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« Christmas 2002 | Main | Call for help »

December 27, 2002

Tastes like burning

On December 7th, my wife and I, with the help of some friends, put down about 3000 square feet of sod in our front yard. It was tough work, but worth every strained muscle and aching back: the yard looks beautiful.

In addition to representing lots of hard work, the lawn also represents a significant financial investment, so I am sort of manic about keeping it looking its best.

Because of this mania, I am ready to fucking kill the goddamn skunks who keep tearing up the edges of the grass each night.

However, I am a peace loving man, and I've chosen to refrain from planting AP mines at the corners of the yard. Instead, I bought a big old jug of red pepper flakes at Smart and Final (for 5 dollars, thank you very much), and spread them all over the perimeter of the lawn last night.

Here's the thing about red pepper flakes: even when you wash and dry your hands really well after you're done? The oil that makes them spicy is still on your hands. So when you absentmindedly scratch your chin, or rub your eye, or go to the bathroom, every single thing you touch will immediately burst into flames.

Every. Single. Thing.


Oh, how it burns.

So when I got into bed last night, I felt like I'd spent a week in Bangkok.

But when I got up this morning, the burning had subsided, and my front yard was unmolested by the little stinky bastards.

Skunks- 5
Wil- 1

Posted by wil at December 27, 2002 11:02 AM
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did you not wear gloves? hehe.. sorry to hear about that.

that pepper also works with keeping away raccoons and oppossums.. =)

and your Lawn looks beautiful.. no wonder the local wildlife enjoy it so much.

Posted by: mst3cate at December 27, 2002 11:07 AM

now that's comedy

Posted by: buntz at December 27, 2002 11:11 AM

Hope you didn't touch anything that you don't want to feel like burning (like down there). Hopfully, you'll beat the skunk by the end of the match.

Ana Marylee

Posted by: anamarylee at December 27, 2002 11:11 AM

my cat's breath smells like cat food.

Posted by: courtney in SF at December 27, 2002 11:15 AM

Same thing to keep in mind when you handle jalapeno juice!! Burning butthole!

Posted by: Rich at December 27, 2002 11:15 AM

You're so tough?

"every single thing you tough will immediately burst into flames."

Need content check as well as grammar and spell check.

I got battery acid (little C cells) on my hand and scratched once. Wife was wondering why I just washing those parts in the sink.

Posted by: Mark at December 27, 2002 11:16 AM

Good luck with the pepper flakes... I had no idea skunks were drawn to fresh sod though. Weird, of course my exposure to skunks is pretty much limited to chunks in the road so hey...

Posted by: John Mearns at December 27, 2002 11:17 AM

For future reference, you should neutralize the pepper oil (its a base compound) with a mild acid solution like vinager or lemon juice and then wash your hands -twice.

The skunks are looking for grubs in your soil. Get rid of the grubs and the skunks will look elsewhere for food.

John McGregor

Posted by: John McGregor at December 27, 2002 11:18 AM

Hey Wil,

Try washing with lemon juice. The citric acid should break down the pepper oil....at least to some extent. Maybe you could send some crushed red pepper to THAT DICK NAMED RICK BERMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...........



Posted by: shrednfred at December 27, 2002 11:18 AM

Ummmmm....Since you are male. :P Watch out when you go to the bathroom also.

Just don't piss the skunks off too much they might come and spray your front door just for spite. ;)

Posted by: Bleu at December 27, 2002 11:19 AM

But... did you ever find your DVD player remote?

Posted by: metsfan at December 27, 2002 11:20 AM

Soak hands in milk for a few minutes. Then wash. If you skip the second step, your hands will smell rather rank later. If you skip the first step, don't pick your nose or try out those new supposotories you got.

Posted by: The Slice at December 27, 2002 11:20 AM

Wil + weeds = Godzilla + Tokyo

Posted by: Fred Fowler at December 27, 2002 11:25 AM

Hey Wil

Goodluck with the battle. But just remember , don't piss off the skunks. They can spray you, your wife, your step kids and your pets. Its good to be humane, but sometimes you have to be like Bill Murray in Caddy Shack, and get those Mother Fawkers. Actually that would be cool and fun. If you decide to go that way, put some pics on the site.

Posted by: Terry at December 27, 2002 11:26 AM

Wouldn't a fence, even just a small electric one, have been easier?

Posted by: Marshall at December 27, 2002 11:33 AM

Hooray for Wil...but then again, S: 5 vs. Wil: 1. And the aftermath of the burning might go in favor of the skunks.

Posted by: ze-mag at December 27, 2002 11:38 AM

You may just want to stay up one night, wait till they come out then run outside yelling and screaming at them like a madman. Or spray them with a hose, youd have to be sneaky to pull that off though.

