Tuesday, July 04, 2006
This morning, we went hiking in McCormick's Creek State Park and it was lush and green and altogether different from what I expect to see in Indiana. It was more like being back east. We had a nice hike.
So, back to the skunk situation.
We last left our BloomingtonGirl discussing skunk removal with the "Deliverance" skunk removal guy. After he confirmed that he could stop by that day, I figured I should at least ask him what he would charge. Not that I could have judged whether it was fair since I had no experience with critter removal.
"How much do you charge for this sort of thing?"
"Usually it runs no more than $300, sometimes less."
"Okay. See you later today." What could I say? I thought it sounded kind of steep, but I had no idea what was involved to get rid of a skunk or several. Besides, he told me that he was the only licensed skunk remover in the county and I wasn't in a position to challenge that with any authority. And, let's remember that nobody else called me back except for him.
After I hung up the phone, I regretted sounding so VERY GLAD THAT HE CALLED ME BACK!!! I imagined that was the reason why he was quoting me such a high price. He probably recognized that I am, for all practical purposes, a city girl when it comes to such things.
He said that he would be by at around three.
I went for a bike ride at noon, knowing I would be back in plenty of time to meet him. Halfway through my ride, he called me on my cell to let me know he was on his way NOW. Nice. Now I could meet him drenched in sweat, sporting a helmet head and wearing my biking shorts. Always a good look on a middle aged gal. Not that I was trying to look good for Deliverance man, quite the contrary. I just didn't want to meet the guy at my home in spandex.
When I arrived home, his giant pick-up truck was parked in the driveway. He decended from the rig, all three hundred Hoosier pounds of him.
"You look like you're a glutton for punishment," he said eyeing my athletic garb and red sweaty face with disdain.
I paused before I spoke. I didn't want to say anything about keeping in shape for fear of offending him. He certainly wasn't at all concerned with his physical condition by the looks of him. I was relieved that my letter to the editor on obesity hadn't been published yet.
"Yeah" was all I could think of to say. Truth was, I was a little afraid of this guy. His whole redneck demeanor was a little scary and I was having trouble remembering whether I had gotten his name out of the phone book or whether he was the one that had been recommended by our neighbor.
He placed two traps out by the play house and said he would be back the next day. He said that he needed a down payment and would collect the additional when the skunks were all gone.
"I take 50% up front, so that will be $200."
"I thought you said $300 total at the most."
"Well, there are probably several in there. And, besides, skunks carry rabies and mange and it's a risk. I have to euthanize them and dispose of them, by law. That costs money."
(And I noticed that you have a big expensive house and you seem like a city-ot, so I can charge you whatever the hell I want, is what I'm sure he was thinking.)
Well, I am embarrassed to say that I went into the house (leaving him outside, of course) and got a check for $200. I guess I could have negotiated with him, but there I was, in my sweaty riding get-up, not knowing a damn thing about skunk removal and wanting very much for the problem to be taken care of. I wanted to be able to tell Chris it had been taken care of and I was reasonably sure he wouldn't ask how much it was, at least not right away.
As he took the check, he said this, I suppose, to show to me that he was a God fearin' man and therefore had charged me a fair price.
"Some folks think everything is like Disney but it ain't. These skunks carry rabies so you just can't release 'em in the wild. The law says I gotta put 'em down. Hey, it's better than gettin' run over by a car. I was run over once and by the grace of God Almighty, I am here today. Praise the Lord."
Yeah and Praise Idiots from the east coast who are easy marks, right?
So, I know that the question on every loyal reader's mind is:
Are the Skunks gone? I thought so, but now I am not so sure. My neighbor reported seeing the mother and a line of nine little babies marching single file out from under the playhouse while we were on vacation a couple of weeks ago. Deliverance man's wife had called yesterday to see if they could stop by and pick up the second check. I told her I would mail it but after I heard our neighbor's report, I held on. I am going to have to have Deliverance man come back and inspect. Eek.