Residents of a Toronto neighbourhood awoke to horrifying sounds early Wednesday morning after a man allegedly attacked a family of raccoons with a shovel.
Toronto police say a man faces weapons and animal cruelty charges after officers were called to a home in the Bloor Street and Lansdowne Avenue area around 5:50 a.m.
Const. Victor Kwong says neighbours reported someone was attacking the raccoons in a backyard with a garden shovel.
Kwong says one of the baby raccoons was severely injured and it was originally thought the animal might have to be put down.
You know context is everything when one is describing some behavior from an anthropological perspective.
Now just the fact that we read English spelling in the above squib tells us that we are probably looking at a Canadian writer.
Everyone should know (although without spellcheck I would be even more ragtag in my posts than I already am!) that neighborhood should be spelled thusly without that annoying u. I mean that Noah Webster knew what he was doing!
Now my understanding is that in the geographical context of say West Virginia or Eastern Kentucky, the actions of this perpetrator would be considered grocery shopping.
That is, there is nothing like a GOOD OLE DOWN HOME raccoon stew to be et on a lazy summer evening.
I am writing this post as a confession actually.
They say confession is good for the soul.
On or about December of 2002 I completely unraveled and found myself in dire straights without the down beat.
I ended up in a house somewhere in west Florida that was being prepped for sale by one of my ex clients.
I had no rent of course and there were minimal utilities related to a 19 inch tv and lights.
I survived on about ten bucks a week for food, which was excruciatingly painful during my 50 week stay.
To give you some idea how strange an existence I experienced during that time period, I came across a 20 pound bag of potatoes at one of the two grocery stores I frequented; it was on sale for $1.50. I never had much body strength anyway; it was one hell of an effort to carry that bag home from the store.
I had never and have never enjoyed baked potatoes more than during that highlight of my existence.
Without getting into how I survived down there, I would discuss the tiny pool in the back yard of this all white Florida working class town.
There were no accoutrements to this puddle. There was no chlorine or other chemicals available and I had no idea how to drain it.
Well during the summer of that year, I came across one frog that decided to make the manufactured pond his home.
You ever have a fly enter your abode and drive you nuts?
I mean you have to find that fly at three AM or kill yourself.
Or a dripping faucet?
Well this frog liked to sing at two in the morning.
I would get off of my bed (a mattress) and go outside looking for this fucking pest and he would hide.
As time went on, there came to be a chorus of frog singing and I became more and more crazy; until one night I could not take it any longer. And I went outside with a baseball bat and….
Where the bat came from, I have no idea.
Now this Canadian gentleman may have found himself in similar circumstances.
I have not read the entire file, but I would guess that those raccoons were causing him problems.
Raccoons are normally not very domesticated in nature.
These mammals may love to enure themselves to the humans in a manner that gives them certain advantages of course.
We all see those Youtube videos of raccoons sneaking onto a porch to receive freebies from some old fart with a bag of dried corn.
Isn’t that cute?
But most raccoons do not normally beg for their food like local ducks and geese.
They are omnivorous bastards; which is a polite description of a scavenger who will eat anything anytime. Kind of like your cantankerous Uncle Leroy!
They are rather large animals, and range from anywhere from 8-20 pounds.
And they are capable of being meaner than snot!
And they might maintain this meanness for as long as 20 years. They live longer than dogs for chrissakes!
They can run 10-15 MPR’s.
And they are smart little buggers:
Only a few studies have been undertaken to determine the mental abilities of raccoons, most of them based on the animal’s sense of touch. In a study by the ethologist H. B. Davis in 1908, raccoons were able to open 11 of 13 complex locks in less than 10 tries and had no problems repeating the action when the locks were rearranged or turned upside down. Davis concluded they understood the abstract principles of the locking mechanisms and their learning speed was equivalent to that of rhesus macaques. Studies in 1963, 1973, 1975 and 1992 concentrated on raccoon memory showed they can remember the solutions to tasks for up to three years. In a study by B. Pohl in 1992, raccoons were able to instantly differentiate between identical and different symbols three years after the short initial learning phase. Stanislas Dehaene reports in his book The Number Sense raccoons can distinguish boxes containing two or four grapes from those containing three
They can open spaces that have locks!
Now, let us say that you are a man who resides in the semi-wilderness and you have a root cellar where you store your roots like potatoes or rutabagas or whatever.
Or suppose you have a little shed like structure where you store other foods or manufacture spirits.
And let us further suppose that you awaken every goddamn morning to discover some new and maybe even unimagined evidence of unlawful entry into some part of your estate.
And one day, following a loss on internet poker or following the discovery that your investment banker had put all your savings in a Madoff fund or following the discovery that your favorite nephew has joined the Aryan Brotherhood—you lose it.
I mean the root cellar no longer has roots.
Your still has been destroyed.
Your grain is full of raccoon feces.
Or your fucking kitchen has been invaded the night before.
And after a decade of this torture, you decide that you have had enough!
And so you look for your trusty shovel!
And you are going to find your very own coonskin cap!
Again, I have not read the entire file.
Grandpa died last week.
And now he is buried in the rocks.
And everybody still talks about.
How badly they were shocked.
I expected it to happen
I knew he lost control
When he built a fire on mainstreet
And shot it full of holes.
ps: No raccoons or frogs were injured as a result of producing this blog!