I’ve talked often about other people’s crazy, whether it be my own children or strangers in public… because in my mind, they’re the crazy ones. I’ve always been the fun, behind-the-scenes crazy. Tonight, however, I humbly accept my membership badge into a new society: the crazy IN PUBLIC club. Let me first provide you with an example of a fellow member.
I was in Target late the other night, waiting on line behind a couple that was buying cat food, potato chips, & soda. I don’t usually note people’s purchases, but in THIS case, it’s relevant.
Remember: cat food, potato chips, soda.
The couple looked to be in their mid-50’s. He put the items on the belt as she chatted with the cashier. It was small talk, pleasant nothingness. Until I noticed THIS about her… I’ll let my tweet sum it up:
No one acknowledged this trainwreck, & they left the store, carrying any possibility of me ever knowing WTF was going on away with them & their chips, cat food, & soda.
So, suffice to say, I left the store confirming that,
a- They were F*n nuts.
b- This was typical, since outings of any kind generally result in my attracting the loonies like magic, as I’ve described here. It’s a gift.
But tonight, I learned a lesson about being quick to judge a person based on what you see/hear. or how slippery the slope of “normalcy” can be. Or rather, I learned I’m far more capable of public crazy than I thought.
Before I explain why I ended up barking at a raccoon, let me give you some childhood trauma that justifies it.
When I was 7, my parents took us to visit an aunt’s house one night. I must have fallen asleep on the ride over, (which also probably explains why I never liked to nap… ever.ever.again). Because this was the 80’s, my parents decided to just, you know, leave their sleeping child IN THE CAR while they headed in.
Disclaimer: This was also the same generation of parents that needed a TV COMMERCIAL to remind them to look for their kids. Remember that? “It’s 10pm; do you know where your children are?” And I guess my parents didn’t watch enough TV, because they left me behind again, a year later, when they went for pizza with family members. THEY HAD TWO KIDS. How do you forget 50% of your offspring??
Disclaimer 2: My parents were awesome parents. Seriously. Despite leaving me behind & needing to be reminded by my BROTHER that I wasn’t there, they were great. And they even came back for me that day… so there’s that. You know. It was the 80’s.
I woke up in the car, & walked to the house’s side door. In order to reach it, you had to walk a narrow path where the garbage cans were.
As I walked.. I looked into a can. A huge raccoon popped up and lunged at me.
I didn’t get scratched, or bitten.
I did get a nice, big, fat fear of raccoons from that day on.
I’ve never seen a raccoon in person since, but that didn’t stop my family from bombarding me with them any time a new YouTube clip or gif featured one. Just the sight of them makes me feel so disgusted that I actually gag, & that kind of trauma is hilarious in my family. Apparently.
Things like THIS:
See… it’s all fun & games & dancing until the raccoon turns on you & bites your face off (Or tries to).
Using their hands to bang s^&% on windows for FOOD?? Why is this even possible??? *gag*
I’ve managed to avoid any direct contact with this fear… until tonight. I looked out the living room window, & saw a shadow streak across my lawn & into the street. I threw the window open, thinking it was our cat. Nope.
It was a big, fat raccoon, just about to slip into the sewer.
In panic, I let out a short yell. Instead of heading into the sewer, the raccoon pulled itself up, turned its head my way, and sat there & stared at me. Cue a gag & a scream.
Logic says, “close the window”. Or, “walk away.”
I had no logic. Zip. Zilch.
It didn’t move… it was staring me down.
So I shouted again. And it stared, again.
NOPE. You don’t get to sit there, all arrogant, on MY street, when I’m a grown-ass woman that needs you to GO.
Then I… barked? Or maybe it was a growl?
Because like I said, grown-ass woman.
(Most of the time.)
My yelling wasn’t working, so I instinctively made a noise that I thought COULD scare it off. It was enough to attract #2’s attention, who came down the stairs asking, “Why are you growling & yelling out the window?”
(God bless #2, for not questioning the growling, but the out-the-window aspect of the event.)
So I pointed it out, & she laughed, HARD, because she’s my family & knows of my phobia of them, and THAT’S comedy in my family. Apparently.
A moment later, the raccoon lifted its body up abruptly -my growling was that good- & ran away across my neighbor’s yard. And I don’t mean ran in a shamed, humble manner. Ran as in a “black magic from the devil on just its hind feet” run.
So it took facing a raccoon after 34 years to make me, an otherwise sensible & mentally stable adult, shriek like a stuck pig out my front window and growl like a dog.
And if my neighbors are anything like ME, they won’t know that I had a terrifying childhood experience with one that left me panicked at the sight of it. They won’t know that there even was a raccoon in the street that night.
They’ll just have shaken their heads & said, “That lady- the one with the six kids? She’s F*n nuts.”
I get it, Target lady. I get it.© Copyright 2016 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom