If you’ve been here before, then you are probably well aware that I have some strange “friends.” Most of them are not real, or can only talk to me in my head because they’re animals. Like the bat that keeps trying to break into my garage again even though he told me that I was weirding him out. Or my winged kitten, Petunia Darnell McSweetiePants. Or the voices in my head that make inappropriate jokes at inconvenient times, which is why I laugh at the scary parts in movies or at funerals.
This new friend is no different.
His name is Robby McFluffyButt, and he’s a raccoon. I have yet to take a picture of Robby, because he’s a little skittish around people. Also because he’s fast, it’s dark at night, and my phone sucks at taking pictures when I want it to because I have too much crap downloaded and stored on it.
He lives somewhere over by the Portland airport. More specifically, he lives somewhere near the dumpster at work. He travels across the ‘Park and Fly’ and climbs a fence to get into our dumpster every night. I frequently find him hanging out on the fence or jumping out of the dumpster when I go to take out the trash when the restaurant closes.
Last night as I was taking out the garbage, I saw him sitting on the fence again, preparing to run away.
Only he didn’t.
He just sat there watching me with his cute little mask on, so I started talking to him again.
“Hey there handsome! How are you tonight?”
Robby didn’t say anything at first. I guess he’s a little bit shy.
Me: Did you find any good snacks in there?
Robby: Not yet. I just got here and then you scared the crap out of me. See? It’s right there next to this fence.
Me: Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to make you poop! Well, I’ve got some fresh foodstuffs for you here, and I even left the bags untied this time so you don’t have to work so hard for it.
Robby: I appreciate that. Though, you do realize that I’m a garbage bag ninja, right? Plus you guys use really shitty bags. They’re easy to tear. That’s why I come here.
Me: Oh. I thought you came here because you wanted to be my friend. Now I have a sad. Can I pet you?
Robby: I don’t know what that means.
Me: (walking towards him) You know…pet you! Rub your tummy and behind your adorable little ears and whatnot? Skritchy skritch scratch?
Robby: (slowly inching away from me) No thank you. I don’t know where your hands have been.
Me: I promise that it will feel good! I’m an expert ear scratch-behinder. I’d tell you to ask my chinchilla, but he’s dead. My cat would know too, but he’s in Vancouver probably running around the neighborhood looking for something to eat or fuck. He’s a hungry hornball.
Robby: Nah, I’m good. Plus my paw hurts right now and you’re freaking me out by talking about your dead pet.
Me: Yeah, I noticed that your paw is just dangling there all floppy-like. Did you break it?
Robby: No. I was in a bar fight the other night and I think I sprained it when I bitch-slapped that bald eagle.
Me: Why would you bitch-slap a bald eagle?! Those things are huge! It could have eaten you!
Robby: I don’t know, I was drunk. His toupee was really stupid though. I have to go now.
He climbed down the other side of the fence and sat up on his hind legs to watch me throw the garbage in the bin. I went up to the fence and started making those little clicky noises like you do when you’re calling your cat. I don’t know why I thought that would work. He hasn’t been trained yet. And he’s not a cat!
I went back in, and as I finished cleaning up the kitchen, I gathered some “fresh” food into a to-go box for him. I know what it’s like to have a bum wrist, so I figured I’d dump some fruit and potatoes over the fence where he usually climbs up so that he could give his paw a break. Hopefully he’ll realize that it was me and be a little more willing to get to know me after this because he’s really freaking adorable.
I know what you’re thinking right now: “You idiot! You could get rabies!”
That’s fine. Rabies shots are awesome! I always feel like a celebrity when I get them because I have to go back to the doctors office four times in two weeks and they know who I am when I walk in by the third shot. Besides — everything tastes better with rabies.