Archive for November, 2010

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The Only Thing You Have to Fear is… Raccoons

November 25, 2010

(Note: This post started as something entirely different, about how much I hate moving, and then turned into the following. Maybe I’ll attempt to write that post again another day, but for now you get this).

My work let me live for free this past summer in the dorm where they house the student workers. That’s right, I was that weird girl who graduated a while ago but for some reason is still always around.  She walks by and you wave and say hi, and as soon as she is past you mouth to each other “Why is she still here?” That’s ok, I accept it. It was free housing, and when considering the options, my poverty outweighed my dignity and sense of shame.

I had a room that would normally house three people all to myself, which meant that I had three closets all to myself.  “But Lindsey,” you might ask, “what did you possibly do with so much closet space?  No one has enough clothes to fill three closets on their own!” Au contraire. I do. One closet holds my work wardrobe, one closet holds casual clothes, and the middle closet holds only dresses. That’s right, I have that many dresses. Hung up in color order. This might be a heavily contributing factor to my hatred for moving. But I digress.

The kitchen/living room space for the student workers and I was one of the dorm lounges.  This dorm was set up like a circle, with suites all around the loop and an open courtyard in the center.  We were all in the top corner suite, and the lounge was diagonally across from us, all the way on the other side of the courtyard.  Because we had a lot of food and belongings in there (and because other college employees can’t grasp the concept that just because food is there doesn’t mean you can eat it), we locked the room when we weren’t in there.  Well, you should know that the college’s locksmith is not a real locksmith. He’s pretty much just a guy they hired and told him he was a locksmith, which might explain why one morning when I turned the latch the lock just fell off. Yep. Just fell right off the door into my hand. I feel safe.

Since the “locksmith” was in the hospital for the next several weeks, this meant that the front door could not be fixed, and was stuck closed and locked.  We had to go around to the back door, by the dumpsters, bordering a heavily wooded, shrubby area.  During the day this was not a problem, but at night it was haunted by the most terrifying creatures on earth: raccoons.

You might be laughing at me right now. “Raccoons?!” You might scoff, “seriously Lindsey? Those cute little furry animals with the masks? Those are hardly terrifying.”

Wrong.

You are probably picturing something like this:

Adorable, right? Well, the reality looks a lot more like this:

This animal wants nothing more than to peel the skin off your face like lunch meat. Disgusting, I know, but necessary to convey the sheet evil of raccoons.  They are Satan’s masked minions, and nothing is going to convince me otherwise.  I mean, let’s be logical here.  Lots of people are afraid of being attacked by  shark or a bear, and that is way sillier than being afraid of raccoon attack.  For one, it is fairly rare to encounter those animals. Raccoons live in your own backyard (And besides, sharks are way too busy fighting off octopus attacks to bother with puny humans, exhibit a: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9A-oxUMAy8&feature=search).  Two, those animals are huge, a bear you can hear clomping through the trees, and all sharks are accompanied by the theme music from jaws.  There is no way they could sneak up on you.  A raccoon is small and stealthy, and they can hide inside trash cans and leap out when you lift the lid to throw away moldy leftovers. Thirdly, bears and sharks are just misunderstood. They are only trying to protect their environment from infringement by humans, and reacting out of fear.  Raccoons are the ones infringing on our environment!  They are lurking around our homes, eating our trash.  And they’re not scared of humans the way other animals are, oh no.  They want to fight you.  They see you coming and say “Bring it on!  Your blood will just serve to season my dinner of garbage!” When I would come around the corner, the raccoons would be there lurking, and they would come towards me!  Or they would be up in the tree, and chatter at me.

Then one night, I experienced the most terrifying encounter of all. I arrived home one evening and walked through the courtyard whistling, heading to the kitchen to set out some chocolate croissants to rise over night.  Then, some movement caught my eye. And I saw it.  At the other end of the courtyard, a GIANT raccoon, scampering along the sidewalk.  IT WAS IN THE COURTYARD!  Is nowhere safe anymore?!  And it was huge, comparable to a Rodent of Unusual Size.  After that I pretty much stopped leaving my room at night.  All I would want was a late night snack, but I couldn’t get one because I couldn’t get past the raccoons, and encountering them would stress me out, which would make me want to stress eat but I couldn’t because I couldn’t get to my food!  It was a vicious cycle.

So you there you have it, irrefutable, anecdotal evidence that  raccoons are the greatest danger you will face on this earth.

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