The Tiger's Eye: My Raccoon story

07 December 2006

My Raccoon story

I was going to resume writing by commenting on the recent Iraq Study Group report but that one has been done to death elsewhere and I would only add to the gloom and doom of the general comments from the right so...
Instead I will add my story to the already growing list of raccoon stories.
See here for Tony's -

When I was in college (Testicle Tech:1979 - 1986) I lived off campus at the local college Catholic Parish. St. Francis of Assisi where my roommates and I were the janitors/maintenance/caretakers of the facility. The church property was a converted mansion with the church in the back yard. The mansion functioned as parish offices and some apartments for foreign exchange students. We lived in a converted garage (all rent paid, all utilities paid, all we had to cough up money for was food, phone and cable TV) for almost 4 years. In exchange we had to be on-call 24/7 in case the church need cleaning after a late wedding or party (it was a multi-purpose space). All in all it was a pretty good gig. Directly in front of our house was a parking lot for about 5 cars and a dumpster. As I was in architecture school I kept pretty strange and long hours. One evening I came home late from studio around 3 AM and crashed thinking that I could get a few hours of sleep before having to resume the insanity I called study. I woke around 6 am to a hideous screeching sound out front. It echoed around the neighborhood sounding like someone slowly removing the hide from a live cat while suspended in a trash can. with a belt sander. My roommate Dave and I went downstairs to find that the screeching was also accompanied by a loud thumping sound that appeared to be coming from the dumpster. Slowly creeping to the edge of the dumpster we commented that the trash had been dumped the previous day so the thing should be empty. Peering over the edge we were able to ascertain that while there was only a few 2x4 boards propped up against the box the dumpster was pretty much empty except for one very pissed off raccoon who has apparently dropped from a nearby tree onto the 2x4 and climbed up onto the dumpster only to fall off and get stuck, the sides being too smooth for him to grab onto in order to climb out. We had seen this raccoon around a few times usually when the trash can was full so this probably wasn’t the first time he had gone dumpster diving but it was the first time he got stuck and it had ruined his otherwise perfect day. At this point my roommate (now an orthopedic surgeon) remembered that raccoons were usually rabid and we should be VERY CAREFUL with him. Ppooling our meager brainpower (remember it WAS about 6am) we decided the best course of action was to put the boards into the dumpster where Rickki Raccoon would be able to climb up and get out. Meanwhile we would back away quickly in case he decided we were to blame and come after us. Looking back neither of us was armed with anything, as it was we were both dressed only in gym shorts and tee shirts and barefoot (typ. college attire) so if he HAD decided to charge all we could have done was run like hell and hope he lost interest before one of us got bit. Anyway, we took one of the 2x4’s and tossed it into the box and ran a few yards back to watch from a distance as the raccoon climbed up jumped off and promptly climbed a nearby pine tree and sat there glaring at us like it was our fault he got stuck. His look seemed to say, “If you just put some garbage in there I would have had supper and all would have been well”. Now that I think of it we never saw him around there again so maybe his experience left him looking to the nearby fraternity row for victuals.
On another note I believe the word “Raccoonnookkeeperess” has the most number of double letters in the English language. It means the woman who keeps the Raccoon’s nook.