My life is just plain weird.
Let me explain…
This last weekend, I was lying on the couch watching my unrated director’s cut of Romero’s Land Of The Dead. I was enjoying some zombie movie quiet time as the wife and kids were asleep and it was well after midnight. About the time the zombies jump into the Alleghany River on thier pilgrimage to Fiddler’s Green, I heard a rustling sound on the front porch.
‘What the…?’ I thought, visions of shambling hordes of the undead staggering onto my porch filling my head. Any geekish thoughts of an impending zombie apocalypse were quickly quelled when I remembered I had set a bag of garbage on the porch after dinner with the intention of taking it back to the cans later. In my laziness it was still on the porch and apparently being set upon by some animals. So I got up, flicked on the porch light, and looked out the front storm door. There, perched about the bag of garbage and its now strewn contents were two large, fat, bushy raccoons.
“Shit.” I said.
So I knocked on the door, thinking that a large bipedal beast should surely be enough to scare away the raccoons. You can imagine my chagrin when they ignored me. So, I cracked the door and said “Yah. Get outta here.”
Now I’m uncertain what part of my brain reasoned that saying, “yah,” like I was herding cattle atop the back of a horse in some far flung western territory would be enough to scare away some hungry raccoons. Suffice it to say, it was most likely the same part of my brain that makes me utter stupid things at the most inopportune times; like during meetings, during sex, or at funerals.
Anyway, where I’d been ignored before, I found that the removal of the door made the raccoons definitely notice me. In their minds, the garbage bag was now theirs and they were loath to relinquish it. And apparently any fear they have of old, fat, balding, undead bipedal primates is minimal at best. They both looked up at me with their black, beady, alien eyes full of malice and hissed.
The larger one then darted at the door, growling and yowling with terrifying ferocity.
I screamed like a girl and slammed the door. The raccoon hit the door with enough force to make the storm window rattle. It stared at me with a look of pure evil for several seconds before waddling back to its meal of kitchen refuse.
At this point, I was mad. Besides the fact that I’d have to clean up the garbage on the porch - I had been bested by a mammal that, had I been a more primitive version of man, I would have happily killed and roasted on a spit in my dank - but no doubt tastefully decorated - cave.
The feral little bastard had gotten my inner Neanderthal all riled up.
So, I did a uniquely American thing. I thought of all of my options and settled on the one that I think all American men can recognize and appreciate. I decided that the only way to fix this insult was with the tactical advantage of superior firepower.
So I went upstairs and opened my gun cabinet.
As I stood there, squinting at its contents in the dim light cast from the hallway (Mrs. Zombie was asleep), I mentally weighed my options. The shotguns and larger caliber rifles were out of the question. Too loud and too much like using a nuclear weapon in my quiet suburban neighborhood. The handguns too were not an option. Again they were loud and, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure I could stop at one or two shots. When one starts defending one’s house from furry interlopers, the temptation to empty a high capacity semi-automatic weapon ‘just to be sure’ is too great. That left my muzzleloader (only one shot and there were two raccoons), my .22 (I was out of .22 shells) and my bb gun.
I decided on the bb gun.
So, I retrieved it from the cabinet and went downstairs, pumping the Crossman 760 Pumpmaster bb gun as I went. They say you should never pump the bb gun more than 10 times, but I’ve never subscribed to that policy myself. If I was going to use it to wage war, I wanted the bb to come out of the end of the muzzle with enough velocity to kill an elk. With the bb gun pumped at least 15 or 20 times I returned to the front door to find that a third raccoon had joined the other two. They were flanking me!
“Say ghello to my leetle friend!” I yelled, opening the door a crack. The raccoons looked at me with unadultered hate as I stuck the muzzle of the bb gun out the door and pulled the trigger. With a satisfying paaffftt! sound, I struck the largest of the raccoons square in his fat ass.
With a yowl, the ringleader jumped straight up about two feet in the air and landed on the porch in a tangle of fur and legs. It then darted off the porch like Scooby-Doo being chased by a ghost. The other two looked at the antics of their compatriot and decided maybe they’d best run too. I stepped out on the porch, triumphant.
“That’s right, you primitive screwheads,” I said into the night, “I rock like Bruce Campbell!”
So I cleaned up the mess and walked the bag back to the trashcans. I kept the bb gun with me just in case, and I’m glad I did. As I returned from the back yard, I looked towards the hedgerow that we have on the far side of our yard and saw three sets of eyes gleaming with malevolent, demonic rage. I could see that, having recovered from his initial injuries, the raccoon generalissimo had regrouped his forces and was planning a blitzkrieg type attack from beneath the thick hedgerow.
I quickly brought my weapon to bear just as they hissed and began creeping like ninjas from beneath the hedge. I panicked and fired, wincing with dismay as I heard the bb hit high in the hedge. I frantically began pumping the gun again as I realized that I was cut off from the porch by their nefarious approach. I quickly chambered another bb and took aim, squeezing the trigger.
I had shot true!
I hit the raccoon admiral right between the eyes. He flipped over backwards. He saw then that he was outmaneuvered and, with an angry human-like scream of rage, he scurried away into the night. His subordinates, lacking the heart to go on without their leader, followed him in his hasty and desperate retreat.
I was once again victorious, and celebrated by doing a little jig in my front yard. It was a scary sight I’m sure, as I was wearing only my boxer shorts and a pair of Teva sandals. I returned to the house, put the bb gun away, and went on with my night, confident that my home and loved ones were safe and secure because of my daring and courage.
The problem came this morning when I awoke to find my wife standing over me.
“Was I dreaming last night,” she said in that tone that generally means I’m in big trouble, “or were you in your gun cabinet last night?”
I proudly recounted the previous night’s adventure, but she saw things a lot differently then I did.
I’ll never understand women…why on earth would she call me a moron?