Posted by: Matt at December 27, 2002 11:42 AM

hrmmmm...must be a "dick" thing ;)
which reminds me of a black and white postcard that circulated around venice beach in the aftermath of the L.A. Riots which pictured a generic officer of the law (namely, a cop) wearing pre-70's riot gear (think hardhat with face shield and mouthguard) weilding a billy club high above his head (as if to strike some perpetrator of the law) with the same logo accompanying -- "must be a dick thing"
at any rate, previous advice of lemon juice as well as tomato juice should work in breaking down the hot pepper oils to allow you some measure of comfort.
now for the skunks, however...??
peace, out.

Posted by: pensiveMissy at December 27, 2002 11:42 AM

metsfan: I can't believe you saw that. LMAO!

John and others who know how to neutralize: thanks for that info. I'll keep it handy. :)

Mark: Thanks for pointing out my spelling error.

Posted by: wil at December 27, 2002 11:44 AM

I got some of that stuff in my eye once! I'll never forget that! Ouch!

Posted by: Lara at December 27, 2002 11:50 AM

Ow! I feel for your... parts. :)

But that's too damn funny.


Posted by: Clay at December 27, 2002 11:58 AM

This wouldn't have me cracking up so hard if I hadn't been flipping around the TV channels the other night, and accidentally caught the leech scene from Stand By Me on HBO. So the first thing that entered my mind was a squeaky boy's voice saying, ". . . my penis. . ."

Posted by: Mary Mactavish at December 27, 2002 11:58 AM

Awww. Since you're all better, now you can pretend Calvin's Dad (from Calvin and Hobbes) is sitting nearby and is telling you things like these build character.

Posted by: Reena at December 27, 2002 11:58 AM


If that should happen again, I suppose you could have put your penis is the milk too. Just make sure to throw the milk out. :P

Happy Painfree skunk removal!!

Posted by: Stargazer at December 27, 2002 12:00 PM

*giggles* Pepper, everywhere. Sounds like something that would happen to my mom.

This is totally unrelated, but...


For like a second at the wedding, but you were there! I was with my dad (as big a trekkie as me, if not bigger) and I started pointing "Look! Wesley! And they said he wouldn't be there!"

It made me happy.

But I wonder, why was Wesley wearing the fancy schmancy Starfleet uniform if he's not in Starfleet anymore? Hmm?

Posted by: Jay at December 27, 2002 12:05 PM

A female acquaintance recently told me that she once handled habaneros, then a tampon.

Count your blessings.

Damn skunks.

Posted by: Halloween Jack at December 27, 2002 12:09 PM

For some reason, I now have Zappa's "Why Does It Hurt When I Pee" going through my head.

Posted by: Joseph at December 27, 2002 12:12 PM

I put hot pepper on my pizza, and on my spam.

Posted by: spam at December 27, 2002 12:13 PM

Oh, Burns!

I spent a few days in Bangkok once, but it didn't burn like that. I think you've been hanging out in the wrong parts of Bangkok, or your front yard, or something...


Posted by: BURNS! at December 27, 2002 12:17 PM

ALl I gotta say is OUCH! Hope you feel better, Wil and wear gloves next time, ya doof =o)

Posted by: GreenEyes The Official CAT of Violence at December 27, 2002 12:18 PM

Wil fail English? That's unpossible!

Posted by: Sam at December 27, 2002 12:19 PM

i have never heard of that red flake stuff. that is a very funny story.

Posted by: Sandy at December 27, 2002 12:28 PM

If any varmints start digging up your bulbs, try moth balls. Keeps 'em away every time.

Posted by: Hondo at December 27, 2002 12:36 PM

You were hilarious on call for help last night...or was it this morning...crap

Posted by: James at December 27, 2002 12:39 PM

ahhh...spicy red peppers...

my wifes family is from india and know's a thing or two about hot peppers..

when my wife was about 7 or so, her aunts came from india to live with her and her family..
one day they were making supper, and one of the aunts gave her a hot pepper and told her 'if you take a bite of this, you'll see god!' (as she winked at her sisters)
so my wife, only a child at the time, took a huge chomp on the hot pepper...

dont think she saw god..but man....she still hasn't forgotten that....

ouch indeed...

haha..story still makes me grin..those aunts...hahaha...what comediens....

Posted by: tyson at December 27, 2002 12:42 PM

You didn't ... scratch down there, did ya Wil?

Well a belated Merry Christmas to you and yours....

We picked up a copy of Toy Soldiers for a measley 3.00 at the supermarket yesterday (Raleys) and had quite a time watching it. (KICK HIS ASS YOGURT! KICK HIS ASS!)I used to own a copy but since my high school was a boarding school, I lost it forever.

We noticed something really ODD. At the credits, Sean Austin is first. Then you, our hero, Wil Wheaton. Then the other blonde dude, and then they show the other supporting cast. About 3 people later, we finally see the other two guys (in your group of friends) (their name escapes me at the moment) but basically they were the minorities, and they were shown together. IS it me or is that just flat out being racist? The two other guys should have been listed along with the rest of the "gang" even though they weren't big name actors.

