Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bringing Down the House

Raccoons line the snowy front porch, two adults and half a dozen kits. We have great raccoons, full, lush and oh so cute in their winter coats. 

I'm in my winter coat, one of the disadvantages of living in the garbungalow.

Not only are are the walls uninsulated, but the upstairs windows aren't flush with the sills and wind whistles through the cracks. In the morning we'll need to heat the pipe under the bathroom sink with a blow dryer to run water.

The living room downstairs isn't much better. When I lean over the pot belly stove, warmth heats my cheeks, as I step away, frigid air takes it's place. "Honey," I cross back to the window, "as soon as these guys leave, lets go to Lake Tahoe Pizza Company and warm up."

"Oh yeah," his eyes gleam, "how about the Jackpot?" He sighs. "I could use a cold beer."

I shiver. I'd rather have a chip shot, or a Baileys and coffee, anything with coffee. And as much as I admire the Jackpot, we need a little heat, we need the Gut Buster.

Rob strokes his chin and looks at me. "You want that pizza with the pepperocinis, don't you?"

I nod. "Now could you chase away the critters. Maybe startle them?"

"Well," he says, "I get rid of the raccoons, we get the jackpot."

"Fine," I peer out the car, "but do something, the snow's getting thick."

Hands on hips, Rob peers out the window. After a long moment he makes his way to the fridge, retrieves a bag of grapes and heads for the door.  Uh oh. "Uh, honey ... "

An icy blast rips the door out of Rob's grasp and snow plumes into the living room. He tosses a handful of grapes over the snow bank and the raccoons dive after the fruit. I tuck my chin in the neck of my parka, grab the car keys and slam to a halt.

One tiny raccoon sits on the threshold and reaches toward Rob. Entranced, Rob squats down and slowly extends his hand. With nimble fingers the kit plucks the glistening grape from Rob's palm and pops it in it's mouth.

Rob backs into the house.

The raccoon follows. And before I can react the small beast races up the stairs, pivots, flings himself toward the kitchen and ricochets off the fridge.

I shriek and press my back against the far wall. Rob calmly lays a trail of grapes to the door and steps back. Kit Catastrophe studies us from his perch on the windowsill, then makes a mad dash for the door.

When our masked intruder crosses the threshold, I slam the door and shake the keys at Rob. "We," I glare, "get the Gut Buster."



52 comments:

  1. Love this post. Raccoons, not so much.

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    1. Only a quasidodo would love the little buggers. Er, guilty.

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  2. OMG! You win hands down on the racoon stories! (I say bowing humbly) At least mine was only in the attic! :D

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    1. I'm easily entertained and Rob never met an idea he didn't like, it's a dangerous combination.

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  3. Replies
    1. I think you're just smarter. Pleeease tell me you're smarter.

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  4. Oh, you live a wild life! This was a great piece- thoroughly enjoyable. :)

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    1. Just silly stuff I remember. El toro and Dorothy, now that's interesting.

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  5. I could only think about the cute baby raccoon; it elicited a "d'awwww" reaction. XD

    -Barb the French Bean

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  6. I wanna have a waccoon! Wanna waccoon NOW!!!

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    1. I'm sure you do. Now how 'bout a tasty rawhide bone?

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  7. Raccoons are cute and adorable, especially in someone else's yard. This was a great post, fun to read.

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    1. I can watch them all day, I'm just glad I never had another close encounter.

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  8. You deserve the gut buster! You're a brave woman!

    -- Susan

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    1. I'm a stupid woman, with an strange husband, but I'm happy.

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  9. We don't have much wildlife here, or snow... thank goodness. I don't know that my heart could take that much excitement.

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    1. I have since learned that, in any equation, Rob is the wild card.

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  10. I dunno, sounds like you guys need some insulation and some traps.
    Jackpot?, Is that what a beer is? How come I feel so dumb?

