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Bay Ridge is starting to really stink, and I’m not just talking about the traffic on the Verrazano Bridge every weekday around 4:15 pm. I mean, Bay Ridge is starting to stink, literally.
Nature is both determined and unforgiving, and city life has a way of creating the illusion that we are insulated from her wrath, but every so often reality bites — or in this case sprays.
No sooner have Bay Ridge residents gotten accustomed to humming toadfish, raccoons and stroller moms, they now must make room for another intrusion of Mother Nature: the skunk.
This story sounds more Tom Sawyer than Pepe LePew: a Bay Ridge man was innocently taking his garbage out in front of his Fourth Avenue apartment building late one mid-July night when he heard a rustling amongst the banana peels and coffee grinds.
“I thought it was a rat,” said the victim, who wishes to remain anonymous out of embarrassment over what follows. “Living in Brooklyn, I have seen my share of rats, so I didn’t treat the noise with any special urgency.”
He soon did. First, he heard a squeal that sounded “almost like a baby-cry.” Then, he found himself being attacked by a striped culprit.
“At first, I thought I was pepper-sprayed,” said the victim. “After hearing the squeal, my eyes and mouth began to burn.”
Full disclosure: after a night on the town, let’s just say our source didn’t begin this encounter with all of his senses at peak performance, so when the spray came, he dropped the rest of his garbage and ran back to his apartment and hopped in the shower.
“I never did get a look at the skunk,” the victim said. “I guess I must have scared it or something, but it isn’t exactly something I am looking out for in Bay Ridge.”
Lesson learned. But residents should consider themselves forewarned. The skunks are here, at least according to one expert, and they are here to stay.
“We deal with city skunks every day of the week,” said Matt Liola of Anytime Pest Removal, which removes pests nationwide. “There is nothing special to us about skunks in Brooklyn, except people’s surprise that they live there.”
Liola said that skunks rarely attack, and pointed out that they give lots of warnings (like stomping their feet and squealing) before spraying their powerful scent (which can travel up to 15 feet and burn an attacker’s eyes) as a purely defensive maneuver.
“Skunks aren’t aggressive animals,” said Liola. “If you see one by your garbage late at night, just leave it alone and you won’t get sprayed.”
Or better yet, maybe next time sober up before taking the garbage out at 2 am.
“I really should stop drinking anyways,” said the victim, who said he had to trash that night’s outfit. “If getting sprayed by a skunk doesn’t wake me up, I don’t know what will.”
Matthew Lysiak is a writer based in Bay Ridge.
Not my greatest moment. Minutes after Community Board 10 voted 30–11 to approve of developer Andrew Kohen’s residential housing plan last week, the meeting came to a crashing halt as my camera smashed to the ground. To all those concerned, I am happy to report the camera is all right, though the same can’t be said of my ego, which took another hit minutes later, when I received a call telling me that I’d left my wallet behind. Rival reporter Helen Klein found it on my empty chair and turned it in, not even stealing the $8 inside! That Helen is a paragon of integrity. …
The Sink wants to give a shout-out to the David Lind Band for giving a shout-out to 69th Street in its new catchy single “Bay Ridge Avenue.” …
Look out Rudy! Bay Ridge for Ron Paul is here. For information go to, where else?, BayridgeForRonPaul@Gmail.com. …
Wipe that off your crystal ball: Our source tells us that the new “Spiritualist,” who hangs out on Third Avenue between 80th and 81st Street was battling a nasty stomach virus — in full view of the public (you know what I mean). If you’re speaking to the dead, please ask them to escort you to the bathroom next time.
©2007 Community Newspaper Group
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