Dec 16 2008

Spinster aunt has aromatic neighbors


When I’m not swatting adorable bluebirds out of my eyes or forcing deer to pose with garden implements, I’m partying with these bad boys. Mephitis mephitis striped skunk (short-striped version), Blanco County, TX, December 2008.

Will I ever blame the patriarchy again? Sure! In fact, at this very moment, brewing in the stinkpot down at Spinster HQ, is a post about the cold, clammy fist of antifeminism and how it’s socking it to my favorite rural pastime, which is horses.

Domestic horses, as you know, are the product of eons of patriarchy, and horse culture — by which I mean the human culture that focuses itself on horses — whether it’s racing, roping, jumping, dressage, driving, or any of the numerous other wacky equestrian subcultures, is possibly one of the most fucked up cultures there is. Which sorely chaps the Twisty hide, because dang it, horses are fucking cool.

But I will dissect the whole horse dealio at a later date; pressing spinster auntly business will force me to delay that gripping essay until I sober up. I am pleased to report that my ex-sidekick Stingray will saunter through the Rancho Deluxe gate tomorrow, fresh from her educational stint as a pump-over* artist in some Napa winery. It is likely that we will be flitting about the countryside, reveling and lounging in coffee shops, for a couple of weeks or so, and that blog posting may be even more erratic than usual.

In the interim, I leave you with this crappy skunk photo. Damn the cheap-ass camera in that iPhone. To hell.

* I don’t know what a pump-over is, but apparently (a) they are gruelling, and therefore butch, and (b) you can’t make wine without doing them about eight-five times a day. Supposedly Stingray now has biceps the size of crocodiles.


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  1. Mel

    We are fond of skunks. At a distance. Not so much when they spray the very inoffensive dog through the fence at 2AM, though.

  2. PhysioProf

    Comrade PhysioProf hopes you and Stingray have an awesome fucking time!

  3. lawbitch

    Enjoy flitting about . . . just watch out for those skunks!

  4. Orange

    I just thought of you last night when I read this Australian news article. It’s not super-blamy. It’s about Australian governmental bodies getting veto power over baby names to keep parents from giving crazy-ass names to their children. One of the rejected names?

    Twisty Poi.

  5. Pinko Punko

    Skunks are adorable. They keep you on your toes walking home from work in the early a.m. on garbage days. “That’s no cat!” is how the mind reels once you are almost right on top of them.

  6. VibratingLiz

    Welcome hooooooome, STINGRAY!!!! Looking forward to crocodile biceps photos.

  7. Spiders

    “I just thought of you last night when I read this Australian news article. It’s not super-blamy. It’s about Australian governmental bodies getting veto power over baby names to keep parents from giving crazy-ass names to their children. One of the rejected names?

    Twisty Poi.”

    So they blocked Twisty, but allowed Violence.

  8. rootlesscosmo

    Mephitis mephitis is great–as best I can tell, it means Stinky Stinky. Ain’t scientific nomenclature grand?

  9. slythwolf

    I love skunks. They have the ultimate nonviolent defense system and nobody fucks with them. Or at least nobody with half a brain.

  10. virago

    I think skunks are awesome little creatures. I grew up in the country, and if you left them alone, they left you alone. However, our airedale/german shepherd mix was sprayed numerous times, and he never understood to leave the black cat with the white stripe down it’s back alone LOL. He spent many nights in the garage, and he still never learned.

  11. slythwolf

    Yep, some dogs just never get it.

  12. tinfoile hattie

    Hooray! Stingray’s back! Have a great time gallivanting.

  13. speedbudget

    Okay. I’m going to try linking. This is some crazy shit.

    But I was linked to this article about names at Shakesville, and I thought you guys would get a kick out of how much these parents hate their kids.

    Crazy Family Wants to Name Kids Horrible Thingies

    I hope it works!

  14. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Ha! A fella I work with had a family of skunks take up housekeeping beneath the deck of his condo. He ended up spending the summer in a motel, until Mamma Skunk and her brood moved on of their own volition.

    I’m glad you’ve got your sidekick back, and I wish you many happy hours of happy companionship.

  15. B. Dagger Lee

    Once I spent an hour standing on a porch railing, holding onto the roof’s edge while Monsieur Le Pew leisurely ate all of my dog’s breakfast.

    Luckily, the dog liked to sleep in.

  16. Zofia Szeretlek

    Spiders: You’d have to live in Australia to understand that the name Violence is not only acceptable, but extremely apt.

  17. Orange

    I wonder if the Aussies would accept Mephitis Mephitis as a baby name.

  18. Spiders

    Zofia, I do live in Australia.

  19. Hedgepig

    We don’t have skunks in Australia, though due to the hot weather we do have many a public transport user for whom the name Mephitis Mephitis would be only too apt. Except in Tasmania where it’s cold. We all smell great down here. We just don’t have any teeth.

  20. Helen

    Notifiable Names

  21. Carolyn

    I’m going to be very interested in reading what you have to say about horse culture, as I’m in my first term of an equine management course at my local agricultural college. And weirdly enough 100% of the faculty and staff and 99 % of the students in the course are women.

  22. nolo

    I second Carolyn’s interest in your views on horse culture. I love horse-beings, but as a teen and a twentysomething had the distinctly unpleasant experience of dealing with horse people. Yeh, lots and lots are women. But the saddleseat and park show cultures (not to mention racetrack culture) that I had contact with were enough to make me puke. Not that there aren’t good folks who love horses, but jeez louise —

  23. Hattie

    You do better photos than just about anyone, cheap crappy camera or not.

  24. Tanya Derbowka

    I do so believe that all competitive sports have the same problems. They inflict conformity on the participants. You can’t be a figure skater without plastering on the mascara and wearing a short skirt. It’s really unfortunate that so many wonderful things, like horses and figure skating, can be ruined by patriarchy. I have gotten acquainted with horse people and I know that I want to avoid any of the competitive aspects of horse culture. It’s just not worth it.

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