Also the scene towards the end with all the SWAT team storming the school, you notice some police are wearing harnesses. In a stoned moment, I realized how funny it would be if those harnesses were attached with 7 inch long purple dildos, and just made me crack up.

That's all for now..


Posted by: Bongdust at December 27, 2002 01:00 PM

As someone else said, the skunks are going after grubs and other bugs in the soil. They are attracted to the edges because of the smell of 'fresh' soil. I wouldn't worry about trying to get rid of the grubs, once the sod grows into the ground the skunks should move on to more disturbed areas.

Posted by: Christopher at December 27, 2002 01:10 PM


Now "One Night in Bangkok and the tough guys crumble" is running through my head.

No, not the whole song.

Just that one line.


Posted by: MrsVeteran at December 27, 2002 01:16 PM

Points to Wil for the Ralph Wiggum reference.

Gee, Wil, 2002 has been an itchy, painful year for you. First the poisonous plants (ivy, oak, or whatever), now the peppers.

Good god, man, watch yourself!

Posted by: delphine at December 27, 2002 01:23 PM

Screw the skunks!!!
Sorry man.... that really sucks....
A moment of silence.............................................................
I do like the idea of sending the pepper over to Berman's house :-)

Posted by: Gadflysrm at December 27, 2002 01:54 PM

Perhaps it would be even more interesting to mail the skunks themselves over to Berman's house?

Posted by: The Slice at December 27, 2002 01:59 PM

please don't send anything to rick berman, or his house.

Posted by: wil at December 27, 2002 02:07 PM

Smart & Final rocks lol.. too bad the one here is um, really really close to Suzies and all the weirdos hang around there (Suzies = porn shop).

The red pepper is a good idea.. I think I personally would have sat out there at night with a little BB gun, but whatever floats your boat :)

And to wash the smell away, try plain ole white toothpaste (no minty fresh or stuff like that). It takes the onion smell and fish smell out very quickly, I don't see why it wouldn't help on red peppers. :D

Posted by: -Lysol-/Brandie at December 27, 2002 02:19 PM

Lemon juice followed by witch hazel. I cook alot with cayenne, and it's the only thing that works for me.
I don't deal much with skunks, but here, squirels are everywhere. The little fat bastards dig up mums and pansies and eat all the plums and peaches and pecans off our trees. And it didn't help that our neighbors would feed them peanut butter because they're 'cute'. Cute my ass. Check to see if your neighbors are feeding the skunks. After we begged ours to stop, and got some squirel-eatin' cousins to come by, we no longer have a problem. I fucking hate squirels.

Posted by: Amber at December 27, 2002 02:28 PM

Sympathies, Wil.

A friend of mine was once in a long-term relationship with a man who had a problem being faithful. One day she found some scary legions in her female anatomy. Furious with the realization, she stormed off to give her beau hell for giving her herpes. In the melee that ensued, he confessed that the rash was not herpes, but instead poison oak. It seemed that while out hiking, he and a mutual friend of theirs had enjoyed an amorous romp in a patch of the plant we never see until afterward. My friend then went over to the other young lady’s house to find her half crazed and miserable with the first-hand effects of the rash inside and out. “There is a goddess,” she told me.

Posted by: Drew at December 27, 2002 02:31 PM

Neighbor has this immense fir tree on one corner of his front yard, and a hooty owl wakes everyone thereabouts 2am every night on snowy days -- clear nights he (she? it?) doesn't make a peep.

In the spring, racoons assemble on the roof above my bedroom at night and ... "romp."

Don't think pepper will work on either.

Posted by: Don at December 27, 2002 02:36 PM

Was that "don't send anything to Bermans house" comment a disclaimer?
We understand completely ;-)

Ack. My God!!! Peppery badness galore!!!
There is only one thing worse. A paper cut.

I can see Y'all cringing.

Hope you had a good christmas.

I'm taking up fewer lines than usual. Interesting.

To the My-God-I'm-Tired Mobile....

Posted by: EnglishBen at December 27, 2002 02:37 PM

I forgot about the poison Ivy. Poor Wil.

Posted by: angry penguin at December 27, 2002 02:51 PM


Posted by: mcfoo at December 27, 2002 02:55 PM

Oddly enough, I've never mailed anything to California in my life. Rick Berman is safe for today.

However, I have a great plot idea for two skunks in an Enterprise episode...

Posted by: The Slice at December 27, 2002 02:56 PM

Went camping one time and a skunk decided to hang around our site (i mean, like 3 feet away). We just "marked our territory" to get it to go away. Nothing like a perimeter of pee.

Posted by: Aias at December 27, 2002 02:58 PM

Truly classic -- "A female acquaintance recently told me that she once handled habaneros, then a tampon."...."young lady’s house to find her half crazed and miserable with the first-hand effects of the rash inside and out. 'There is a goddess,' she told me." LMFAO!

