Danceswithcarp's Brother's

Raccoon Caper

My brother, yes, the one who rubbed the serrano on the hash, uh, peace pipe called and told me this story that just happened two nights ago to my oldest brother who is, well, slightly, shall we say excentric (read paranoid--lot's of stuff), and although this isn't chile-head related directly, it does fit in with the thread on animals raiding the larder.

Anyways, my oldest brother has been staying at my grandma's 100 year-old house while grandma is in the nursing home. Now this brother is so nutty that we barely even will talk to him because he's so far out in paranoia-land to even be around him, you catch a bit of it--if you get my drift.

So he's been telling grandma for a week someone's been sneaking into the house while he's asleep and he'll hear things crash around but by the time he gets downstairs, no one is there and the doors and windows are still locked and maybe the person is coming up through the old coal chute that leads down into the cellar under the house.

Hmmm. Through that little biddy old coal chute? Even grandma is gettingready to write him off. But two nights ago he hears the noise and comes creeping down the stairs and in the hallway leading towards the living room is this black slimey trail. YIKES!

So my brother grabs the only weapon at hand, a 4 or 5 gallon cast-iron pot grandma used to use for a flower pot and heads down the hall; bravely following the black-slime trail towards the living room to meet his doom, except when he hits the light switch, instead of braining a burglar, a big old buck raccoon rares back on his hind legs and *screams* at him. And my brother _flees_ the scene. I mean, hey, this is after all, in downtown Bloomington, Indiana and you can only be preapared for so much.

But wait a minute, old bro thinks, this is _my_ home. I can't surrender my home to a wild animal, especially here in downtown Bloomington. So with a breathfull of courage my brother runs back into the living room shrieking and screeching the War-Cry of The Damned, and the danged raccoon turns to run, but he's cornered. KA-BLAM. The cast-iron pot goes right over the top of the raccoon and my brother immediately slams his butt downon the pot bottom for weight and the raccoon is captured, in the middle of my grandma's house, in the middle of a city, at 1:00AM

And there my brother sat, wondering what he was supposed to do then. Andhe sat. And he sat. And finally, he ran out of cigarettes and knew the moment of reckoning was at hand. So he tilted a chair over on the pot to hold it down and got a towel and a laundry basket full of dirty clothes. Then he just sort of *edged* that towel underneath the pot until it had the entire opening covered, then he yanks up on the towel and pot and lifts the captured raccoon up and drops the whole upside-down shooting match, towel, pot, raccoon and all into this laundry basket.

All of this time the raccoon's not saying a thing. So my bro, an environmentalist of the old school, decides it's cruel to keep the raccoon in the laundy-basket full of dirty clothes with a cast-iron pot on top ofit, so he takes it out and *wires*, mind you, the whole lash-up onto the handlebars and basket of this rickety old bicycle of his, and he takes off for a city park to dump the raccoon out--hoping of course that raccoons don't have a powerful homing instinct--at THREE O'CLOCK IN THEMORNING--RIDING A BICYCLE THROUGH DOWNTOWN BLOOMINGTON WITH A WILD RACCOON LASHED TO THE HANDLEBARS!

"I didn't have anything illegal on me," he said.

Well, about halfway to the park he says all of a sudden-like this raccoon goes berserk, screaming, thrashing around, snarling like a tiger, and this is all on the handlebars right in front of my brother's face in the laundry-basket under the cast-iron pot, so acting normal for once, my brother peddled harder. And then he said, the most god-awful screaming he'd ever heard emanated from beneath that pot over the laundry basket, and just like that; all got quiet.

Yikes indeed. Yes, he admits it gave him the creeps, but onward he went with his mission and when he got to the park, he put down the kick stand, let loose of the bike for an instant, and the whole rig fell over on its side. He didn't say who was moving faster when the laundry-basket full of clothes and raccoon covered with a cast-iron pot hit the ground, but my guess is it was a draw.

Well, the raccoon might have gone faster but it was tangled in all of my brother's dirty laundry, none of which was repairable because of the shredding that had taken place while the raccoon should have been enjoying the ride. But it took a while to chase the line of abandoned clothes through the park and recover it all, and my brother said it was daylight before he got back home.

So why am I telling you all this? Because there's a moral hidden in here somewhere, I'm not sure what it is, but it certainly puts problems in the pepper patch in proper perspective; unless you are, of course, a lunatic.

And why else am I telling you this? No lie. My older brother called my brother that gave me the pipe with the serrano juice on the end of it just a few minutes ago, and told him he thought he heard a noise downstairs and wanted to know if he could come over and check it out--he said he had no desire to tangle with another raccoon and he was hunkered down up in the bedroom loft for the rest of eternity, if need be.

So my brother called me since I lived closer and asked if I'd go help my loonier brother out. "Hey?" I said, "I'm getting my lung cut out on Monday. I don't *need* this."

No lie again. My brother said "Yeah, but maybe you could just throw some of those habeneros you grew in there and if the 'coon eats one, he won't come back."


And as of right now, I swear, that is where the matter stands.


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