Dream Cafe')

I'll walk around, some ancient city,
Write in my notebook, and drink my tea.
Don't have to make love, 'cause love made me,
and I'll be happy just by myself.

I'll make my supper, 'bout ten oclock,
and watch the moon rise, above my block,
and go to bed, in just my socks,
and I'll be happy, just by myself.

And I'll go fishin'--, get with the flow.
I know a river, in Idaho.
I'll catch a big trout, and let him go,
and I'll be happy, just by myself.

Love never made a--, a fool of me.
I always was one, as you could see.
I can't be good, so I'll be free.
Ummm, and I'll be happy, just by myself.

I'll fold the laundry, just like I please.
And put the sheets on, just like I please.
And in my dreams, find sweet release.
Ummm, and I'll be happy, just by myself.
Happy, oh-oh-oh.
Happy, hey-ay-ay-ay-ay.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 19, 2006 5:10 AM

Thank you ladys so very much....that is the one! I kept doing searches on "happy by myself" and close. I kept singin parts of this song as I was breaking up with my long time girlfriend and really saw the sarcasm in this song. After reading the lyrics, it is even moreso apparent. If any programers are reading this, there is a man in Wisconsin that sure could here this one again.

Thanks again.

Posted by: David Zimmerman at November 19, 2006 3:07 PM

David - Why not submit a request for this song on Folk Alley's "Submit a Request: Request a Song/Request a Theme" box on the front page?
Or, eventually the program which contains that particular song with eventually come around again on rotation.
BTW, have you heard, "Are You Happy Now", by Richard Shindell? ...Lordy-lordy!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 20, 2006 1:27 AM

I actually did make a request before I knew the name by describing the song like I did above. Maybe I will do another request now that I know the name...thanks to you. Do they ever publish their roatation schedule in advance? That would be handy to see. No I don't recall hearing the song you mention by name, but if I heard it I may recall. I'll go take a search online and see if I can find it. I am getting real bad with names and such.

Posted by: David Zimmerman at November 21, 2006 10:17 AM

Wow, a little creapy. I still can't put a tune in my head to go allong with the words. My guess is if they don't play it here then I havn't heard it.

Are You Happy Now?
from the album Sparrows Point

You took the toaster when you went
You never paid your half the rent
You took the spices from the rack
But you donít have to put them back
Cause in your haste on Halloween
You left your camera on the bed
Where we played roles in black and white
You left a role of black and white
I set the timer and thought of you
And put the lense up to my head
I took a photograph for you
What comes out gray is really red

Are you happy now?

I smashed your pumpkin on the floor
The candle flickered at my feet
As goblins flew across the room
The children peered into the room
A cowboy shivered on the porch
As Cinderella checked her watch
A hobo waited in the street
An angel whispered, trick-or-treat
But what was I supposed to do
But to sit there in the dark?
I was amazed to think that you
Could take the candy with you too

Are you happy now?

Iíve sat all night and now itís dawn
And I cannot believe my eyes
Thereís garbage strewn across the lawn
Where we once stared up at the sky
And streams of paper fill the tree
That hovered over you and me
Shaving cream covers the car
That we picked up in Baltimore
Though I know itís hard to tell
I hope that whatís-his-name treats you well
I still maintain that heís a bum
But itís your money Ė have some fun

And are you happy now?

You always asked why I had not
Written you a verse or two
Since thatís the one thing I regret
I dedicate this one to you

Are you happy now?
Are you?

Posted by: David Zimmerman at November 21, 2006 10:25 AM

David, try looking here under "MUSIC", then "Live From Folk Alley" where you can listen to a Richard Shindell concert and also an interview. There are songs from "Sparrow's Point" there. It's really an excellent concert and excellent interview by Chris Boros and I'm thinking that's where I might have heard it.
In any case, that song is sung in the manner of someone who has truly been hurt and is venting about a very painful event. That last verse is the real kicker. Shindell always seems to twist that knife just a little bit deeper toward the end of his songs, which often gives me a shiver or two!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 22, 2006 9:21 AM

I just listened to that this morning, and it actually comes off much better to the ears than it does to the eyes! I thank you for reminding me of that hidden area of this site. I've been listening to various concerts all morning and really enjoyed it.

Posted by: David Zimmerman at November 22, 2006 3:00 PM

David, that live concert verion of the song is quite mild compared to another version I'd heard from Shindell. The first version I heard was truly biting and sung almost through gritted teeth - very effective!

One of my favorite "been done wrong" songs is Planxty's version of "The Blacksmith". They truly do the words justice with both vocal and instrumental delivery. It's that wild and focused 'through gritted teeth' thing again which does it for me I think...

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 23, 2006 9:16 AM

Was it Joni who wrote: "Help me, I think I'm love again"? That's one fine song!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at November 28, 2006 4:59 AM

I guess it depends what stage I'm in. . . different songs move me along from the despair stage, to anger (rage?), to finally laughing. Sometimes a Patsy Cline album can do it all. Still, when someone feels that you just aren't good enough for them, try on Richard Thompson's "Crawl Back (Under My Stone)." Whew.

Posted by: Gail Piche at December 4, 2006 3:26 PM

There's always "I Was In Love With A Difficult Man," which fortunately is not on the same Christine Lavin album as "The Kind Of Love You Never Recover From."

Posted by: Joan Kennedy at December 8, 2006 9:46 PM

Now I just get nervous when too many guys start chatting me up at once...guess I've been reconditioned, or something.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 21, 2006 9:49 PM

Kim Richey recorded an excellent album in 1997 about breaking up.  Richey seemed to pour great feeling into the songs.  The guitar is often not acoustic, but I think of her music as "folk" more than anything else.  Her label offers extended samples of each song:

Bitter Sweet

In particular ...

1.  Every River

        When the day comes that I don't love you
        Every star will fall out of the sky
        Every mountain will tumble down
        Every river run dry

5.  I Know

        Well, I shouldn't be spinnin' my wheels
        Just to see how bad it feels
        Just to see how far I won't go
        I should be breakin' these chains
        Not dragging 'em 'round just to feel the pain
        Never should have taken this road

        I should fix the lock, feed the cat
        Take the clothes to the laundromat
        Pay some bills and get a clue
        Get up, forget about you

        I know ...
        I know ...
        Yeah, I know ...
        But I can't let go

Posted by: Mark Knapp at December 23, 2006 6:43 PM

..and the 'stink' continues....I reek. New prospects seem quite interesting, though, so I think I'll be okay.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at January 2, 2007 6:32 PM

now, why did he have to come back and go and wish me a happy Valentine's Day....? Huw, I need some of that tomato juice concoction you were talking about! Just nail my heart down so it won't jump around so.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at February 16, 2007 11:21 PM

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