This just reminded me of an incident at work a couple of years ago. There was this guy who claimed to be the world's biggest chili head. So, at lunch, we stopped at Ralph's in Studio City and bought a Habanero as a dare. Back at the office, Chili Head promptly munched the thing down in two bites.

The next day he came in and calmly discussed how he felt some more heat later than night as he "pleasured himself".

If it wasn't such a horrifying thought, I would've burst out laughing. Instead, I ran out screaming "AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

Posted by: wehotom at December 27, 2002 03:20 PM

Been reading the blog for a couple months now and this is my first comment, simply because I have to give you mad props on the Simpsons reference in this post. The Lord of the Flies inspired Model UN episode is one of my all time favorites.

"It'll be like Swiss Family Robinson except with more cursing! We'll be kings! Hell, damn, ass kings!"

Posted by: Dan Wearsch at December 27, 2002 03:22 PM

Are you sure it's a skunk? Have you seen it? Maybe it's a lawn-envious neighbor. Or a Wil-stalker who is really desperate for a Wil-mento. If it is skunks, be sure and keep the pepper-oil fighting lemon and tomato juice around to fight the inevitable unfortunate run-in with the skunk.

Posted by: Topeka Lee at December 27, 2002 03:31 PM

Thank you for that, Wil.

Your pain has caused many of us to giggle uncontrollably.

You have not suffered in vain.

And why can't you train that ruthless killing machine Ferris to devour the skunks?

Posted by: ionicus at December 27, 2002 03:34 PM

Poison oak, pepper oil, arm swelling up, etc. You must have sensitive skin to suffer so.

By way of contrast, I once pepper-sprayed myself (very stupid move, no I'll choose not to explain how). All it made me do was cough for a few minutes. My high-school encounter with 30 molar Hydrochloric acid was worse (coughed til I damned near puked from the fumes), but left no burns.

Hmm, okay, I might be thick-skinned, but I am suddenly realizing that I am stupid/clumsy with caustic materials.

Crawling back into my hole now...

Posted by: Roy at December 27, 2002 03:46 PM

Could be a hard one to explain at the ER if your Willy is burning and turning all shades of red.

Posted by: Chris at December 27, 2002 03:47 PM

Hey Chris.." our Wil(ly)" is always burning!!!

Posted by: bluecat-redblanket at December 27, 2002 04:05 PM

Sorry Wil!!
Didn't mean to start a fire with the "sending pepper to Berman" thing. Although it was my idea I wasn't actually considering it. Besides, That bastard is sooooo unfeeling and insensitive, I highly doubt he'd even feel anything.


Posted by: shrednfred at December 27, 2002 04:06 PM

Wow, you sound like a real adult. Protect that lawn. Hope you can still keep the holiday spirit, at least, through New Years.


Posted by: Fabian at December 27, 2002 04:11 PM


Blogger Snowball Fight 2002

Posted by: amancay at December 27, 2002 04:34 PM

Very funny story, my man! Sorry to hear that you had burning "problems"...I can't say that I have a personal story that can even relate to that. Best of luck with the skunks and you, Ann and the boys have a great New Year's!! : )

Take care,

Posted by: Mark at December 27, 2002 04:44 PM

to me, that was a pretty stale wil-post...nothing extraordinary about it, or particuilarily funny....until the final score at the bottom
that was the kicker!
i loved it!

Posted by: colleen at December 27, 2002 04:54 PM

I scanned through the posts and only read "7 inch long purple dildos" .. yeah, ok.

Sorry about the burning, but thanks for the entry. :))

Posted by: belinda at December 27, 2002 05:07 PM

That was too funny - though I'm sorry you were in pain. The gloves are a good idea.

My parents had squirrels tearing away parts of the outside of their house to get in - they chewed out a huge hole - TWICE! They had to put mothballs out to keep them away. The also chewed the cables of my dad's Contour. Good luck with the skunks! Wildlife certainly can be interesting at times.

Posted by: Chewie at December 27, 2002 05:40 PM

if you see skunks having a pizza party in front of your house... take a picture.

Posted by: christy at December 27, 2002 05:50 PM

We Indiana folk got them skunks everywhere. Put in scarecrow snakes out, that should keep them out.

Posted by: Johnny at December 27, 2002 05:51 PM

SKUNKS???? What are those? Just kiddin' We Australians don't have such things. We have 7 foot things called Red Kangaroo's and small, fat, rock like creatures called Wombats who have teeth the size of your hand that burrow through sand and clay like it was whipped cream. Hey Will, and WWDN 'er's. HAPPY, SAFE AND PEACEFUL 2003.

Posted by: Graham Cassey at December 27, 2002 05:55 PM

Oww....OWW!!! Today has been a very un fun day for mee :( At about 8:30 my dog who I've had since i was 4 died :(.... We knew it was commming, but i am sitt in shock :( Stupid Dec 27!!!! :)


Posted by: Lianne at December 27, 2002 06:26 PM

Wil, imagine you just finished making salsa and washed your hands real good, but despite your best efforts, some pepper remained on your hands. Now imagine you then tried to change your tampon. Real story.

