Today we warned you about the hordes of rabid raccoons roaming Central Park. This prompted two of you commenters to tell us your own harrowing raccoon tales.
The progressive modern gee-whiz developers of my parents' cul-de-sac installed garbage cans sunken into the patios. One pedal on the heavy metal lid opened it for dumping trash in, and a second pedal raised the cans out of the ground so the sanitation guys could empty them.
Effing raccoons from the greenbelt separating the streets figured out that if they moved a rock from the nearby rock garden and placed it on pedal A, there would be a smorgasbord of shrimp tails, leftover cucumber sandwiches, stale bread, and old meatloaf.
One day Mom caught one in the act. While she was on the Nature Conservancy, smelly garbage all over the terrace was too much to bear, and she fired a bucket of Mr. Clean at the critter... who then stared her down, puffed up his sodden lemon-fresh fur, and started moving towards the open terrace door.
Her screams were hilarious. The cute Animal Control guy's smirk when he arrived finding her sipping sherry and telling her tale of When Animals Attack was even funnier.
About 10 years ago at this same time of year, I was on my way to work when I saw a raccoon in a corner of my front yard wandering around in circles. I managed to run by it without attracting its attention and scooted off for the train unmolested and thought to myself seeing a coon in the daylight is not a good sign. When I came back in the early evening it was gone. Next day, the thing was back, wandering aimlessly like a homeless Disney character looking for a silly song. Called the number for animal control, but because it was a holiday weekend their message said call the police. I called the police and explained the situation, and they in turn sent the SPCA (several hours later, I might add). All this time I'm essentially captive in my house, while this coon decided to lay down behind a bush right next to the front entrance. SPCA shows up in the form of a man and a woman, both of them in shorts and without gloves or any equipment of any kind suitable for dealing with a sharp-toothed animal that was acting suspiciously. I wave them to the spot where the critter lay for the prior half hour or so. After asking whether it had moved recently (and receiving a negative response) the man said, "huh" and proceeded to step on the thing's head with his sneaker. Hard. When it didn't move, he said "aw, poor thing." His partner took a net, scooped it up and loaded it in the back of the van like so much litter. They then wheedled a $30 donation to SPCA from me in order to take the body away. Arm yourselves and shoot the little fuckers in the park. It'll save you the trouble and you can use the gun again.
Terrifying! Raccoons truly are our most formidable menace.
(And yes, today's comments of the day are about raccoons. Deal with it.)