Here at the end of the Bush administration, as we pray for greater transparency as regards our torture of enemy combatants, violations of civil liberties under the USA PATRIOT Act, and the lack of gender parity in the workforce (not to mention in who is allowed to marry and who is not), I would also ask the exiting party to reveal another awful secret to the American people: What is a raccoon?
Raccoons are one of the only land mammals who can also walk on the bottom of riverbeds, holding their breath for up to an hour. They eat both live prey and carrion, and can consume up to 20 pounds of raw meat at a time, then go without food for a week. Their skeletal structure is found in no other animal, and that, combined with their ferocity and complete lack of moral fiber, make them perhaps our most dangerous enemy. Pictured below is the subspecies Procyon Hitchhijackus, the highway bandit. Their modus operandi is to hide in undergrowth and then saunter out into the middle of the road late at night. The reflection of headlights on their neon green irises temporarily blinds the driver. Under no circumstances with the Hitchhijackus yield its position, eventually taking over the vehicle after robbing all passengers of their beef jerky and Metallica CDs.
Of course, even during the information blackout of the past eight years, there was no disguising the most horrific and unavoidable fact about Procyon Carnivora: They tend to work in the funeral industry for a reason. Masterfully, they have learned to remove the hands of the dead and reattach them to their own wrist stumps; even the nerves are fully functional. [Ed. note: Avoid photograph below.] A raccoon uses its hands just as we do: to slap their young, to dig enormous holes in otherwise attractive lawns, and to hack the Twitter accounts of their high school lovers, leaving messages such as, “Am such hore! My poo just falls out. Still fat of baby wait, am looser where my shoes.”
You meet a raccoon in a bar. He seems nice enough – asks questions about your work, mentions how kind he is to his mother, pays for all your meat. Before you go home with him, please remind yourself of one all-important detail. Your date has a penis bone.
Raccoons loooove to claim they fight fair. They say that ten years of therapy has taught them valuable lessons, and no really, they want to hear your side of things, please – show me your heart, they’ll say. All of those years of borderline personality disorder, alcoholism, inappropriate sexual behavior, speaking in Latin backward? All better now. So you say, “It really hurts me when you won’t hold my paw in public . . .” and that’s as far as you get.
Here’s what all raccoons really want: they want to spend days on end indulging in role-playing games with other penis bones. They want for Second Life to finally develop real sex, not just jerky avatar nonsense. They want you to shut up and get them a turkey pot pie. No, three. And also those beers aren’t going to walk in here on their own. They’d like you to tell your problems to someone else’s stolen leather hand, and they would very much like to eat the insulation and wiring in the attic undisturbed, OKAY, SWEETHEART? Because inside, this is how they see themselves:
In truth, they look like this:
A few last words of warning: if you find yourself in combat with a raccoon, don’t. They all have rabies. The last person who took one on was Ann Coulter and look what happened to her. Most importantly, raccoons fall under the category of You Think It Can’t Get Any Worse, but merciful heavens, that’s when this shows up at your door.
Scott’s advice is absolutely the best: if you suspect you have a raccoon in your attic, burn the house to the ground. You know, get the kids out, then burn it until nothing is left but cinders and traces of evil. Sprinkle salt around the foundation, and consider Scientology.