Posted by: It could always be worse at December 27, 2002 06:37 PM

Next time, wear gloves :). Glad you got those damn skunks, tho.

My BF, Joe just presented me with the final piece of my Christmas gift - a lovely signed 8x10 of the "RED SPACESUIT." The form letter was a riot.

Thank you.

Posted by: Tina at December 27, 2002 07:11 PM

Hey Wil,

The topic of the day reminds me - have you ever been to Burning Man? I bet it would be right up your alley, and it would be fun to read your impressions. [You are officially on the short list of My Favorite Writers.]

Posted by: braxis at December 27, 2002 07:13 PM

Oooohhhh, I feel your pain!

A couple of months ago, I made some of my (in-)famous 4 alarm vegetarian chili, and I grated up some habanero peppers to add to the mix. Several things happened:

1. I inadvertently created pepper spray in my kitchen, causing me much respiratory distress

2. I turned on my stovetop hood fan, and it blew up (because of a faulty wire and not the peppers, but it was quite a coincidence!!)

3. Several hours (and several handwashings) later, I removed my contact lenses and it BURNED, oh it BURNED!!! I had to teach my anatomy class the next day sporting my coke-bottle glasses and screaming red eyes...

I hope you beat those stinky little rats!

Posted by: kendoka at December 27, 2002 07:39 PM

"...There was this guy who claimed to be the world's biggest chili head. So, at lunch, we stopped at Ralph's in Studio City and bought a Habanero as a dare. Back at the office, Chili Head promptly munched the thing down in two bites."

That one actually reminds me of an outing with the Aikido club recently... we went to a Japanese restaurant and the guy next to me pretended that he was going to eat the entire hunk of wasabi in the sushi boat nearest him. We teased him that he'd committed himself with the fake, so he put the wasabi onto a small sushi roll, picked up another hunk of wasabi and added it to the first (we're talking a near apricot-sized hunk of wasabi here!!!) and ATE it.

We watched in amazed horror as he stoicly chewed and swallowed... tears pouring from his eyes. Even the restaurant staff was impressed. (;

Posted by: kendoka at December 27, 2002 07:46 PM

In the words of Jean Paul Sarte, au revoire, skunk.

Posted by: Carl Spackler at December 27, 2002 08:17 PM

ahh, the powers of capsacin! (i think i spelled it correctly)...

try milk. crazy as it sounds (and i didn't read all 74 previous replies, so if this has already been said...well, read it again), milk is the best thing to drink if you get too much hot pepper in your throat, so logic would stand to reason that it would work topically, as well.

gives a whole new meaning to "GOT MILK?", doesn't it? ;)

Posted by: maandusa at December 27, 2002 08:17 PM

Was that title a reference to Spark's "Internet like burning"? I think it was. Good job, Wil. Little things like that foster a sense of community on the Internet, to see one thing somewhere more or less reproduced recongizably somewhere else.

Posted by: KeplerNiko at December 27, 2002 09:22 PM

I tried mothballs once to discourage the neighbor's cats from using our mulch as a litterbox, but the mothballs smelled worse than the cat pee. I'll try pepper flakes. I've tried them indoors to discourage sugar ants but the ants didn't seem to care. The tomato worms around here actually seem to prefer habaneros to tomatoes--do peppers just have that effect on mammals? Anyone? Anyone? (Geez I really ought to get a life, huh.)

Posted by: It's late and I'm bored at December 27, 2002 09:52 PM

I tried mothballs once to discourage the neighbor's cats from using our mulch as a litterbox, but the mothballs smelled worse than the cat pee. I'll try pepper flakes. I've tried them indoors to discourage sugar ants but the ants didn't seem to care. The tomato worms around here actually seem to prefer habaneros to tomatoes--do peppers just have that effect on mammals? Anyone? Anyone? (Geez I really ought to get a life, huh.)

Posted by: It's late and I'm bored at December 27, 2002 09:55 PM


Try having the little fuckers going under your house and getting scared by something.

Damn house smelled for days. $*#@

I don't miss skunks. Don't see too many here in FL, but they were all over San Diego when I lived there.

Posted by: T'Bonz at December 27, 2002 09:58 PM

I take it you didn't get your red ryder bb gun for christmas ;p

Posted by: Tommyd at December 27, 2002 10:49 PM

I wish to cut you and wear your skins.

Posted by: the_skin_collector at December 27, 2002 11:56 PM

Poor Wil's little tortured, immoliated starfish. I hope it was all worth it in the end and the little stink-badgers stay away though. I dread the idea that they may start getting used to the pepper flakes and begin wanting their grubs to come cajun-style.

Posted by: Michael Hirtes at December 28, 2002 12:32 AM

Hmm. Don't tell Chevy Chase. Sounds like the plot of National Lampoon's Yard Work.

