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.
The Ozette Raccoon Incident, pt. 5
After a solid 8-month hiatus, our adventure continues...
After repeated efforts I was able to convince the group that at least one person needed to stay in camp at all times to fend off the raccoons. Justin and Killjoy agreed to stay in camp, and I was freed to emerge from the perpetually twilit canopy of trees and out to the beach. There I found Theo busy at work, using hunks of driftwood and scraps of weather-beaten rope to construct a large, crude xylophone.
I had been friends with Theo for several years so this type of behavior did not surprise me â€“ in fact, had he failed to use found items to engineer and construct an ingenious contraption of questionable usefulness, I would have known he wasn't feeling well. Following his lead, but with a less-developed sense of warped ingenuity, I hunted around to find a chunk of log for a drum and something to use as drumsticks. (Neither of us were especially talented musicians, but true to our Banger heritage we both enjoyed generating noise.)
Darkness was approaching, and everyone returned to the storm shelter to cobble together another meal and settle in for the night. As these activities were taking place, my earlier warnings about the raccoons â€“ previously dismissed as stoned, paranoid babbling â€“ were proven accurate. At regular intervals, a raccoon would emerge from the salal and carefully survey the situation before returning to the underbrush.
"Those little fuckers will steal every ounce of food in camp if we aren't careful," I warned. My companions continued jeering at me out of habit, but with much less conviction than previously. After bedding down for the night, we discovered just how determined the raccoons were.
The raccoon displays its inner nature.
Within fifteen minutes of the last light being extinguished, a stealthy scrabbling noise was heard. Theo grabbed a flashlight, sat up suddenly, and swept the yard with the beam. There, momentarily frozen in the spotlight, was a raccoon â€“ a mere six feet from the shelter. Startled, it scurried into the underbrush.
Twice more, this game was repeated, spurring the decision to move all of the food and kitchen gear toward the back of the shelter where it was less exposed. After settling back into our bags, it seemed that the issue was resolved, and for a good half an hour there were no disturbances. All was quiet on the Raccoon Front. Or so we thought.
It turned out they were waiting for us to fall asleep. I was just on the edge of consciousness, pleasantly drifting away, when suddenly: Vasky (sleeping nearest the entrance) snorts and stirs. A hiss. A snarl. Awkward thrashing, yelling, chaos. Terrified, blinking faces briefly illuminated as flashlight beams played crazily everywhere. A commotion in the nearby salal. And then it was over.
"It was on my damn bag!" sputtered the Vasky. The raccoons were trying to climb over us to get to the food. It was obvious that the situation had escalated, and an appropriate response was rapidly formulated.
I quickly gathered several large, hard fir cones, chunks of wood, and rocks from the yard and set up the stockpile of ammo next to my bag. Theo waited with flashlight at the ready. It was time to start fighting back.
10 minutes later, there was a rustle from the salal, and we could hear a raccoon approaching. Theo whispered, "wait for itâ€..wait for itâ€.NOW!" He shot the flashlight beam toward the sound, catching the nasty little bugger squarely in the light. At the same time, I sat up and fired a fir cone at the momentarily-startled beast. Although I missed, it hissed in surprise and retreated quickly, hastened by a chunk of wood and another fir cone.
Minor celebration ensued. Not only had we figured out a way to fight them off, it was fun. I was a little disappointed that they quit trying to get in after only a couple more rounds, and I had only managed to score a single direct hit.
That night, we slept the sleep of the just and victorious, knowing that only through our heroic efforts was Carl Buddig was saved from a cruel and inhumane end. Although now that I think of it, we were probably saving the raccoons' ends from something cruel and inhumane.to be continued