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."