Procyonid paranoia has set in at the ranch.

I just spent the better part of this morning installing a bright strobe light and wiring stereo speakers in my attic. Why would I be doing such a thing? No, this is not the latest fad in Dolby surround sound or lounge entertainment. This is serious business. I am installing the sound and light show up in the eaves in order to get a undesirable to leave. Today is the first day of raccoon relocation season. I am trying all this to discourage a raccoon from maintaining residence here in my digs. It moved in on Thursday night, entering through my attic ventilator fan. ( I tried just leaving a radio up in the attic tuned to a rap-music station in order to scare it off – but it didn’t work- every time I would check on it, the radio was retuned to a classical station. I must have a tenant of discriminating tastes.) Now I have a stereo in place where the pest can’t get to the tuning knob– plus it has a really scratchy volume control pot. Soon we will find out what 100 watts of static-laced rock music will do (other than loosen the drywall throughout my house.) Either the pest will leave or lose its hearing.

Unfortunately it is the nesting season for these critters. They are only looking for a warm, dry, quiet and safe place to whelp their offspring. So they look for some upscale garret in order to give their kids the kind of upbringing their parents never had. Tough luck, I say. As far as I am concerned, raccoons have their choice of every house on the planet except one – mine.

If they don’t vacate by tomorrow, I’m installing a couple of 250 watt quartz lamps up in the trusses. Extremely bright light is not a desirable habitat for nocturnal forest creatures– but if they grew up in an urban setting, I’m pretty much screwed. Then it’s a turf war. City raccoons are known to have gang affiliations. They have tattooed pelts and tend to carry illegal firearms. They always have a buddy around who can spring them from the live traps. After that, it’s a blood vendetta– them or me. Country raccoons are a little different. All you have to do is offer them a better trailer and they’re off like a shot– in the direction of the nearest Kroger or Piggly-Wiggly.

Judging by his/her music choice (classical), I am reasonably sure my raccoon pest has an Ivy League upbringing -and is now scrambling around the trusses in his pince-nez glasses and matching pairs of Birkenstocks, trying to locate the most pretentious and exclusive corner of the eaves. The joke is on him, as I don’t know of any gated communities in my attic. If he gets to my garage he won’t find a Volvo either. Imagine what might happen if he discovers that he has taken up residence in a garret simply laced with archived copies of the National Review, and a Buick LeSabre in the garage. His proud little chest might just cave in- forcing him to slink away in the night– before his colleagues back at the club discover that he has taken up residence with a ‘conservative’. Or else he might be a University of Wisconsin graduate, but that would make him a Badger. (I had to put that one in!)

One can only imagine what might happen if the animal stays in my attic for a prolonged time. Up there, in that confined space – with zero exercise and living off of the high sodium, low fiber and ultra fatty trash in my neighborhood, he is likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and maybe even goiter. I can see him now– trying to get around under the roof with his little gout stricken paws and pot belly- stopping in mid-gable in order to catch his breath- before trying to squeeze his size 16 raccoon body through a size 3 hole- his beady little glaucomic eyes nearly popping out of his puffy red bandit-face. Yes sir, my attic is no place for a raccoon, especially a cranky old one with prostate problems. We have to get him out before it is too late.


Somebody doesn't like my choice of music