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Baby skunky, baby skunky, cup on your head, baby skunky.
January 15, 2014 9:25 AM   Subscribe

In case it ever happens to you, this is how your help a confused skunk who is stumbling around the middle of the road with a cup caught on its head.
posted by SpacemanStix (48 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awwww. Poor thing.
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on January 15


I'm glad things ended well for the skunk. Those little buggers are regular visitors to our yard and I like 'em!
posted by Kitteh at 9:34 AM on January 15


I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air--
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail.
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.
Robert Lowell, "Skunk Hour"
posted by smrtsch at 9:36 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Everything went better than expected!

I really wish YouTube would leave vertical videos in their original format. I'm watching it on a phone but it forces me to watch it in landscape even though the content is portrait!!
posted by danny the boy at 9:38 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I really wish YouTube would leave vertical videos in their original format.

One day youtube will notice that lots of people are watching videos that were recorded on phones on phones, which can rotate, hence the "tallscreen" format of said videos. How they've managed to not notice this so far, I have no idea.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:47 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


If the giggling fool with the camera had put the damned thing down and stepped out to help, that could have been managed a whole lot quicker.
posted by Decani at 9:49 AM on January 15 [14 favorites]


I opened this video along with the Autobahn video from a different post, and thought the giggling idiot fool was part of the Autobahn video until I realized it was the audio from the skunk video. I clicked over to the skunk video, saw it was in vertical format and instantly closed it. I'm guessing the skunk was saved and the idiot didn't stop laughing. Whoo hoo. Oh and spoiler for the autobahn video: they arrive.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:53 AM on January 15


The blanket was a decent idea. I would've just walked up...yoink!...run away from the tail and moved along. That's what I would've done.
posted by Chuffy at 10:00 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


I applaud this guy for seeing it through, but allow me a moment of Monday morning skunk-de-cupping: he'd have been a lot better off just creeping up to the confused blinded skunk, snatching off the cup and running like the dickens. I've seen a lot of interactions with skunks, more than a few ending up in a poor dog getting blasted, and there's a few moments before they spray. EVEN with a dog barking right in their face.

But still: good on ya, dudeguy.
posted by dirtdirt at 10:01 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


On Android you can use an app called Smart Rotator to force Youtube to only rotate when you tell it to.

On iOS there is a new app that "converts" portrait videos to landscape when you shoot them. Or something like that. I think it's called Horizon.
posted by dobbs at 10:18 AM on January 15


As far as wild animals go, skunks are probably some of the most chill. Just walking up, taking the cup off of it's head, and walking away would have probably ended without incident. I've had one walk across my feet, on a quest to eat snails, here in San Diego. My grandmother accidentally domesticated one, which is a story for another time.

Quick Skunk Reference Guide:

Skunk Ignores you-> Green "No threat of spray"
Skunk Looks at you-> Blue "General risk of spray"
Skunk Looks at you, Raises Tail-> Yellow "Significant risk of spray"
Skunk Looks at you, Raises Tail, Starts stomping feet and chattering->Orange "High risk of spray"
Skunk Aims -> Tomato Juice "Cause that's what your bathing in"
posted by The Power Nap at 10:20 AM on January 15 [12 favorites]


Skunks generally aren't really skittish, since most predators know better than hassle a skunk, so even when faced with a coyote, the skunk won't give a fuck. If anything makes them uncomfortable, skunks will let you know how they feel long before they ever spray.

(Dogs are stupid.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:20 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Good job, skunk de-cupping guy. Not so much for you, giggling and filming guy.

Bold technique. I can definitely say I would not have done the blanket thing for fear of pissing it off, just would have grabbed the cup off its head and hightailed it.

I'm glad the skunk made it!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:31 AM on January 15 [3 favorites]


"I don't want to leave him!"
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:44 AM on January 15 [9 favorites]


Skunk Ignores you-> Green "No threat of spray"
Skunk Looks at you-> Blue "General risk of spray"
Skunk Looks at you, Raises Tail-> Yellow "Significant risk of spray"
Skunk Looks at you, Raises Tail, Starts stomping feet and chattering->Orange "High risk of spray"
Skunk Aims -> Tomato Juice "Cause that's what your bathing in"


And if you are a spotted skunk:
Skunk Does a Crazy Awesome Handstand -> Technicolor "Now is not a good time to be standing still in amazement of handstand"
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:44 AM on January 15


My grandmother accidentally domesticated one, which is a story for another time.

Awwwwwww. How often do we get time for skunk stories around here?
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:12 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


I just like the way the skunk sort of lumbers along. That was my favorite part and why I kept watching.

Lumber about, little skunk!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 11:13 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Curse your creative titling Spaceman Six! I now have my first invasive earworm of 2014.
posted by ursus_comiter at 11:21 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


How they've managed to not notice this so far, I have no idea.

