Adventures In Wal Mart, And A Skunk Story

First, let me start out by assuring my regular readers that I did not accidentally wear a lei into Wal Mart this time around.  Nor did I inadvertently steal anything.  Nor did I purposefully steal anything.

Now, that having been said, let me begin with my skunk story.

I’m sure you’ve all had the experience where you are driving down a country road or a highway or some such thing when you find yourself approaching, reaching, driving through, and leaving behind and invisible cloud of putrifying stench that is unmistakably, undeniably, nothing other than dead skunk.  Sometimes you get the added bonus of seeing the small black and white critter, guts strewn about the road before you, that has thus offended your olfactory senses.

You switch to mouth breathing for a respectable amount of time until you are sure you are safely past the danger zone, and then inhale deeply through your nose, grateful for the seemingly now clean air (never stopping to think: it’s all relative, baby).  Then, fifteen miles later, because you need gas in your tank or caffeine in your body, or maybe you just need to pee, you pull over to a gas station or quick mart or something.  Heck, maybe Maryanne and Wanda’s road side stand caught your eye and you’re in the mood for a tomato.  At any rate, you make a quick stop that involves getting out of your car for a few minutes.

And when you get back in??  You realize that O! M! Gosh!  The interior of your car still smells like skunk.  If you are on your way to pick up a date you are horrified, otherwise you are just grossed out and miffed.  But, a couple of hours later, maybe the next morning, you get back in your car for another adventure, it no longer smells like a pole cat habitat, and the whole dead skunk in the road episode is forgotten.

End of story.

EXCEPT . . . last night Pepe Le Pew met his maker and some forceful portion of an automobile (though not in that order) on the road directly in front of my house.  You can’t just jack the house up and drive away from that, people!

My garage still smells like skunk.  My Suburban still smells like skunk.  The entire first floor of my house smells. like. skunk.  I could smell it on my clothes this morning.  I thought I was going to die or go into convulsions or puke or something.

Incidentally, the children rather liked the smell because it reminded them of the children’s museum back home.  Yes, a skunk lived in that museum.  Right next to some foxes.  Homesick much, are they?

Anyhoo, it is now after 10 p.m. and it still really smells like skunk outside (and a little bit inside).  At least some hungry kind hearted soul removed the skunk from the road sometime around 10ish this morning.  Sure, sure, there are lingering entrails and the stench! but imagine how much worse it would be if the carcass weren’t gone.

See?  That’s me, lookin’ on the bright side.

Now on to my latest adventures in Wal Mart.

*Warning:  This will offend you if you are a liberal, a school teacher, or otherwise a big, big, rah rah, cheerleader fan of public government schools*

See, since I got that email from the middle school principal about how it sounds like my oldest is ready for seventh grade this fall, I’m being all optimistic like (so. not. like. me.) and I got a copy of the school supply list for both girls, and we started back-to-school shopping.

How have you people done this for so many years?????  They say the retailers make pretty much all of their profits for the year at Christmastime, but I do. not. believe it!  They are making at least as much right now, as I type, on back-to-school nonessentials.  Folks, I have cupboards of school supply type items downstairs, but I have never, never! spent so much money getting ready for any one school year.

Now, I would just use some of the existing supplies in our basement cupboards but: A). We will need them for homeschooling the two little folks who are not going off to government schools this fall; and B).  These school supply lists are insanely “proprietary” (if I may steal a contemporary buzzword).

For instance, A~ needs: one top flip steno, four three-subject notebooks (one is for science only!  only!), one one-subject notebook, an (optional) TI30Xa calculator, blue or black ink only! pens, two (not one, not three, not four, but TWO) dry erase markers, and an old rag.

Really?  An old rag??  I thought, thanks to the Tampax and Always people, we were way past that, but what do I know?  This is my first year sending my kids to government schools.

Anyway, that’s only part of her list.  Then there is L~’s list.  She, of course, needs four (FOUR!) dry erase markers, but no old rag.  She also needs two, just two! highlighter pens, a 3 inch binder for math (good gravy, that’s a lot of math), and NO TRAPPER KEEPERS!  TRAPPER KEEPERS WILL BE SENT HOME!!!!

Yes, heaven forbid the children have some say in how they organize their papers.  I mean, it might actually help them do better if they get to organize their work in a way that makes sense to them!  Geesh.  Just bring on the no mechanical pencils, blue or black erasable pens (who knew they still made those????) and red grading pens.

Wait?  Red grading pens?  Is my child going to be grading someone else’s work?  Or are we buying all this crap so that it can be dumped into some communistic fifth grade “classroom supply”?  ‘Cause mamma ain’t playin’ that game.

You have kids who can’t afford their school supplies?  Then send me a list of the extra items you need and I will be happy to help buy some for them without my children knowing anything about it.  But my kids?  They get to keep their 20 pack of washable, scented Crayola markers.  Same goes for the crayons, pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, stenos, loose leaf paper, dividers (which, despite what your list says, don’t seem to come in 10 packs, thankyouverymuch), rulers, pencil cases, and everything else.

