On a recent trip to St. Louis, Mo., I saw a sign posted in front of a store in an area that can be compared to Pittsburgh’s Strip District. The sign said “Yes We Have Coon.”
I soon found out that the sign meant that the store carried Raccoons to cook and, I guess, to eat. I had to take a picture of the sign with my phone.
Once I got home I forgot about the sign until late one night when I heard a noise downstairs on the patio. I didn’t think it was that windy outside for things to be blowing around so I decided to investigate.
I went downstairs and turned on the kitchen light. Just as the light went on I spotted something furry outside of the window above the sink. In the next instant the face of a raccoon looked in the window with a look of “what do you want” on its face.
I lost it. I started screaming and tried to figure out what to do. Who could I call for help? I called a few friends and they must have been sleeping.
When I turned on the back porch light I realized that I had actually invited the coon to my home. I had placed a roasting pan with some drippings on the patio table.
This was a metal roasting pan with the lid on it. This raccoon had actually crawled up the wall, came through the screen, lifted the lid off of the roasting pan and ate the drippings.
I thought I was having a bad dream. I called friend number three who was hundreds of miles away. I was so hysterical that he could not understand a word I was saying.
After I calmed down and explained the problem he told me to get some pots and bang them together and not to corner the raccoon. I started banging and hollering and this critter sat there in my beautiful striped chair and looked at me like I was crazy.
My friend told me that I must remove the roasting pan from the patio. I put the phone down and tried to look in every corner of the outdoor room to make sure that the coon was gone.
I slowly opened the door and grabbed the roaster as fast as I could. When I placed it out there I didn’t give it a second thought. I was going to wash out the roaster but then it was like out of sight out of mind. I had gotten so busy with family and holiday that I forgot that the pan was out there.
I’m sure the coons have wondered what happened to their midnight snack. Well, the restaurant is closed and never again will I place anything that resembles food on the patio unless I am out there with it. I don’t think I will even grill on the patio.
These raccoons are as bold as a brass monkey. That is an old phrase my mother used to use.
After the ordeal was over I thanked my friend for supporting me from afar and sent him a picture of the sign “Yes We Have Coon.”
(Email the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)