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    1. I'm glad you keep me honest. I'm still learning and sometimes I miss the line between too much detail and not enough information. Jackpot is a pizza, and we only rented the garbungelow for a year. We were young, dumb and thrilled to pay $300.00 a month to live on a private beach.

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  11. I have found racoons to be the Einsteins of the animal world. They probably have a burrow in front of your house that is an observation station with a periscope and radar and listening devices.
    They are down there laughing saying things like "Remember the time she left that salmon steak on the picnic table?" and then they fall and roll on the ground laughing. "Oh and how about the time they came running out when we dumped the trash can? Oh wait I think I have a movie of that one." Then they pull out popcorn, you never missed, and watch it like a Laurel and Hardy show.

    Racoons are evil. You need a coon hound.

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    1. You got that right, but I like their antics, just not in the house.

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  12. I am just like you...I love watching the coons and the squirrels and the birds from inside or from my deck. I do not care to share my home inside with any of them. We haven't had any in the house, but the attic has been the haven for a few critters from time to time, but I think we have it all tightened up now.
    I loved your story. ♥

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    1. Now we live in Florida and it's all about the birds and reptiles.

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  13. hehehehe we don't get Racoons here. All sorts of other animals though

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    1. When word of your last shopping trip gets out, critters will be camping on your doorstep. Hey, HEY, set down that candy bar and back away from the table.

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  14. I once found raccoons in our shed. Well, let me tell you, I never saw anything so sweet. Well, I used clover to get rid of them, but your story is the best!

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    1. I would have like to see you tempting the little guys with bits of clover. That is sweet.

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  15. I Love it! When we first bought our house we were doing some work and the doors were left open. My husband walked in to find a raccoon family happily munching on a 20 lb bag of dog food. They just looked at him and kept on eating. Over the years they have decided they are part of our crew. Every morning I go outside and call "here kitty kitty", when I feed my cats and critters come piling out of the woods.

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    1. Now that's a well fed bunch of intruders and a fun memory.

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  16. Racoons. They so crazy. And no matter how hand-fed they are, they seem to always turn mean.
    I just love popping over here and learning about great dialogue. :)

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  17. I had a friend who lived in Tahoe briefly and she always talked about the wildlife. I would have totally fed the little guy a grape.

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    1. I grew up in Tahoe, it was like growing up in fairy tale town. Bet your friend had a blast.

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  18. Replies
    1. No, just insanity, and this was before I married him.

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  19. Great story. Never let a full grown racoon into your living area!

    However, I was drunk in Key West many years ago and had a fine conversation with one.

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  20. I hate to admit but we for years have fed racoons that come out of the woods adjoining our lot and leave a pan of water out because they love washing their food. I plead guilty.

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  21. my kids give in to all kinds of wild life. it is literally a zoo here.

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    1. Now that sounds like home. I like a zoo.

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  22. We don't have racoons around here. That's a good thing. I don't trust them a bit. :)

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    1. Vegas Elmo, raccoon, Vegas Elmo, raccoon. I'll take the raccoon!

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  23. My sister and I have started blogs in the past two weeks. I've alerted her (via invitation) that she should join your blog, too. I respect your issues with the animals. We had chickens. My sister still has chickens. Racoons can be pretty menacing creatures. ~ Renae

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    1. Someday I hope to have chickens, goats, maybe a piglet or two. Shoot, Rob's got to have a hobby.

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  24. oh, oops, my sister's blog is: www.merrydotdandy.com
    ~ Renae

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  26. Haaaa, I just read several of your posts. I especially like Plugging the Ugly...you see. I teach in middle school. Boy could I use a plug some times.
    I'm the sis, Simple Sequin, told you about. She knows a good read. Thanks to both of you.
    As to raccoons- none here, but we have had a skunk, not a good tradeoff. ~ Mary

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    1. I could skip the skunk, but your chickens are adorable and I'm going to try that recipe for cucumber salad. Have a lovely day Mary.

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  27. I love raccoons and I love your writing! If you don't mind, I'm going to tag along here...

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