There I was – on a pleasant day – walking my dog (Irving Brown Socks) and talking on the phone . . . just walking and talking . . . just talking and walking . . . and enjoying the nice day (remember when we had a nice day – awhile ago?!) – when all of a sudden – the world went into that odd area between going super-fast and being in slow-motion at the same time.

I was looking left, Socks lunged right and as my head started to turn to see what was happening . . . I heard a squeal. I hung up on my phone call, yanked back on the leash and looked down to see a ball of fur fall out of Socks’ mouth. The dog started to go bonkers-crazy with barking and flipping and pulling and the little ball of fur started running in circles making the most distressed noises that I’ve ever heard. Everything was happening at the same time. It was among the craziest ten or fifteen seconds that I have on record.raccoon_dog

I tied Socks to a nearby tree and went over to find out what the ball of fur was . . . it was a baby raccoon! And boy was he unhappy. He was still running in circles – flashing me unimpressed glances every so often – but seemed to be no worse for the wear.

Not knowing what to do – I called my better half . . . who promptly had to go because the sound of the yelping baby raccoon baby was too much for her to bear.

For a split second – my brain reverted to a nine year old – and (with an exclamation point above my head) I had the thought that I could just take him home – and that we would forever more be known as “that house where the raccoon lives . . .”  Then my brain kicked in – what if there were more raccoons around – especially a mother – who probably had teeth and claws and wouldn’t be thrilled that her cub had been used as a squeak toy . . . and speaking of teeth and claws – was Socks okay? Had he been bitten or scratched? I decided to ring up the vet (Cameron Animal Hospital) to figure out what I should be doing – both with my dog – and with the tiny raccoon.

They called animal control on the other line – and while I ran home to drop off the dog, get some gloves and a box, we set up an appointment for the next morning for a rabies booster shot for Socks. Now this was starting to cost money!!

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Equipment at the ready – I ran back to the spot and started looking for the raccoon. On the way – on the sidewalk – I was greeted by a new pal from around the neighborhood . . . a friendly grey cat by the name of Hobbes. He did a big stretch and then kept on about his day.
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The raccoon had done that ridiculous thing that I’ve seen kittens do – where they are trying to hide – and so – they jam their faces into a nook – and assume that no one can see them . . . but there he was. I got my gloves on, got my big paper bag ready (no boxes were available) and started to do some sweet calming talk – so that he knew that I wasn’t going to eat him – or anything. Then I gently grabbed the raccoon by the nape of his neck and spun him around to get a good look – to make sure that he was okay. He started hissing and spitting at me . . . his cuteness knew no bounds!
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I put him into the bag – and then put some grass and big leaves on top of him so that he could rest easy. About 10 minutes in – my neighbor (a nameless teenager) walked by – and cocked his head – visibly trying to figure out why I was sitting on the curb a few houses down from our house . . . and so I pointed at the bag and said “Baby raccoon!” – to which he replied – while never breaking stride “Cool.” After 10 more minutes the man in the truck pulled up – and we put the raccoon into a cat carrier. When I asked where he was going – he said that they have a reservation – where he will be monitored and cared for – before probably coming back to attack my dog for biting him – when he was just a cub.

The dog got his shots, the raccoon baby got to go to some sort of resort and I finally got my certification badge for wildlife preservation . . . all in all – a pretty great turn to what could have been a miserable situation. Now – I just have to hope that the raccoon (once he learns to write) will send me a postcard or two . . . I’d love to know how he’s doing . . .

Hooray!

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Late last night – I was walking Mister Irving Brown Socks – excuse me – Uncle Mister Irving Brown Socks – around the block – for his late-nighter.

We had stopped so that he could check out some smell or another – when – all a sudden – out of nowhere – a car zoomed by super-fast. Cars tend to do that all of the time around these parts – so I only thought about it for a hot second (or so).

Well – in that hot second (or so) – everything in the world changed. I heard cackling – felt something hit me in the back of the head – and then looked to the down to see two chocolate pudding containers – their contents splattered all about – lying on the ground. Before I could react at all – the shrieking cackles had faded into the distance.

As I stood there trying to figure out what in the bananas had just happened – I gave myself a bit of a patdown to see where I had been hit. It was at that point that Uncle Irv came over and started licking my boot. He is very helpful.

Let this be a lesson to walkers out there . . . They have pudding and they will use it indescriminantly and with no provocation.

Let this also be a warning to those with pudding who cackle and drive Jeep Cherokees . . . I have eggs – and I am very confident that I know how to use them . . . I scramble them with cheese.

I was on the brink of one of my soon to be patented all-night late-nights – so I stopped on the way home at a little convenience store to get a big hot tea.

I know that I could have made tea at home – but I figured that at the store – they would have the one magic ingredient that my cupboard was missing . . . lemon. I was wrong – they were a lemon-free zone.

Any-hoo, I went in – it was slightly after 11:00 at night – and the place was surprisingly busy. I went over to the tea station – made my tea – and listened to some of the verbal shenanigans that were going on around me. Once the sugar was in and the tea was made – I went to the line and waited.

Are you wondering why I’m telling you this seemingly banal (“the state of being commonplace; something without freshness or originality, insipid”) story about nothing much more than nothing?? Well – then I am glad that you have made it this far – because here comes the payoff.

When I got to the front to pay, the bill came up to $1.42 (I had gotten the big big big size). I already had a dollar in my hand – but dug into my pocket to see if I had the change. I pulled out exactly 42 cents. I exclaimed “OH! Look . . . forty-two cents on the nose!” The cashier then – without breaking stride and in the best way I can imagine this line being delivered said “Yeah man. Ain’t nobody better than you – man . . .”

It was the greatest.

He gets a gold star.