Nature 1, Lance 0
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big animal lover, but I have been having an issue with raccoons.
It started off as the usual tipped over trash cans but has since escalated.
Twice a week I put out my trash at the end of my driveway and I live in a pretty rural setting so it’s not totally unexpected to have some woodland creature rummage through it from time to time. I consider it par for the course.
But these raccoons were different.
Starting a few months ago, these guys would make sure to tear up every single inch of the garbage whether it contained food or not. So I upped the ante a little bit and bought new metal trash cans that had lids in the hopes of dissuading them.
It did not.
In fact, it seemed to encourage them. I would get awoken in the depths of night by the sound of these lids being banged together. It seemed to me that they would wreak their havoc and then bang the lids together to celebrate. I would spring out of bed and charge down my driveway with murderous intent but the hairy villains would have already departed. Tucked safely away in the woods I could still the see the gleam of their eyes watching me. Pinpricks of light that felt somehow ravenous, like stars sitting in the night sky. Twinkling but reminding me of the infinite darkness behind.
So I bought a 4 foot tall, 100 gallon locking heavy duty stainless steel trash receptacle. It was magnificent as receptacles go. The first few nights I deposited the evenings refuse I actually found myself sliding my hand up and down its sides affectionately.
“The CIA doesn’t have trash cans like this puppy” I thought to myself proudly.
“Fuck those raccoons.”
I remember staying up late, peering out the window and watching them try to get at my garbage. Who could blame me if I purposely threw out a little extra food to sweeten the pot? Who could blame me if I Googled raccoons favorite foods and made sure that I packed 99.9 gallons of the it into the 4 foot tall, 100 gallon locking heavy duty stainless steel trash receptacle?
I’m just a man living in the middle of nowhere with a lot of time on his hands.
I should have figured it wouldn’t end there.
I actually remember reading about the robbery at Home Depot but I didn’t think anything about it. I went about my day living in a fool’s paradise. Me and my 4 foot tall, 100 gallon locking heavy duty stainless steel trash receptacle.
That night I heard a commotion and headed outside to gloat at the obviously frustrated efforts of my furry nemeses. And then what to my wondering eyes did appear? A raccoon sporting welding goggles sitting in front of my magnificent receptacle wielding the hand torch of a Tomahawk 1000, 60 Amp 230-Volt Plasma Cutter and his eight tiny companions.
Within seconds, and as I looked on dumbly, the side of my receptacle was compromised and out poured 99.9 gallons of fruit, poultry, nuts, vegetables and eggs. I had even thrown in some uneaten lobster tails. They fell upon the contents of my violated receptacle like masked children on a ruptured piñata.
I could do nothing but stare slack jawed. I knew I had been beaten.
Any thoughts of acquiring firearms quickly dissipated as I thought about the careful planning that must have gone into the Home Depot heist. I knew in my gut that they could easily pull off a similar stunt at a sporting goods store if weapons were needed. I saw no reason to escalate things any further.
I sat on my driveway and imagined their little fingers pulling a little trigger and a little shiver ran down my spine.
It took three times of explaining to the garbage men that I wanted them to take away the 4 foot tall, 100 gallon locking heavy duty stainless steel trash receptacle with the giant hole cut into the side of it and not just empty it. After they finally hauled it away my original plastic trash can was back at its usual post.
But I’ll tell you this much, those damn raccoons are never getting lobster again.
I have my dignity after all.