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.

or here:

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.[64] Studies in 1963, 1973, 1975 and 1992 concentrated on raccoon memory showed they can remember the solutions to tasks for up to three years.[65] 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.[65] 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.

Just sayin.

Grandpa died last week.

And now he is buried in the rocks.

And everybody still talks about.

How badly they were shocked.

But me

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!


13 thoughts on “COONS

  1. Well, I’m against animal cruelty in any form, but you know what? You make a very strong case for the defendant. 🙂

    You really do.

  2. cmaukonen

    I have been camping a number of times down here in Florida and up north as well. I can tell you with out fear of contradiction that racoons are the sneakiest, most belligerent and clever animals I have ever come across.

    They could make the most arrogant Wall Street con artist blush with envy.

    1. hahahaha

      Damn straight.

      Beavers are not that stupid either.

      There is a rich community up at a lake nearby and the residents were absolutely out of their minds with anger toward the damn beavers.

      Birches would show up weekly laying down with those nasty beaver toothed wounds. hahahahaha

      I mean the little bastards had no intent on dragging a full grown birch down to their dams that were obstructing the flow of the local ponds.

      Nature, sometimes will just not cooperate! ha

  3. All I can think of is Davie Crockett and a coonskin cap and every kid of our generation wanted one. It never crossed our minds what it meant for the coon. It really didn’t. It was sold to us matter of factly that way and isn’t any different than the toys being sold to an unwary public today.

    The difference now is the toys are made in China and those paying a price are people instead of animals. And in reality the price is being exacted on both sides of the transaction. And still we don’t know what it means.

    I listened to this today and can’t get it out of my head. …All that is true, Done with lyin’. I don’t think we’re there yet.

    1. This is just delightful.

      I know I grew up with this song with a different beat and band…

      But this take is delightful.

      Thank you John!

      Oh, and I do not presently possess it, but at age 6 I had a coonskin cap and I recall of picture of me wearing it!

      Oh and somewhere, I have Fess Parker’s autographed picture that I picked up in the 80’s when I was in Cal.

      1. Seems I have a recollection of having a coonskin cap too. It’s funny but I don’t know if it’s a figment or not. I did have a pair of shiny six guns in a holstered set. They were real fancy. I haven’t a clue what happened to them. Never was all that into guns. It didn’t take my parents all that long to figure out I was into electronic stuff. Best thing they ever got though was that big twenty volume enclclopedia set. Had my face in them forever. I don’t know how it actually came about but I was reading pretty good by about three so them books was the best thing ever. It was odd too because nobody realized it and I had no idea. Until I went to kindergarden. Then the shit hit the fan. Kindergarden sucked. I walked out on more than one occasion and nobody even noticed until later. Beat that. First grade wasn’t much better. I ran away one day because my first grade teacher scolded me because I spelled xylophone with an x. Not her fault but what does a six year old kid know. Been downhill with authority ever since. Cops especially don’t like it. They sense when you have no respect for their authority. Naturally, I hate all politicians for their twisting of facts. I especially hate the idea that government has assigned themselves a right to lie to citizens. How is that not recognized as a multi-faceted corruption?

      2. I was just listening to this with headphones and it’s really nice. I close my eyes and listen to the music someplace in the middle of my head and wonder how that happens. But I’m so happy it works that way cause it sounds so pretty.

    1. Just throw in some taters and a couple of carrots and you are off to the races.

      Cooking on a lower heat with the lid on the pot keeps the dish from becoming too dry.

      Kind of tastes like chicken.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s