Sitting out on the stoop the other night, reading what passes for news in the UT, I sensed something in the bushes.

Bright eyes peered out at me.

"Ooh. Come 'ere kitty-witty." I said.

The smiling shiny eyes emerged from the darkness, followed by a bushy black and white striped tail.

"Oops. Go 'way skunky-wunky."

I stood up, and the skunk turned half-way toward me, arching it's back.

"Nice, skunk. Nice skunk."

Moving slowly away, the skunk relaxed and so did I.

It seemed suspicious about what I was doing in its territory, but not too alarmed. After a bit of sniffing and peering, the skunk went about its important skunk business, looking for crunchy insects and rotten food.

I don't mind skunks much. They eat black widow spiders. They're not particularly aggressive, and will try to back away from confrontation. They only spray when they are startled or feel trapped. Skunks were here before me, and will be around long after I'm gone.

In that newspaper, one of the big thinkers at the paper was objecting to Mike Aguirre being labeled "the garden at the skunk party" that is San Diego today.

Comparing our local elected officials to skunks is wrong.

After all, skunks clean up our communities and would never cause a mess if they were just left alone.

Now those critters occupying city hall can't be left alone for an instant. They stink up the place for no good reason. They gobble up the good stuff, and leave nothing but a mess behind.

While it's tempting to name my visitor after a member of the council, I just can't be so cruel to my poor skunk and call out, "Come 'ere Madaffer-waffer".

To keep skunks off your property, experts say you should avoid leaving out cat food. If you want to trap them, they say to use fish as bait.

Can we set out traps for these noxious creatures? I guess we could bait them with campaign contribution checks.

But how do we keep those other kind of varmints from spraying us with their malodorous stench of corruption?

Certainly keeping politicians off your property is more important than worrying about a few nocturnal visitors with bushy tails. Think of what could happen if the downtown rodents got hold of your place through eminent domain?

I'll keep the skunks thanks...they make better neighbors than the politicians.

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