Monday, June 18, 2012

Are you smarter than a raccoon?

So, I have about a million posts I need to do, but summer is stressful y'all.  I have four kids underfoot (who I wanted to have underfoot so damn bad ??? - clearly I was nuts), work has picked up like no body's business, hubby has been working a lot, and summer (remember her?) has been calling my name (along with Lite beer from Miller).  You can find Blogging on my list right below Drink beer and Get some sun.  But, that doesn't mean crazy sh*t hasn't been happening 24/7 (damn it).  So, here's one tale of woe from our household to yours.

Preface and note to card carrying PETA members who may be reading my blog - I am not Wild Kingdom Mutual of Omaha.  Remember?  I don't like too many animals.

Raccoons are smart fuck*rs.  I hate them. 

Our raccoon fight started about a month and a half ago when I woke up to find our garbage strewn all over our side yard and into our back yard.  I was joyous at this discovery (as I am sure the neighbors were as well).  I knew it was raccoons because we've had trouble with them before.  (Mostly when our Satanic cat was still alive. Well, I'm sure he's still alive because cats have nine lives. He's just not with us anymore. Thank you, Jesus.)  Our house backs up to a creek bed and there are apparently generations and generations of the smart little fu*kers living back there.  Our neighborhood raccoons have eaten our now dead cat's food, rolled around in our now dead dog's water and food dishes, taunted our cat many times from the window, tried to open our screens in the back, and basically just made our lives a living hell in the past.  We have photographed them and they've all but autographed the photos for us.  One time hubby woke up to a commotion out in the back and found about 22 pairs of raccoons eyes staring at him when he opened our back door.  Creepy.  Sh*t. 

So, just like Jason, the raccoons have shown up again - in force. Right before they showed up, hubby got a wild hair up his a$$ and decided to clean our garbage can.  (Which in case you are unfamiliar with this ritual, is kind of like cleaning your garbage disposal - necessary, but illogical.  Cleaning a receptacle used for garbage?  You know I don't clean things that are supposed to be clean, so I can only think of about eight million ways I would rather spend my time.)  Regardless, Hubby and Boy Child cleaned the garbage can like it was a freaking car and I was appreciative.  That thing was so clean I think our whole block smelled like bleach.

Looking back, that *might* have been what tipped the raccoons off.

The next day, I made my way around to get into the Yukon Cornelius and I found garbage was strewn all over.  I cursed a lot, cleaned up the garbage, and figured raccoons must have somehow gotten into our pristine garbage can.  Damn it.  Hubby only cleans the garbage can about once every five years, so of course this would happen.  After that, the garbage can smelled like sh*t again.

I decided the damn raccoons were climbing the fence between our house and the neighbors to lift up the lid of the can and pull out the garbage.  I promptly said, "I'll teach those fu*king smart a$$ raccoons and move the can.  They won't be able to use the fence to eat the garbage.  Ha!  Now who's your daddy?" 

I broke the news of what had happened to hubby and Boy Child and they were both pissed that the raccoons had ruined their clean garbage can.  They vowed to clean it again for me.  In another eight years.

The next morning I went to get in the Yukon Cornelius and there was garbage strewn everywhere again.  I cursed quite loudly this time and kicked the garbage can before I cleaned up all the garbage.  After surveying the garbage can set-up closely I decided that since they couldn't use the fence to climb into the cans, they had used the overhanging tree.  My bad.  Sh*t.  I moved the cans away from the trees clear out into an open space where there was nothing that they could possibly climb on to get into the cans.  I was gonna teach those fu*king raccoons a lesson.

The next day I practically skipped out to the Yukon Cornelius, so happy that I had outsmarted the raccoons.  Garbage strewn everywhere again.  That's what greeted me.

Damn it!  I was pissed.  I kicked the can, yelled my curse words, and then yelled out to any raccoons who might be risking daylight to see my reaction.  At this point I was sure they were watching me and actually laughing.

I decided it was time to consult hubby more seriously and I was freaking sick of cleaning up their garbage messes. 

Hubby blamed it all on them having opposable thumbs and thought it was better if we moved the cans WAY out where there would be no possible way they could use anything for leverage (possibly they had used a low growing vine we have on their last successful attempt).  So, we did that.

The fu*kers did it again.

