Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Masked Bandit

Last week I was sitting on my front porch around 10:00 pm reading a book. I heard a few noises in the bushes but didn't think anything of it. Our neighborhood has lots of outdoor cats and lots of strays. Then I heard a noise in the grass right in front of me. I look up and there is a cocker spaniel-sized raccoon standing right by my foot, staring at me.

OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG! OMFG!

It was so close I could have kicked it. I love animals but I DO NOT like raccoons. I don't want to hurt them, but they are dangerous and volatile** and I don’t want them anywhere near me. Unfortunately, the ones in our neighborhood are supersized and not the least bit frightened of humans.

I let out a shriek and froze like one of those creepy living statues. It looked surprised and took a step back. In a split second different scenarios were running through my head.
Should I not move and hope it moves away?
Should I grab my pet rock on the table next to me and whack it over the head?
Should I try to kick it?
Should I throw my book at it?
Should I throw my bottle of water at it?
Should I scream and wave my arms around like a maniac?
Are raccoons even scared of maniacs?

I went with option one, stay still and hope it moves away while silently repeating “get away” to myself. That worked. He backed away from me a few feet and then he turned and scurried off into the bushes. Yikes – It took over an hour for me to start breathing normally again and for the adrenaline to die down. It scared me so bad that it made me nauseous.

Do not let a raccoon’s adorable little face and chubby body fool you! They are finely tuned killing machines! They lure you in with their cuteness or sneak up on you when you are minding your own business reading a book and then BAM – they attack! I was lucky to avoid the attack.

**I used to work at this web dev place and one of my co-workers told me that his grandpa was killed by a raccoon! Kind of a strange fluke thing, but he said that a raccoon got into his grandpa’s cabin. The grandpa was a mountain man – no phone, no electricity, no neighbors, etc. He tried to swat the raccoon out the front door with a broom or something. The raccoon bit him on the wrist and latched on. The old man’s first and only instinct was to shake it off. In the process his wrist really got torn up and he ended up bleeding to death because there was no way to get help. I realize that story may not even be true (although I think it is) and it’s a really strange and rare sequence of events, but I am not taking any chances!

4 comments:

Bri said...

I've seen a raccoon by your house before and it was the size of a dog. Someone around you must be feeding them or something..this one was waddling down the street :)

NuclearToast said...

What? Nobody feeds raccoons, they're wild animals. But the cute kind that would never hurt you, Ash. Unlike, say, sharks. Or skinheads.

Raggedy Angst said...

Personally, I'm a big fan of raccoons. They manage to be cute despite their greed and rapaciousness -- unlike, say, Republicans.

bladio said...

raccoons freak me out bad! when i lived in a house in west seattle, once a raccoon blocked the gate that led out of the yard and i couldn't leave!!