Except the tissues.  You can have the box of tissues for your classroom supply.

Oh yeah.  I can see me and this government school thing are going to do real well together.  Rrrrrrreeeeeeal well.

(Yes, technically it should be “really well.”  I know that.  Despite my government school edumacation).

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt isn’t sure about all of this.  Well, except for the part about his pond air stinking.  He is very sure of that.

8 thoughts on “Adventures In Wal Mart, And A Skunk Story

  1. I can not tell you how closely I am watching this unfold 🙂 My girls are still at the stage that they would rather walk naked through town during a parade (and no they are not the type to streak through the house) than to go to our local gov’t schools. I know one day it will hit and be an issue we will be visiting.


  2. Oh yikes on the skunk. There just ain’t enough Oust for that smell. Any rain in the forecast?

    School supplies? The bane of my existance. Every year I dutifully shop straight off the list and every year it turns out at least one of their teachers didn’t even make (or read, for that matter) the list and therefore half the things I bought are either not needed or tossed into the generic supply pile. Last year I put hubby in charge of the shopping and OY was that a mistake. Let’s just say he tried to get by with the bare minimum which meant *I* was out shopping for #2 pencils a week later. (Him: “We have lots at home” Me: “The kids need NEW pencils, not tiny nubs!!!!”)

    This year I gave in and paid for the PTA supplied “kits” where they buy everything for my kid. Yes it sucks all the fun out, but it also cost a lot less. I think. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Now if I could just remember *which* kids I ordered kits for … sigh…


  3. I was wondering when you were going to have the school supply shock. I hate shopping for school supplies. What gets me is the dry erase markers. You know they aren’t for the kids & why can’t the school provide their teachers with enough markers to last through the year? This year I have to find a 60 minute cassette tape. A Cassette Tape!! Where do you even find those anymore? And really, if you need cassette tapes for all the kindergartners, wouldn’t it be easier for all involved to order them en masse from 80’

    I didn’t resent the supply lists so much at our old school. Maybe it was because I was friends with a number of teachers & knew how hard it was for them to get $ from the district or maybe because it was a ‘poverty’ school (60% of the kids were on free or reduced lunches) & there were truly many families that couldn’t afford supplies, or maybe it was because Ethan always had nice teachers rather than the wench he ended up with after we moved…

    Yikes, I didn’t mean to take over your post with my own school supply rant. I feel a blog post coming on 😉


  4. metaphase

    I have to say, I’m a school supply junkie. I looove looking for folders, pens, markers, and all the other goodies that no child needs. I got a contact high just going in the isle to buy my kids lunch boxes last night.
    I don’t have school age kids, but I do read the supply lists they post at Wal- M@rt for schools. (see, told you I’m a junkie) Some of the stuff is totally not needed. And no mechanical pencils? I love those things. They’re so much cleaner too, IMO.
    What happened to the days where you just needed an old shirt and an oil cloth? (really, where’d that name come from?)


  5. I personally thing the supply lists are out of hand. But I teach high school and don’t require them to bring anything specific. Heck, if my kids bring a pencil in on the first day we are off to a good start.

    As for the skunk, I’m pretty sure you’re kids wouldn’t be liking the smell if it happened the night of their first day in a government school. High school for me. Scarred me for life. Nothing worse than starting high school smelling like a skunk. And? Because I lived in a Radiator Springs type town? We had an all school assembly on the first day (I don’t think big schools do this). This resulted in everyone talking about who smelled like skunk (okay 5 or so kids is “everyone” to a freshman).


  6. Hey, I’m pretty liberal and totally nodding in agreement with your post. What the H -e – double-hockey-thingies is the deal with the ban on trapper keepers? Ben got the same note – and he’s FIVE and starting kindergarten so sending him with a trapper keeper really wasn’t part of my plan. Do they double as weapons or something?

    What annoyed me was that I couldn’t even take Ben with me to pick stuff out because our note informed me to bring all of his school supplies to registration and to NOT put his name on anything. Apparently they just gather them and dispense them to the kids. Thus, I couldn’t have him getting any sort of emotional attachment to the supplies because then he’ll see some other kid with the spiderm@n folder he picked out or something!

    And a RAG? REALLY?! Sheesh…


  7. I SWEAR I thought for a minute I smelled skunk after reading the first part of this post 🙂

    And, yeah, I can’t stand that we buy all these supplies and they go in a giant bin to share with EVERYONE! I’ll help those who need help, but not into letting those who just want to cop out do so.


  8. Oh, does that skunk story have me laughing. How awful to have your whole house smelling like skunk!

    And yeah, you know (I think) that I’m about as liberal as you are NOT liberal, but the school supply story has me cracking up too. Pretty dang absurd how out of control they get, luckily I’m not in the midst of them yet but every year about this time I end up laughing at the comments I hear at Target or whatever. Boy, you’re gonna have some interesting posts this year…


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