I consulted hubby and Boy Child this time (although, Boy Child was well aware of the raccoon shenanigans throughout this ordeal).  Boy Child decided it was time to move the can into the garage because obviously the raccoons were climbing on each other like Russian gymnasts and then back flipping into the can to eat our garbage.

We did.

And then, we (and by we I mean Boy Child) forgot to take the garbage can out to the curb because we (and by we I mean Boy Child) couldn't see it in the garage.  Twice.

So, then our garage smelled like sh*t.  Thank you, raccoons.

By this time I was positively exuberant about the raccoon situation.

We moved the can back outside and hubby found a HUGE rock to put on top of it.  No raccoon (unless he was like superhuman raccoon) could move this rock.

I think you can guess what happened.  The next morning I sulked out to the Yukon (because I had learned that opposable thumbs do, indeed, give raccoons amazing brain power and that they can probably text and do calculus so I was not going to even think they could be outsmarted by a simple rock weighing about 100 pounds) to find the rock tipped off the can and garbage again strewn all over.  But, it was less garbage.  It occurred to me that once they used a lot of strength and brain power to get the rock off, they had less energy to dumpster dive.  I felt oddly like I'd won (even though I hadn't and still had to clean up their mess).

That night Hubby found an even heavier rock to put on the can. 

I was doubtful it would matter, and sure enough they've tipped over this rock now twice and I've found the rock on the ground and like one torn open Ziploc bag.  Not the strewn garbage messes like in the past.  We kind of feel like we are winning the war.  And I kind of feel like they kind of feel like they are winning this war, too.

So, I guess we are at a stalemate.

I will not be surprised in the least if the next time I walk out to the Yukon there is a typed (or handwritten) note on the garbage can from the raccoons.

"Dear A Day in the Life (because they would know my name),

We are clearly smarter than you. Whatever you do to protect your can, we will get in. Kindly leave us our meal outside the can, and we won't have to keep taunting you like this. Thanks!

The Raccoons

P.S. We like pepperoni on our pizza."

I am ready to get a nanny-cam out there because maybe it's not raccoons.  Maybe it's the chupacabra.  (I think this *might* be making me a little insane?)  Hubby is ready to invent a locking garbage can (but we are worried about the actual garbage man who collects the garbage - or recollects the garbage as it were - not being able to open it).  My sister suggested I just call the city (or Davy Crockett) and have them bring me a trap (if the city even is in the business of trapping raccoons and relocating them???).  This is a good idea, but I just know more raccoons will come after that.  And then they'll be even more pissed because I took away their Aunt Susie or Uncle Bob.

I am becoming weary.  And I've kind of resigned myself to cleaning up after them until they grow tired of us and our garbage.  Then I will have won.

I've also considered a shotgun.  And a note to them.

"Dear Raccoons,

I've had enough of your bullsh*t.  If you don't like how Uncle Bob looks, find another garbage can to raid.  Thanks! 

A Day in the Life 

P.S.  I win."


Unknown said...

LMAO!! Oh man! Those are some smart racoons! I think you're winning, seriously! Either that or you're giving them free weight training...

Monica said...

@jae - maybe i need to send them up your way. with a note? promise of better treats? seriously. they are wearing me out. them AND the KIDS? sheesh. i thought this was SUMMER???

Shannon said...

LOL! I had raccoons at the rental last summer. Morning chores pick up the garbage. every damn day all summer.

Have you ever seen Furry Vengeance? It is beyond stupid, but boy child and maybe hubs will laugh their butts off and you will appreciate the evil raccoon who is the leader of all the animals that torment Brendan Frasier in the movie.

Monica said...

@shannon - i might need to check out that movie.

Mind Margins/Run Nature said...

You have my utmost sympathy. We are battling squirrels eating my almost ripe tomatoes. The morning before they turn into the juiciest, most scrumptious tomatoes on Earth and are ready to be picked, they decide to take a bite out of them. Just one small bite, but enough to make them inedible. I am so tempted to cut that part off and eat it anyway, but I fear future frothing at the mouth or bubonic plague. Argh. They've done this four times now and it's seriously ticking me off. I'm considering a slingshot, shotgun, or ten pit bulls to save the rest of the tomatoes!

Monica said...

@mind margins - i HATE squirrels. they are seriously rats with bushy tails. i could not even touch a tomato after they'd eaten off of it. so sorry. i recommend....a shotgun! ;o)

Elle said...

