Friday, July 11, 2008

#8 - Raccoon Showdown

So, tonight I am taking out the garbage in order to get the apartment all clean for when Carrie gets home tomorrow. Sadly, we are still throwing out boxes from the big wedding extravaganza. Plus, I have 3 full bags of trash to throw out. See, this goes back to apartment living - the trashcan is a little bit of a walk, so we usually make sure we have a full load before we take out the trash. Kind of the same way that we get the mail every other day, because that is a long walk to make, and if you go get the mail and it is just some junk mail flyer from that State Farm guy again, well it just pisses you off. That, and we are just lazy, lazy people.

Back to the story - I grab a couple of boxes and go to the dumpsters. Normally, I go to the second one because the first one fills up quickly. However, tonight it was like whatever, I just opened the top and threw the boxes in the closest one and went back for part 2. Once I get back into the apartment, I just decide to take the other boxes and all 3 trash bags, because I don't want to make 2 more trips (the lazy thing again). So, I am walking out to the trash with 3 bags in my left hand, and 3 or 4 boxes stacked up in both hands. The long walk start to irritate me, because it is all getting heavier, so I just have my head down, trying to ignore the strain.

Well, I look up at the dumpster, and suddenly the hood pops up and a pair of eyes is staring at me. It comes out about halfway, and I was like, oh crap - it's a raccoon. I was only about 10 feet away, so I immediately retreated to get some sort of distance. But I'll be damned if I am going to take all this trash back up to the apartment. I decided to wait until he left - I mean, animals will run away, right? Squirrels do it, why not raccoons? But he just stares at me, halfway in and out of the dumpster. It occurs to me - this sucker was more than likely in there just a second ago when I threw away those other boxes. Great - I will never ever be able to throw stuff away in that dumpster without thinking that I will be viciously attacked the moment I open the hood.

Then another thought occurs to me - I have absolutely no idea if raccoons will attack humans. Am I really in danger right now of that thing charging me? Is this one of those things where I shouldn't be making eye contact? We really are having a staring contest right now, should I be running instead? I am sure raccoons will protect themselves if provoked, so I don't want to provoke. Luckily, I have some distance to react just in case he does decide to charge me or anything. (I did set the trash down, btw.) Then, he crawls out of the dumpster (hopefully no one is offended by my assumption that it was a male raccoon - it could have been female, whatever) and turns and climbs up the top of the dumpster. That is when I realize that this frickin' thing has to weigh 30 pounds at least. Dude was huge. Then, he just sits down on the top of the dumpster, and turns and just stares at me again. I guess he was just protecting himself, but the act of sitting on top and staring at me was like, "your move, punk." So I grabbed a couple of rocks, thinking that maybe I can throw them in his general direction and scare him off. Seriously - I really just want to throw away the trash, I'm not looking for a trip to the emergency room for a rabies shot or anything.

Then he gets up and walks to the back of the dumpster, jumps to the fence, and jumps down behind the two dumpsters. Well played - I have no idea where he is, and I'll be damned if I am gonna walk up if I can't see him. I walk around to see if he is coming out the other side, then I walk back to where I had been standing - and he is standing there in front of the dumpster, a little bit closer than before, just staring at me! I was like, I'm gonna back up some more now. Then - he left. Finally. But dude - that thing in motion - that was a ginormous raccoon. He slowly made his way across the far sidewalk, and I am thinking, what if someone walks out of their apartment right now and sees this thing? That would make me jump 10 feet off of Beale if I opened the door to walk to my car and saw that thing crossing my path.

But, he is gone now - I can finally complete the simple task of throwing out the trash...when I heard some rattling coming from inside the dumpster! WTF? It was daylight! Why all the raccoons? I throw one of the rocks and hit the dumpster - will the rattle make the new raccoon run off? Apparently not. So I say to hell with it, and walk all the way over to the other dumpsters at our apartment complex, the ones that are a ways away. You know, over by all the birds that hate me and are swarming in mass numbers tonight...

Post script - after I made it back, I decided to go see if the other raccoon ever made an appearance. I picked up a rock , just in case - again, trying to avoid the rabies at this point. But she was there in the parking lot, just as plain as day (this one can be a she). She was not nearly as big as the first dude, but still.

From now on, the simple task of taking out the trash will come with some form of trepidation on my part. Great. Hopefully no nightmares of opening up the trash can and getting my face attacked like the movie Alien or whatever.

Wow - that was a lot of typing for such an insignificant moment in my life!

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