TNB Night Owl – Skunk Guard

striped skunk, Photo by Tom Friedel

Skunk Guard is a luggage brand designed to keep odors from developing. They specialize in backpacks, duffelbags… anything which might be used to store things like workout clothing… and they rely upon an odor-neutralizing carbon filtration system to keep away unpleasant smells.

But that wasn’t always what Skunk Guard was.

In 1985, dairy farmer Ray Hanson came up with a brilliant innovation. The streets of the city were dangerous. Guns weren’t always allowed. Knives could be difficult to reach when under a surprise attack. Mace was effective, but only if sprayed correctly. The time was ripe for a personal protection device that didn’t need any precision. It was time for… skunks.

Skunk Guard was a breakable capsule that contained concentrated skunk spray. The capsule was designed to be worn on a brooch or something else easily reached in the case of attack.

After some experimenting they found the proper dosage that simulates an encounter with a skunk. Some mineral oil was added to make sure the liquid would adhere to the woman’s clothing and drive the attacker off. Hanson also believes that the essence would mark the attacker and help in his identification.

(A Hawaiian doctor named) Scaff and three friends have formed a partnership with Hanson, and are advertising the product in Hawaii in a few small publications and displaying it at sports and health shows. So far only a few dozen women have tried the product.

Farm Show

There were a few minor issues with the product. First was that any scent would be left on the potential victim. Compared with rape, a bit of lingering skunk odor is a minor issue… but it was a concern nonetheless. Second was that once the odor got into clothing, it was surprisingly difficult to get out; any outfit the attackee happened to be wearing was almost certainly headed for the trash, no matter how beloved.

Last, however, was the fact that the capsule had to be easily broken, and was expected to be worn. Any rough contact, like the rubbing which often accompanies carrying boxes or bumping into someone on a crowded bus, was likely to leave the woman (and those around her) smelling like she’d just encountered Pepe Le Pew.

The expected sales just weren’t there. Which was lucky for the future stench-free luggage industry and people packed into subways everywhere.

About the opinions in this article…

Any opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this website or of the other authors/contributors who write for it.

About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.