Oh my gosh, I'm laughing so hard right now.

Anonymous said...

OMG. I feel bad laughing at your troubles, but you make it so darn humorous! I know this probably won't help since they weren't deterred by the bleach-cleaned garbage can, but have you tried spraying something foul smelling on there? I mean, something that raccoons would think is foul smelling? ~whatimeant2say

Gretchen said...

I never knew squirrels ate tomatoes until I saw it with my own eyes several years ago. And you are right, they just nibble a bite or two out of each tomato just to ruin them. I've never seen a raccoon in my neighborhood, alive anyway. A couple weeks ago I saw one dead at the edge of the sidewalk. Some housewife tired of picking up trash went berserk I guess...

Monica said...

@elle - thanks for the read and comment. :D @whatimeant2say - okay. i almost spit out my coffee when i read "something they would think was foul smelling." apparently they have no sense of smell because they can dig right through some chicken i let go bad in the fridge, and then threw out (that smelled like a year's worth of dirty diapers) to get to a half eaten bag of Lays chips??? and i am totally joking here. i know what you mean and i am going to research it (after i assess this morning's damage). @gretchen - HA! yes, when you see a shot up racoon roadside you will now know why. hubby posted on this blog's facebook page that we will leave the dead body next to the garbage can so that all the family will know his/her fate. nice, hubby. nice.

Nomads By Nature said...

You have me totally cracking up! (and feeling bad for you). Your letters read like, "Duck For President" and the other Duck series books!

And having rescued a baby raccoon (was that good or bad?) a few summers ago, I can tell you that Animal Control may have some answers for you.

Whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to chase them off yourself. We know of a Marine who messed with a raccoon in a dumpster and was seriously taken down by said animal. They can be pretty badass.

Hoping you find a solution soon that works. And thank you for my morning giggle!

Monica said...

Dear nomads, I am terrified of raccoons because of their opposable thumbs, so me trying to take them down (without a shotgun on my side) is out of the question. I have witnessed their brain power and I am willing to clean up their garbage for a bit longer. Happy to have brought joy to you! :). Sincerely, a day in the life!

Nomads By Nature said...

Dear Monica (ADITL),

I was thinking about your raccoon problem. I sometimes have a large 100 lbs can-reach-the countertops canine issue at times. Let's call him Bezi. He likes to inspect countertops, checking for anything interesting his nose might think it detects. He likes all types of foods, but not limes. So, we have learned to rub the edges of the counters, AND THE GARBAGE CAN with limes to deter him from foraging.

Now, limes won't work on raccoons (that I know of) but a natural way of deterring them could exist, such as urine of a natural enemy.

Now, I know your family members are not all buddy, buddy with the culprit and you might even go so far as to call yourself a natural enemy of the perpetrator, but I am not recommending that any of you pee on your trashcan to see if it works. 'Cause if it doesn't then you have REALLY nasty garbage to pick up in the morning.

But... hang with me... check out a local hunting store for other species of urine products (appealing, I know) and maybe one of them would work to shoo away the furry little beasts.

Best of Luck in your endeavors,

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read the sequel to this. Maybe a dead raccoon in the garbage would be the smell to deter them? ~whatimeant2say

Monica said...

omg. nomads. you are killing me. i totally want to go out there and pee - but all around the garbage can! i think that would totally work...BUT would the neighbors hate me more than they already do??? AND think i am a total nut? (which they already do.) can you imagine??? i should make hubby or boy child do it since it is much more pc for boys to pee out in the wild than girls. @whatimeant2say - do NOT hold your breath for a sequel since you know i SUCK at follow-through/up. i would totally LOVE to post a dead raccoon (shot by me) photo (with a cute little "instagram" thing next to it.

Gretchen said...


Nomads By Nature said...

Well, if she did get arrested and all that publicity I see a "Made For TV Movie" in the future. Caddyshack was a classic and it hasn't been remade or revamped for a new century. This really could be a blessing in disguise. So Monica, who would you want to play you?

Monica said...

let me just saw that my commenters are KILLING ME. i am dying over here. raccoons or no raccoons - I'M GONNA MAKE A MOVIE, Y'ALL!!! next time you see my name - it's gonna be in LIGHTS! you guys are awesome.

Gretchen said...

A Day in the Life: The Texas Urinator Story starring Tori Spelling as beer swilling crazed wildlife hater just trying to take the trash out