K is, for the most part, pretty unflappable. Not much really seems to get to her. Whether she is called upon to provide communication in extraordinarily intimate settings or required to wipe up cold dog vomit, she maintains a generally calm, staid, pleasant demeanor. She does not engage in an excess of emotive displays. She does not raise her voice in elation or crumple to the floor in sadness. With one reliable exception, she is not in the least inclined to dramatics.
Shortly after moving back to Kansas, while K, Skeeter and Susie were living with K’s parents, Skeeter became frantic about being let outside one crisp Fall evening. K took her to the back door, obligingly opened it, and when Skeeter shot out the door, K stepped out behind her, straight into the oncoming spray of a skunk.
K tried every product and every home remedy known to humankind to rid herself and Skeeter of the skunk odor. Hours, days and gallons of water were devoted to the dissolution of the powerful odor. When she showed up for an all-day engagement several days after the close encounter of the skunk kind, the other interpreter, eyes watering, demanded that K leave the assignment at once. K swears that to this day, there are remote corners of her mother’s basement where she can still smell the vestiges of her skunk attack.
A by-product of this experience is that the smell of a skunk can send K into absolute conniptions, a response that unfailingly reduces me to laughter, and reminds me of my own fond memory, a band my step-father played in, the Shyster Mountain Boys, and their rendition of my sister’s only favorite song they played. This isn’t them, but these guys are nearly as goofy as the Shyster Mountain Boys were in their heyday: