The Hess Report

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Raccoons Are Better Than Terrorists 

The raccoons have been dumping the garbage again. I've taken many measures to secure it: building a level wooden platform for the cans to sit on, as opposed to the sloping grassy hillside; fastening said leveled cans to the fence with bungy cords; securing the lids onto the cans with more bungy cords. But nothing has worked so far. Several years ago, I even borrowed a box trap and snagged one of the filthy creatures. That stopped the spillage for a while, but they soon returned.

Of course, the neighbors all keep their garbage in their garages until garbage day. French!Joy suggested this, but it sure seems like surrender to me. Garbage is garbage. It is refuse, rubbish: unfit for a continued existence with mankind. It should not be in the house. It almost makes me think that the neighbors and my lovely wife have been cowed into obeisance by the furry raiders. Do we (the people) not own this land? Must we be forced to cohabit with our own filth by these marauders?

Like modern Europe, the neighbors choose to keep their trash indoors. Why, those raccoons will become someone else's problem! It's no matter that we cannot enjoy the full use of our sovereign lands. At least we never have to clean up messes.

And as I crouched near the fence in the rain Monday morning, scraping the trash back into the can, I came to realize why I'm different than my neighbors. They want to hide. I want to fight. I want to kill those raccoons. I want to hide under a dark blanket on the little deck I built, flashlight and pistol in hand. As soon as I hear them coming, the red dot sight goes on and then it's raccoons full of lead for as far as the eye can see.

But I should re-examine that, because I pretty much always want to fight, or at least engage in direct confrontation, when faced with a challenge. It is, as they say, my preferred method of conflict resolution. Therefore, just because it comes to mind first does not mean it may be the most appropriate response to the situation.

The part of me that is fighting!Roland has great difficulty in seeing the raccoons as anything other than feral terrorists, usurping our land rights in their quest for... what, really? Food. And that's where the argument that finally tips for me. The raccoons aren't terrorists. They're significantly better than the terrorists. Our murderous friends in the middle East engage in terrorist acts against us and our allies not for direct strategic advantage (i.e., to capture territory or useful supplies), but for an indirect victory which would be based on our overwhelming response to their atrocious attacks causing the populace (and neighbors) to eventually side with them.

Clearly, the raccoons are not raiding our garbage in order to gall me into setting the forest on fire, creating a reactionary feeling of solidarity amongst the other forest animals, who would eventually join with the raccoon resistance against their human oppressors, i.e. me. Right. They're just hungry, and are quite directly attempting to get food. That doesn't mean that they don't deserve to die. It just makes them (filthy, garbage-swilling beasts that they are) better than our current brand of middle Eastern terrorists.

So maybe putting the garbage into the garage isn't analogous to military surrender. Maybe I'll ammend my previous designation to "sensible!Joy" instead of "french!Joy", which was really out of line considering how I feel about the French these days. Things will quiet down. I won't have to pick up dumped, shredded garbage anymore. There will be peace in our time.

But at night, I will dream of elaborate traps involving trebuchets, motion sensors, crossbows, night vision goggles, and the twisted smoking bodies of raccoons. And smile.

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