Posted by: BBock at December 28, 2002 12:45 AM

Further thought.... kinda makes me wanna buy a bushell of seeding dandelions...

Posted by: BBock at December 28, 2002 12:48 AM

YIKES!! Sorry to hear about your "troubles." I hope Anne kissed it and made it feel better. ;-)

Glad to hear you solved your lawn problems too. :-)

Posted by: Angelwwolf at December 28, 2002 12:52 AM

Skunks are your only problem? You are so lucky. I've got fire ants, armadillos, and theiving neighbors. Too bad pepper won't keep them away...
I couldn't even manage to go near pepper anyways, I am so allergic to pepper... *shudder*
But shyeah, next time wear gloves.

Posted by: Su at December 28, 2002 01:25 AM

Hey Wil!

I know it's already been explained ad nauseum at this point. But, if it's any help, I actually work for a professional lawn care company out in New England (so don't worry, I'm not tryin' to sell you anything... ;P).

Anyway, as has already been stated, the skunks are looking for grubs. The problem is, even though you've put in a whole new lawn, the grubs were probably already on the property. So, you're probably going to have to put down some kind of treatment to get rid of them.

The skunks are still going to hang around for a bit. They're "creatures of habit", after all. But, once they realize there's nothing to get from your lawn, they'll move on.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

Merit Grub Control. Produced by the Bayer aspirin company. Best grub control on the market. 98% fewer pesticides than anything else out there. Environmentally friendly.

This IS still a chemical. So, if you're worried about the kids (and it sounds like you are, if you started out using pepper flakes), then don't risk it.

Another suggestion is something called Diatomacious Earth. It's an organic grub control, so don't expect complete eradication. Basically, it's ground-up insect shells. Harmless to people. But, for soft-bodied insects (like grubs) it's like crawling through broken glass. :P Lovely visual, I know.

Just spread it out on the whole lawn and water it in for about 30 - 45 minutes. That should, at the very least, kill off a bunch of the grubs. Only problem is, the skunks will still dig for them.

If you want any more suggestions, feel free to email me, though. :) I'm always happy to lend a few suggestions out. (Keeps me busy in the off-season, which I'm languishing in right now, actually... :P)


Posted by: Adam "Pegasus316" Fullerton at December 28, 2002 02:45 AM

There is an all natural product called ROPEL which you might find at pet supply stores or garden stores. Not sure about skunks, but it repels other animals from yards and doesn't have the pepper on your pecker effect!

Posted by: John R. at December 28, 2002 03:04 AM

Skunks in SoCal? Tell me it ain't so?!

Posted by: Clint at December 28, 2002 03:08 AM

i've had my own fun with hot peppers...and know well the pain of which you speak...it's much more fun if you can persuade someone else to wash the pepper residue off of the affected areas...did i hear you screaming...ANNE!!!

Posted by: d. burr at December 28, 2002 06:26 AM

I hope you didn't try anything funny with the wife.... I'm pretty sure that she would have beat the living crap (a.k.a. "seven shades of Sh*te") out of you.


Posted by: TurnipFish at December 28, 2002 09:03 AM

That was so funny when you called in to the Call For Help-A-Thon and talked about your grass and the pepper! I almost died laughing! BTW, you did a great job co-hosting on TSS the other day too! You are a natural in front of the camera! A techy who can talk in front of a camera is hard to come by! ;-) BTW, did you get your remote control back yet?

Posted by: Sue at December 28, 2002 09:10 AM

Now what was that old jerry Lee Louis song, Goodness gracious great..........................?

Posted by: greymalkin at December 28, 2002 11:05 AM

You should have just tossed some pepper onto your garden. Skunks HATE pepper, trust me, this has been tried and tested!
Plus it would have saved you from the 'oh so terrible' burning :)

Posted by: Annie at December 28, 2002 11:53 AM

Hi. I'm an asshole.

That's all. Go back to reading.

Posted by: lori at December 28, 2002 12:30 PM

You know I had a back muscle problem for a while and used some Icy/Hot on my back then washed my hands, THEN went to the bathroom. Same farking problem, burned like the pizza in my oven right now..........MY PIZZA!!!!...........CUL8R

Posted by: Slorge Gridlock at December 28, 2002 12:52 PM

Is it bad that I'm laughing really hard right now?

Posted by: Sunidesus at December 28, 2002 02:04 PM

*falls over and dies of laughter* sorry about the pepper burns. Been there. It sucks.

Posted by: Eric at December 28, 2002 02:17 PM

No doubt too late to do you any good now, but some years ago I was making salsa from scratch with fresh habanero peppers, and alas, I neglected to use gloves while dicing up the little buggers. I rubbed my nose at some point, and the inside of my nose began to feel like it was on fire. In desperation, I stuffed sour cream up my nose. It got all gloopy and disgusting, but it cut the heat significantly after the second dose. (Much like how drinking milk instead of water will help cut the heat of 16-alarm types of chili.) So um, yeah... dairy products, that's the key!

