:Chloroform in Print
I want to go to the top of a really tall building, take a leak, finish, zip up, and then have my pee hit the ground. I want my entire pee to be airborne. Man I love beer.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
The Ozette Raccoon Incident, pt. 4
Before we ever saw the raccoons, we had been well aware of their presence, thanks to all the loose, nasty raccon shit strewn across the boardwalk. Knowing what I know now about the raccoon personality, I realize that they were deliberately using it as their personal toilet. Hell, to be honest I would have done the same thing. Then again, I have a mean streak.

But nobody actually spotted a raccoon until after the rain let up and we took advantage of the opportunity to visit the beach. As usual, I was slowest in getting ready, and was sitting alone on the tarp floor lacing up my boots when a stealthy rustle caught my attention. I looked up, and saw a raccoon creeping toward the shelter, trying to look as cute and innocent as possible. It froze, and I expected it to scurry away in fright as our eyes met, but insted it resumed its progress toward the shelter.

This was a new one by me - having grown up in the woods, I had had many encounters with animals of all sizes; as a rule, they turn tail as soon as they encounter a human. "What a brazen little fellow!" I thought, amused by this charming bit of harmless clowning. Then I realized he was going after our food.

What a brazen little fellow!
"What a brazen little fellow!" I thought, amused by this charming bit of harmless clowning. Then I realized he was going after our food.

"Hey!" I barked, and took a step toward the raccoon. This had the desired effect, and he darted back into the salal...for about 30 seconds. This time he moved with a stronger sense of purpose, and when I repeated my maneuver he didn't even flinch, just kept steadily advancing on the shelter. I began to feel a touch nervous. Clearly, stronger measures were called for, and this time instead of just feinting, I shouted and ran directly at the little beast. Again, he turned tail and disappeared back into the salal.

"Well, that's that," I thought, and resumed knotting my bootlaces. I was eager to get out to the beach, where I could hear the unmistakable sounds of Fun I Was Missing Out On. Just as I finished, however, I heard another rustle. Looking up, I saw the same raccoon – now joined by a second, at the other edge of the clearing. Shit! Reinforcements!

It was obvious that if I left the shelter, disaster would ensue – the store of Buddig ravaged, piles of raccoon scat on our sleeping bags, soggy, foul-smelling pillows. I realized the security of camp was in my hands. I charged the first raccoon, shouting, then shifted direction toward the second once the first turned tail.

Again, they re-emerged almost immediately. Now a third joined them, and I could tell I was being sized up. This time, when I charged, the first one hunched up, bared its teeth, and hissed menacingly at me before retreating. What most people don't realize about raccoons is that in reality they are miniature, foul-tempered bears. They look cute as all get out when they want to, but a hostile, bile-spitting raccoon is nothing to be trifled with.

I was growing increasingly jittery at the thought of these aggressive little beasts. What if one circled around behind me while I chased another off? What kind of weapons did I have at my disposal? I was hit with the realization that a Swiss Army knife was essentially useless in trying to menace a raccoon, and managed to find a downed tree limb to use as a crude bludegoning tool.

Cursing and waving my club, I paced a yard in front of the shelter as the gang of raccoons advanced. For the moment, they weren't bold enough to rush me en masse, but as it grew darker I knew that was coming soon. I kept them at bay with an occasional rush, but noticed that whenever I did so the furthest would try to sneak in behind me. My head fairly sang with paranoia, and they sensed it – all 4 of them, for another had joined the pack.

Probably only 10 minutes passed before someone finally came back to see why I hadn't made it out to the beach, but it felt like forever. Predictably, upon hearing another person approach the raccoons melted back into the underbrush, undoubtedly taunting me as I unsuccessfully attempted to convey the gravity of the situation and received only jeering dismissal in return. But later that night, nobody was laughing at me.

to be continued

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