The mass skunk suicide of Santiago Canyon…

What a strange way to start a year.

I started a new job recently down in Foothill Ranch. It’s a good job. I’m close to a Wahoo’s… 2006 is starting off right.

Living in Anaheim, I decided to forget the toll roads and drive along Santiago Canyon Road. Every morning and evening, it takes me from my part of Orange County all the way to the nether-reaches of South County, where I work, and back again. And, you know what? It turned out to be the best choice I could have made.

No more fighting traffic along the 55. No more aching ankle from engaging my clutch over and over as I stop and start, stop and start, rinse and repeat. No. Instead, I drive along a tree-lined road with beautiful scenery. I’ll probably be cursed by anyone else who commutes with me but, you know what? The traffic isn’t that bad, either. It’s relaxing. It’s downright pleasant.

…. Kind of…

It doesn’t take long to recognize something peculiar going on along that road. Not long at all. And you don’t need to look hard, either.

All you need to do… is inhale.

And you smell it. You can’t help but smell it. And then you hold your breath.

Along the road, you see them. Two or three every day. Skunks. Flat, dead skunks.

Something possessed these skunks to do it, to run out into traffic and meet their stinky maker. What could it be? Economics? Politics? I’m leaning towards romance, having watched plenty of Pepe Le Pew cartoons in my day. But when will it end? Is there one female skunk out there breaking hearts? Or, worse, a female cat with white paint up her back???

And so, every day I make my commute and every day I see dead skunks and every day I wonder and every day I hold my breath.

… still, it’s better than the 55…

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