Music Throwback Saturday: Dead Skunk

Loudon Waniwright III played a singing dentist, Captain Calvin Spaulding, in a few episodes of the TV show MASH.

loudonLast week, the Wife and the Daughter were out taking a walk about dusk. They saw a white skunk departing from underneath our neighbor’s front porch. We’d seen the creature before.

He went under a parked car, and must have emerged on the other side at a most inopportune time, as my family heard the sickening thud of a vehicle hitting the skunk.

A couple hours later, I got a ride home from choir rehearsal. We saw, and more importantly, we smelled the results of the accident: “Dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin’ to high heaven.”.

When I came in through our door, I could STILL breathe the stench in our living room, though the doors and windows were closed. That night, the Daughter slept in the back of the house with her mother, while slept in the Daughter’s bedroom, with the smell somewhat dissipated, but not gone.

That morning, after the garbage collectors had picked the trash, the Daughter and I noted that the dead skunk was still in the road, and I was thinking I would have to find a shovel to remove him. Fortunately, someone – I’m thinking it was a staff person from the nearby school – removed the deceased creature before a lot of the kids went to school.

The Wife drove off that morning, and while her car was about five car lengths away from the accident, it still reeked that that malodorous perfume.

The song

Loudon Waniwright III is a singer-songwriter who played a singing dentist, Captain Calvin Spaulding, in a few episodes of the TV show MASH. He also played the dad on Undeclared, a short-lived sitcom from 2002 that I loved.

He was married to women in similar lines of work. First, to the late Kate McGarrigle of the McGarrigle Sisters, who’s the mother of singers Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright, then to Suzzy Roche of the Roches, mother of singer Lucy Wainwright Roche.

Dead Skunk, a song my daughter does not believe exists, got to #16 in 1973 on the US Billboard pop charts.

Listen to: Dead Skunk here or here.

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