You'd be surprised how long it takes for new and unexpected developments to get onto a technology team's roadmap...especially considering all of YouTube has always been expressly optimized for landscape landscape playback. To support portrait playback, they'll have to detect it, have optimized compression for it, and adjust all their players (and there are many!) to work with it, both in full-screen playback mode and in the pages that have other content. I wouldn't be surprised if they're at some percentage of completeness on all the work required, and they likely would have started from the player perspective (testing using their own internal videos) so they'll have more time to optimize that aspect (no pun intended) of the experience.
posted by davejay at 11:23 AM on January 15


Love how people deliberately drive over a living animal.
posted by univac at 11:24 AM on January 15


Skunk Aims -> Tomato Juice "Cause that's what your bathing in"

We had to go through this in June when our precious booboo idiot dogs bothered a skunk that was walking through the yard and one got sprayed full in the face.

Anyhoo, it turns out that tomato juice doesn't work and whatcha want to do is wash once normally, and then again with a solution of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Keep it out of Rover's eyes, of course.

The basic idea is that skunk juice has some stuff in it that stinks now, and has other stuff in it that decomposes to Stinkulator-5000. So you want to make it decompose RIGHT THE FUCK NOW instead of over oh-god-I-can-still-smell-it long by flooding it with huge amounts of oxygen. It worked pretty well; you could stand to be next to poor Tish more or less right away and she was tolerable to have on your lap for a while the next day. You could still pick up a faint skunkiness to her a couple of months later, though, when she put her face up in your grill and did her WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUY A COPY OF THE WATCHTOWER? routine that she does.

In other news, when a skunk sprays in your small back yard, it is like a bomb going off. The stink is just palpable.

In other other news, skunks aren't the only critters dumb enough to get a cup stuck on their head. In all her precious booboo idiot dog glory, I give you Nina: cuphead.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:34 AM on January 15 [7 favorites]


Glad the skunk made it. But I really want to edit the shit out of that video.
posted by disclaimer at 11:47 AM on January 15 [2 favorites]




The Power Nap: My grandmother accidentally domesticated one, which is a story for another time right now this very second

FTFY
posted by tzikeh at 11:57 AM on January 15 [10 favorites]


I like skunks - We had two as pets when I was a kid. We found them circling their mother after she had been hit by a car, and took them to the vet and had them "descented." We raised them in the house, and they loved to play with the cat. Also, skunks love to snuggle.
posted by bradth27 at 12:14 PM on January 15 [9 favorites]


A hero to the skunk community is a hero of mine. Nice work.
posted by uraniumwilly at 12:28 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Okay Okay,

For some background, most of my family hails from the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. We lived out in the middle of no-where, with the closest metropolitan area being Bass Lake.

My grandmother has a history of domesticating feral cats, taming them with a patience that lasts years. Because the coyotes are so hard on the cat population, she was always working with one/two cats to replace ones that had disappeared. One year she had a cat that would only allow people to approach it when it was under the house. She would leave it food, and every few days, try and get closer to the cat. Like every other cat, one day my grandmother was finally able to pet it, even though it would only allow it when it was under the house.

One rainy night my grandmother put out the food, and when she heard the cat approach, she reached under and began to pet it. The cat felt weird to her, coarse, not like the soft fur of a tabby. She looked under the house to see a full grown skunk happily receiving pets and munching down some cat food. Apparently the tabby had been sharing with the skunk the whole time. Grams, worried the skunk would get agitated, stopped petting it and backed away slowly. The way she tells the story, it sounds as if the skunk was disappointed the petting stopped, but continued to enjoy the food.

The skunk liked the arrangement so much she raised her kits under the house.

If a squirrel thread shows up, I'll tell the story her pet squirrel, Doc.
posted by The Power Nap at 12:41 PM on January 15 [16 favorites]


Reminds me of one of my favorite AskMes.
posted by orrnyereg at 12:42 PM on January 15


Confirming my exiting view that people who upload self-made videos to YouTube really need to learn how to edit. That video could have been about 20% of its length with no meaningful loss of content.
posted by Dasein at 12:52 PM on January 15


I'm not going to be down on them for being reluctant to intervene; I'd be pretty nervous about approaching an agitated skunk myself. Especially if I was going somewhere and thus wasn't going to have the freedom to spend a weekend bathing in hydrogen peroxide. Good on the guy for intervening anyway.
posted by tavella at 1:27 PM on January 15


Ok, I really can't have been the only one to have expected the de-cupped skunk to high-tail it right across the street, only to get run over by like a garbage truck or something, am I?

Am I??
posted by nevercalm at 1:43 PM on January 15 [2 favorites]


Confirming my exiting view that people who upload self-made videos to YouTube really need to learn how to edit.

Sadly they did edit, but in the wrong direction: the footage of the car almost running over the skunk was repeated a few times with IRONIC SLOW-MO ZOOM-IN ACTION each time.

