Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Raccoon Robbers

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A friend of mine called me up with a frantic "Help!  I'm lost" conversation. Turns out they had decided to surprise me by driving 250 miles to drop in on me. I wasn't expecting anyone, I had my place torn apart with about 10 projects going on. 

Let's see I was :
   Repairing the air conditioner
   Making yogurt
   Making cheese
   Writing an article in between doing some medical research
   Trying to get the stains off the jumbo picnic table cloth
   Cleaning out the basement
   Reorganizing the pantry
   Making a duplicate backup of my backup
   Soaking and washing laundry by hand (no laundry facilities here)
   Searching for an important document that went on walk-about
   Training the dog
   Plus doing some major spring cleaning

I gave my friend final directions, then set about trying to rein in my chaos.  My friend arrived, turns out they not only had driven so far to see me, but were also fairly ill and ravenously hungry.  I was trying to pull together a dinner and be their instant nurse maid. If I sound tired, it's because I am positively wore out. 

By early evening, I was just exhausted and went to bed with a bit of chaos everywhere. 

I thought I had cleaned up the table outside, but I had apparently forgotten to finish that. I had carried the dishes inside but left a bucket of water outside. Even worse, on the picnic table was a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of hot sauce. Also on the table was a used coffee can, with a lid, that was being used as an outdoor  garbage can for cigarette butts, picnic napkins and bagged up puppy poop.  Used coffee cans of any size, along with their snap  on lids, make great outdoor garbage cans while camping. 

This campground has over 200 lots scattered around, and only one garbage dump; at the main exit.

When I got up the next morning, I stepped outside with a cup of coffee. Much to my horror, the raccoons had made a visit. Finding the bucket of water, they washed their little hands, something raccoons are very fond of. They not only like to wash their hands, but wash their food as well. So my clean bucket of water was filthy. Next they climbed up on the picnic table, leaving dirty little raccoon hand prints everywhere. Their paw prints were all over the hot sauce bottle but not the ketchup bottle. That is because they STOLE the ketchup bottle!

They had also opened up the coffee can garbage, dumping the contents liberally across the picnic table, the bench and the surrounding grounds. 

My neighbors, around the corner,  who cut through my campsite throughout the day and night, to take a shortcut to the public restrooms announced their campsite had been a target too.

Earlier I had seen a big fat raccoon begging at another campsite. I guess the campers have inadvertently tamed it, by feeding the creature. 

I was laughing at my mess, thinking about the campers I met at Long Point Park in Florida. I had watched them set up a huge campsite, as they were expecting friends and family to join them. Then they went surfing. When they came back, they asked me if I had seen anything suspicious around their campsite. I had not and told them so, inquiring if there was a problem.

Turns out they had left a large cooler outside, full of ice and fresh shrimp. A family of raccoons had come along, opened up the cooler, then devoured all their shrimp, making a huge mess at the same time.  We laughed about it. 

I was relating this story to my friend, and lamenting that the raccoons stole my brand new bottle of ketchup, but left the hot sauce behind. 

Sometimes in the early afternoon, I suddenly became super exhausted. I laid down for a quick nap.  My visiting sick friend was already napping.  Maybe a half hour later, I woke up in a fog, thinking I would finish the air conditioning repair then sneak to the beach.   

My visiting sick friend, had simply vanished. I just assumed they took their car to go tour the lighthouse or the rest of the island. After a few hours of fussing with the air conditioner (Yippee!  It works now!)  I called their cell phone to find out where they were. Turns out they were halfway home. I guess in their fevered state, they forgot to mention this to me. Furthermore, they left their shoes, clothes and toiletry bag behind. 

Life is goofy!  

As I write this, I am dead tired again, so back to bed for me for a little while. 
Beautiful campground on the coast of South Carolina. 

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Life is goof!