Posted by: patch at December 28, 2002 02:55 PM

I can understand absentmindedly scratching your chin, or absentmindedly rubbing your eye...but sweet fancy moses, you are still pretty young...you should not be absentmindedly going to the bathroom for another 40 years or so!

Posted by: Tim Smith at December 28, 2002 02:58 PM

I had a similar bathroom experience with some dried chillies once. I kind of liked it...

Posted by: exile1977 at December 28, 2002 03:03 PM

Skunks. Pepper flakes. Burning irritation. I can relate personally, and by anecdote for one of my friends--one day when we'd ordered Thai food for lunch at work, the guy who'd placed the order (a Chinese man from Thailand) told my very white-bread friend that the dark-red peppers were eaten just like candy in Thailand, and proved it by eating one. My very whire-bread friend followed suit.

He was the same color as the fire extinguisher for several hours.

Than there was the time in high-school chemistry that a flask containing a dilute solution of hydrochloric acid slipped out of the tongs I was holding and shattered in the lab sink--and splashing me liberally with the contents. Fortunately it was VERY dilute, or I might not be the vision of loveliness I am today! (ROFLMAO...)

Hope the skunks stay away, and that the aftereffects of the pepper-flake application are all gone--and yes, Wil, try gloves if there's a next time? Please? For the monkeys?

Wishing you and yours the best in the new year--


Posted by: Syd at December 28, 2002 03:12 PM

I feel for you man. At least you figured it out before you got into bed with your wife and started GETTING IT ON. My husband is fond of very hot, spicy food and was chopping habanero peppers for salsa... let's just say he didn't figure it out before going to bed that night and GETTING IT ON. He certainly washed his hands numerous times with soap and hot water but we all know how well that works on hot pepper oil. I will never look at a habanero pepper the same way again. Oh it burned! Your lawn looks great by the way. Good luck in the battle with the stinky varmints. Go Wil!!

Posted by: Christal at December 28, 2002 03:35 PM

Hey, Wil!

You really ought to see the Star Trek movie... it was good. They even DID have you in there... non-speaking part, but you were right up there next to everybody else at the wedding. AND, I sat through to the credits... THEY GAVE YOU A NAME CREDIT IN WITH THE REST OF THE CAST!!! Whoo-hoo! That's better that what Whoopi Goldberg got... I didn't even see her mentioned in the credits... AGAIN.

Also, I read the book version after I saw the movie... there is a way for Wesley to be in the next movie. According to the book, Wesley DID go back to Starfleet, made it to a lieutenant, and was assigned to the Titan, Will Riker's new command. In engineering, surprise surprise. Though I suspect you already knew that, before they cut out the speaking part of your scene. You looked good though, and I think it would be interesting if the next movie or TV series, revolved around the Titan's adventures.

I suggest, that everyone petitions Berman to do a series like that... and have Wil cast in it!!!

P.S.: Wil, good luck with the skunks. I'd rather have the skunks, than the snow out here. BRRRRRRRR!

Posted by: CartoonBeagle at December 28, 2002 07:22 PM

Oh, Wil? Before I forget... HELLLLLLLLP! I stopped by the store, and saw you brought the William Fucking Shatner line of stuff back... which is cool, except that you no longer seem to be selling the mugs. I want to buy a replacement mug from that line, I lost mine in a fire. Think you can start selling the mugs again, man?

A very warm, and belated Merry Christmas to you and yours'!


Posted by: CartoonBeagle at December 28, 2002 07:27 PM

ok, im sitting here laughing my ass off not only at you, wil, but some of the other stories on here!!! sorry about all the "problems" you have had in the last few months (and i thought i was unlucky) and happy new year to you Anne and the kids. Brook

Posted by: Brook at December 28, 2002 10:09 PM

GLOVES rule!

Laying sod in December.

Being in Montana, unless the sod placement is inside in a greenhouse, I can not relate to that right now.

Posted by: Keith in Montana at December 28, 2002 10:44 PM

Revenge on the Skunks!!! They will Payyyyy!!!
fargo, nd

Posted by: eky at December 28, 2002 11:56 PM

lol at least you get to live in california for the winter. lucky bastard. writing this from kansas with 3 or so inches of snow on the ground right now. luckily, i'll be in san jose after new year's. :) i love california.

Posted by: h at December 29, 2002 01:23 AM

Wil, the fact that you know what a week in Bangkok feels like both amuses me and frightens me.

Posted by: Fyre at December 29, 2002 05:35 AM

Ouch Wil! I hope you're feeling better!

Posted by: sonya at December 29, 2002 10:43 AM

Booya, Wil!

Posted by: Jonathan at December 29, 2002 12:36 PM


It's been mentioned once, but I repeat: Make a perimeter of pee. Get a case of beer and get busy. Maybe recruit some (really good) friends. Works on wolves and---from personal experience---on cats, raccoons, and Florida coyote. While we have skunks here, I haven't had to test it on them. And nothing works on armadillo except extreme violence. But you don't have 'em in Cali, I guess. Then again, we don't have earthquakes (he he he).