I skipped ahead after that and eventually saw the blanket work. The cheer at the end was worth it.
posted by Spatch at 1:52 PM on January 15


Those Yoplait cups, because they narrow at the top and have a turned-in rim, are famous for this. Skunks smell the yummy fruit flavored yogurt residue and stick their heads in and then can't get it off.

You see this questioned as an urban legend on places like the Snopes forum, but I know for a fact -- for some reasonable credible testimony definition of 'fact' -- that it does happen. More than a decade ago, long before this was a thing on the internets, my housemate came in one night telling me all excitedly that he'd encountered this situation just outside. The skunk was clunking along the street, following the curb. Housemate didn't want to get sprayed by a startled skunk, so he waited until it passed under a parked car and the cup protruded out under the bumper at the end, and then he just grabbed the cup, pulled and hauled ass in one quick motion. This was not a guy given to bullshitting.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:07 PM on January 15


Aw. The backyard at my old apartment was visited by skunks a lot. They didn't seem to care much if I was outside with them... except for the time when, while outside smoking a cigarette, a pudgy little skunk wandered right up to the back stoop, where I was standing. I figured that was a little too close, so I decided to very slowly and quietly back away, and go inside. The plan would have been great except for the stupid little hibatchi grill my roommate had left on the stoop, which I hadn't noticed. I kicked it, it fell over with a resounding crash, and the skunk whipped around with its tail raised. I flew inside so fast I'm amazed I didn't leave a cartoon-like me-shaped hole in the door. Luckily, the skunk didn't spray...
posted by sarcasticah at 2:22 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Love how people deliberately drive over a living animal.

When you suddenly become aware that a small animal is right in front of your moving car and you won't be able to stop before reaching it, trying to straddle it gives it the best chance of avoiding harm.

The people I have no time for are the fuckwits I've deliberately swerve their immaculate four-wheel-drive to put a front tyre over a tortoise or an echidna. O ha ha I squashed a thing! Bastards.
posted by flabdablet at 2:23 PM on January 15 [3 favorites]


Ok, I really can't have been the only one to have expected the de-cupped skunk to high-tail it right across the street, only to get run over by like a garbage truck or something, am I?

I once very carefully, as I always do, caught a moth in my flat and opened a window to let it go, whereupon it flew straight into a spider web in the eaves and in an instant was set upon, bitten and trussed up by the spider. D'oh!
posted by Flashman at 2:36 PM on January 15


I came across this exact thing circa 2004 in Michigan. It was one of those slightly inverted yoghurt cups, too. I wonder how often this happens. I was worried about getting sprayed but the poor guy was so happy to have the stupid cup off his head he bounded off in joy.
posted by zug at 3:18 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


The way that guy stuck with it and refused to abandon the lil' guy makes me happy, and I cheered at the end. I would definitely buy this guy a beer (and I'd make sure it wasn't a skunky one.)
posted by kinnakeet at 4:56 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


Back sometime in the 1980's, when I was in Boy Scout summer camp, I was sitting at a picnic table reading something in the evening when a baby skunk waddled out of the woods, climbed up on top of my sneakers, curled up and went to sleep. Yeah, so, I just let him sleep there.
posted by smoothvirus at 4:59 PM on January 15 [7 favorites]


when a baby skunk waddled out of the woods, climbed up on top of my sneakers, curled up and went to sleep.

Smelled like mom, I imagine?
posted by radwolf76 at 6:12 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


"Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
posted by Toekneesan at 6:22 PM on January 15 [1 favorite]


I almost petted a skunk once. It was picking at a garbage bag on some guys front porch, Saturday morning, as I was delivering newspapers. In my semi-awake state I thought it was a cat. So I went to pet it. With my fingers like half an inch from the animal it turned and stared at me like "WTF you doing, guy? I'm a skunk!" We mutually agreed that I would slowly back off and we'd both pretend it never happened.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:14 PM on January 15 [4 favorites]


I recently found myself face to face with a skunk I had initially mistaken for a cat (I could only see the tip of its tail at first). I stood still and remained silent while it accessed me and had a look around, and then it turned around and shuffled back into the gully it had emerged from.

That skunk was a true gentleman, and I was grateful.
posted by homunculus at 1:10 AM on January 16 [1 favorite]


I once was swimming in an outdoor pool when I saw something dark in the filter basket. Swimming over, I realized it was a baby skunk. Despite being very, very, hugely pregnant, I shot out of the pool like Flipper and ran away. (Mr Corpse rescued the skunk.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:14 PM on January 16


I stood still and remained silent while it accessed me...

Now that is a great skunk story.
posted by Flashman at 3:13 PM on January 16


I stood still and remained silent while it accessed me and had a look around,

Did it hack your mind terminal via a telepathic link?

I like to imagine this is what happened, as it makes your comment really super interesting.
posted by SpacemanStix at 7:08 PM on January 16


Well, it wouldn't have been the first time.
posted by homunculus at 9:04 PM on January 16


The moral of this story, of course, is "Always know where your towel is".
posted by epj at 9:09 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


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