Getting High on Skunky-Jane

I was at the ELEVATE Toronto conference yesterday and the people sitting beside me said I smelled like marijuana. I swear to you I had not smoked a joint before arriving at the conference. But here is what did happen.

The night before, Jessie was insisting on going out again even though I had taken her for a long walk around the block barely an hour earlier. Since Jessie is the boss of us, I looked at John and said, “Your turn.”

He took Jessie outside. Then, he left her on the front lawn while he went to the back yard to turn off the garden hose. He was gone barely 15 seconds but when he returned there was Jessie face-to-face with a skunk. She got sprayed right in the face.

So, what was going to be an uneventful evening in our empty nest turned into a frenzied attempt to bathe a very unhappy dog. I got into the shower with her, while John coaxed our 70+ pound golden doodle to stop trying to bolt. Naturally, I was drenched, the bathroom looked like a disaster zone, and John was in a really bad mood.

The next morning, I spent even more time than usual in the shower and splashed generous amounts of cologne on my wrists for extra measure. I thought I smelled really good but as I arrived at the conference I became conscious of a light odour of skunk.

Because it’s always better to be in control of your message, I decided to apologize for the skunk smell to the people beside me. They both said, “I thought it was marijuana.” Not in a judgemental way, more in a “You are way cooler than you look,” sort of way.

I never equated my skunk smell with marijuana (I am as uncool as I look) so I did some research just now, and guess what? “Super Skunk” is a strain of marijuana. Not only that, it has won numerous Cannabis Cup contests for its distinctive high. Who knew.

The other interesting thing is that terpenes, a group of compounds found in many types of plants, is what gives marijuana its distinct smell. This includes something called “Skunk Cabbage” – never heard of it. But I bet many teenagers might find this factoid useful: “I did NOT smoke pot, mom; I ate cabbage.”

Someone else at the conference told me that skunks make good pets if their scent glands are removed. I googled that too and learned that they are very intelligent and curious, and can be legally imported in Canada from a USDA-certified breeder. Personally, I can’t imagine owning one as a pet. But maybe I will be more open minded once our house stops reeking from their smell.

Photo credit: Stas Svechnikov (Unsplash)

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