It happened on the eve of the date I had with Tommy. We planned a fishing trip in the morning and a trip to the zoo in the evening. I hunted for worms in the back yard; some for us and some to sell. They were leaner this summer but none-the-less fine fish bait and would fetch a good price. I had just dropped the last little slime ball into a jar and clamped the lid on when I saw a coon taking a tour through my garden. After leaving a pile of its personal waste next to the lettuce, it took a jab at the peas and then gave me a look as if to query me; “What are you looking at?”
I shouted at it; “How dare you! Why are you in my garden? Be gone! Will you get out?”
It turned its back and flapped its tail as if casting a hex on me while it took nips out of the green onions. Then it moved slowly down the row past the tomatoes, its gait confident. While it enjoyed a back rub against my freshly painted fence, I dashed into the house and rang a pest control company.
Minutes later a cargo van rolled into the driveway. It was obvious it was the crew I’d called by the picture on the van; a menacing tiger ripping apart a monstrous rat.
Two men hopped out; Jack and Ralph. When Jack saw the raccoon digging in my garden, he said, oh, so wisely; “Yup! Looks like you got yourself a pest.”
After my eyes finished rolling, we discussed the fees.
The animal was easily enticed with a pile of walnuts. It waddled into the cage eyeing one walnut that jutted out from between the bars. Ralph pulled the pin. The door rolled swiftly down catching Ralph’s middle finger in a cog. He screamed it was broken and said I was to pay for his x-rays.
“Ha!” I shouted. “I’ll see you in jail first!”
And that’s when the riot broke out.