Justin and Justina, two similarly-named and unusual friends, make up The New Leaf Journal’s fictional dialogue duo. You can read all of their strange conversations and New York City adventures in their series archive. On May 19, 2022, I published a Justin and Justina dialogue wherein Justin tried to convince Justina that the rancid marijuana stench in New York City was caused by cruel New Yorkers waterboarding poor, innocent skunks (read the dialogue). Justina was not convinced, albeit we are unsure if she bought Justin’s note that former President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is a pro-skunk crusader. I encourage you to read that dialogue before continuing, because I now present to you a direct sequel inspired by a new New York Post report about skunks in Staten Island.

Openclipart skunk silhouette image.
Public domain skunk image retrieved from Openclipart.

The dialogue, presented below, represents an instant messaging conversation between Justin and Justina (Justin is using JMP Chat).

A Skunk Conspiracy Dialogue

Justina: Do you remember when you tried to convince me that people are waterboarding skunks?

Justin: I remember trying to educate you and I remember you not being entirely receptive to my wisdom.

Justina: Anyway, someone just shared this article on Facebook.

Justin: Facebook too? You’re bad enough with Instagram.

Justina: Whatever. Here’s the article: “What stinks on Staten Island? The answer may surprise you” – was just published today.

Justin: Alright, let’s read this. Going to break this down line by line.

Justina: Ok…

Justin: …”Staten Island … stinks— because it’s overrun by skunks.”

Justina: What’s with the “…” beforehand? Weren’t you claiming there were skunks everywhere a couple months ago

Justin: This is a conspiracy.

Justina: You’re claiming someone else is making a conspiracy?

Justin: That skunks are being waterboarded is bad enough. Now they’re blaming them for pot.

Justina: You blamed them for pot!

Justin: Skunks are not responsible for drug addicts!

Justina: You said the smell was skunks in May!

Justin: I’m very angry right now but I’m going to try to keep reading.

Justina: …

Justin: Ashley Goldberg of Bulls Head says her neighborhood “definitely has a pet skunk.” Pet? Is that what they’re calling waterboarding victims these days? Wow.

Justina: You just said there were no skunks!

Justin: “The stinkers are native to the tristate area but were largely wiped out decades ago because of insecticides, rabies and habitat loss, experts said.” Yeah, right, “experts” – they’re probably the ones behind the waterboarding “experiments” on the “pets.”

Justina: Can you decide whether your story is that the marijuana smell comes from people waterboarding skunks or they’re scapegoating skunks?

Justin: Justina, the answer to your question is “yes.”

Justina: Yes what!?

Justin: “[O]ne of the reasons they are rebounding is because the massive Fresh Kills Park has sprouted up on what was once the largest landfill in the world.” Maybe that’s why no one picks up the trash anymore.

Justina: Wait how did we get to trash pickup?

Justin: You’re right. One municipal government complaint at a time. Was about to get to the restaurants and headlights too.

Justina: …

Justin: Mike says that the skunks are “definitely breeding, and are established — its not just a few individuals coming over from Jersey.” Oh, now they’re trying to let New Jersey off the hook? I won’t allow that. New Jersey is one of America’s leading skunk torture jurisdictions.

Justina: Isn’t that a link to New Jersey’s laws on recreational marijuana?

Justin: Don’t start questions with “isn’t” – it’s not nice and I’m sensitive.

Justina: Not that again

Justin: “The skunks stink, scare and spray pets, and go through residential trash, said some homeowners.” Well the dog situation is a bit out of control but I still think skunk torture is worse. Didn’t know they were at odds though, very interesting.

Justina: I can’t keep track of this.

Justin: That makes two of us.

Justina: Don’t lump yourself in!

Justin: “Goldberg said her neighborhood skunk moved in under a neighbor’s deck in the past year.” I’d be concerned if a “skunk” moved in near my place. I mean that has to be a fire risk, no?

Justina: Fire risk?

Justin: Don’t think this “skunk” would just be hammering “special snacks.”

Justina: Now the skunks are people again…

Justin: “City Park Rangers and wildlife experts named at least eight island parks that skunks are known to frequent, including Willowbrook Park, Wolfe’s Pond and Westerleigh Park.” This is definitely true. I mean here in Brooklyn and in a few unfortunate trips to Manhattan – I have definitely notice that we have a big “skunk problem” at the parks.

Justina: …Real skunks or pot?

Justin: Can’t speak for Staten Island though. Never really go there. Kind of severed from the rest of New York City.

Justina: It’s part of New York City?

Justin: Well, I’m more familiar with it than the Bronx.

Justina: …

Justin: !?

Justina: What?

Justin: I quote Mr. Anthony Graziano from the article: “I spent nine months upstate during the pandemic, so I know the smell. When you smell it at 6 a.m. you know its not some kids smoking weed.”

Justina: Wow, someone actually mentioned weed.

Justin: If it’s a skunk, it’s totally a skunk being waterboarded.

Justina: Who waterboards a skunk at 6 in the morning? That’s too early.

Justin: I agree, but these people – they’re totally out of it. There in a park, bloodshot eyes and a box of Fruit Loops, laughing stupidly as they waterboard Ol and Factory.

Justina: Who?

Justin: Two poor, innocent skunks.

Justina: Sure…

Justin: Hmm, some guy found “two dead skunks in his driveway.”

Justina: What are you going to do with that?

Justin: Looks like some people got bored of waterboarding skunks and decided they needed to move on to “harder” stuff.

Justina: What are we talking about?

Justin: Waterboarding skunks is what they call a “gateway”

Justina: I see. To what?

Justin: You’re too young.

Justina: You just haven’t thought of a joke yet.

Justin: Maybe.