Oh, yeah! I learned a long time ago, wash *before* you pee, as well as after!

A Fruitful Yule To Ye,

Posted by: Chuck Kinney at December 29, 2002 09:01 PM

Great idea with the pepper flakes...and quite the score for the price.

Posted by: RetroRandy at December 29, 2002 11:19 PM

I found out about those peppers the hard way too. After filling 25 jars of pizza peppers at Round Table, I went to the bathroom. Ten minutes later, I was stuffing wet paper towels down my pants, wondering what I had done to make God angry.

Posted by: Doug Smith at December 30, 2002 02:33 AM

Ugh, I know the hell that is laying sod. Years back my parents decided they wanted to get a new lawn. Of course, my brother and I were part of the labor force that re-lawned the 1/2 acre, and that was not fun at all.

That, and weeding was never fun either. Yuck. I hate getting dirty.

Posted by: Christopher at December 30, 2002 07:02 AM

Mothballs also work in keeping skunks out of yards and attics.

Posted by: Sol at December 30, 2002 12:28 PM

just a quick note about Capsicum(the hotness in peppers). it will work for a little while, but if you have to use it for a long time, the animals will become used to it and actually start to prefer the things you spray or dust. it's kind of like when you start eating hot things and it's almost unbearable, but eventually you can't even eat eggs without dumping half a bottle of tabasco on them.

i've always been a fan of electrocuting the little bastards. just be careful of the fencing, as experience has taught me that when you touch it with the back of your calf you can twitch in such a way that the shin of your back leg makes contact with it, causing you to jerk in such a way that the back of your calf touches it again, etc.

Posted by: dan at December 30, 2002 03:01 PM

oh, and for things that help ease the burn, milk doesn't really work the best, as capsicum is an oil, and milk doesn't mix really well with oil. so what you need is something that will mix with oil and carry it away when you rinse.

i don't know if it works on the penis, but sugar water is what scoville used to counteract the burn when he devised the scoville heat index. so, maybe dunking your peepee in ice cream(cold and sweet) would have helped. it also might have added a little something to your lovemaking.

Posted by: dan at December 30, 2002 03:09 PM

I haven't read all 120 comments, so if someone else mentioned this, pardon me for being a repeater...

Alton Brown fans may have seen his special on the chemical that makes spicy food spicy. Without getting too into detail, this chemical is alcohol soluble. Just FYI.

Posted by: joekeg at December 30, 2002 03:27 PM

Here's a tip from an expert dealing with peppers (I'm Thai and I own a restaurant!): wash your hands thoroughly with soap. After the soap treatment, rub well with salt, just regular kitchen salt will do. Wash again with soap. After this, touch the tip of your tongue, if it still burns, repeat the soap and salt treatment. If you're dealing with just pepper flakes, it shouldn't be too difficult to get rid off...it's the Thai peppers that's another story. :) Oh hey....what's the deal with the Bangkok thing? That's my home town!

Posted by: Kanjana at December 30, 2002 10:52 PM

you know wil...since martha stewart's career is kind of on the rocks...you could start your own "household hints" program...i mean look at all the suggestions you got when you told WWDN NATION about your "burning organ"...every episode could deal with another such malady...you'd make millions!...and help the world with problems no other tv star cares to discuss.

Posted by: d. burr at December 31, 2002 09:35 PM

You know..I've been there...slow Sunday afternoon at work....no one around...had three alarm wings for lunch...had to tinkle...

They never told me to wash my hands BEFORE going tinkle...:(

Took a bag of icecubes to bring down the swelling.


Posted by: Artie Fishill at January 8, 2003 11:53 AM

I can sympathize. I love habañero peppers, but getting them sliced, dried, and ground into powder is my LEAST favourite activity. (I preserve the @#$% things to use later) Your hands have the oil on them for 2 days no matter HOW much lemon or vinegar you use, and if your masks slips and you suck in a good big lungfull of habañero dust, it's over. You might as well resign yourself to a three-hour coughing fit.
But I'll admit, the hands, eyes, nose, mouth, arms and.... elsewhere... burning is worth it for good food = )

Posted by: Duffy W. at January 21, 2003 02:49 PM


I was directed to this page, looking for a remedy for my RACOON problem. Very smart critters. Have tryed tying barrels to tree, even tryed puting a little amonia in bag. Didnt work . I have some crushed hot peppers from my dads garden last year maybe I will try to put some in the barrel. :)

Posted by: marie at March 23, 2004 08:45 AM

wil I know how u feel i have jalapeno juice on my hands for 2 days now and nothings working for me either.

anyone have advice for me other that tea bags, lemon juice, milk, vinegar, and keeping my hands cold?

Posted by: A Whittaker at July 24, 2004 04:35 PM
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