A raccoon has been spotted almost daily at Virginia Beach’s City Jail. No, he’s not an inmate! He was a stowaway on a supply shipment from Georgia. Ever since his arrival, the little guy has been wandering the grounds and making appearances at the window of the facility’s canteen (food supply storage) daily, begging for snacks. He apparently hasn’t yet penetrated the formidable structures, but the fact that he hasn’t left indicates he’s found adequate food and water. The employees at the jail, fond of his daily visitations, have taken to calling him–rather un-creatively–“Bandit.”
There are worse places to be stuck than Virginia Beach, even if it is the jail, if you can come and go as you please.
In case you didn’t know, and you shouldn’t, because knowing this would be weird: July is National Picnic Month! You know, that thing that sounds like a nice, wholesome activity to do with the family but is rarely worth the effort. Picnics and animals go together as well as peanut butter and jelly. The most famous combinations of the two are picnics paired with ants, and picnics paired with bears. Curse you, Yogi, you thieving scum! You’ve sullied the reputation of our national parks for the last time!
Dogs also tend to make an appearance at picnics. What’s more wholesome than a hilltop picnic while little Billy cavorts with Sergeant Pupper?
One animal that people often forget to expect with picnics is the raccoon. Cute and cuddly, these greedy little things will just walk right up and take your food, thinking it’s owed to them. Well, come on, they look so dang cute eating how could you deny giving them your food?
Take, for example, this pouncing procyon in Costa Roca who goes for someone’s bagged lunch?
Or this paddle boater in Florida who left her next meal on the front of her ride, ripe for the picking by a hungry critter.
Once you’ve gone through the trouble making the food, packing in, herding the family into a car and hauling them an hour or so to the most idyllic locations, don’t forget that you’re dining with nature, and you’d better have packed enough for everyone.
Generally, I don’t like to present stories here that involve raccoons and rabies. First, such stories are extremely common and so this blog would end up being rather repetitive. Second, such stories rarely end well for the raccoon. However, this week a couple of friends saw fit to share a story about a raccoon with rabies being killed and even I had to take notice of it–as did some other news sources–if only because of the story’s abundance of irony.
The Mainer in question, Rachel Borch, a vegetarian, went jogging in the woods of Hope, ME.
Shortly after realizing what a beautiful day it was, she was confront by a snarling, rabid raccoon on a narrow path.
The raccoon immediately attacked her, biting her on the thumb and staying latched to it as it began clawing at her.
As she struggled, her phone fell into a puddle. Noticing the water, Rachel immediately thrust the raccoon under the surface and held it in place until it died.
She then pulled out her thumb and ran off to get medical attention.
As she ran, she was worried that raccoon had not died and might still be chasing her. In her words: “It felt like Pet Semetary.” A reference to a novel written by prominent Maine resident, Stephen King.
Between the melodramatic prose of the article and little details included, writers at both Esquire, Daily Wire, and SB Nation were compelled to comment upon both the event itself and its coverage. The esquire commentary is especially impressive, working in an erudite reference to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and even giving significance to the bag the raccoon’s body was placed in. Peculiarly, none of them bothered to comment on the ironic twist of fate for the raccoon: that late-stage rabies causes a fear of water, which would be prophetic for this animal as it ended up drowning.
Truly, truth is stranger than fiction. And high art? That hides in the most unassuming of places.
A week ago the Disnleyland park (specifically Disney California Adventures) in Anaheim, CA introduced the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout last week. The attraction replaced the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride which had been in that park since 2004 (and was a duplicate of the ride which opening in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida back in 1994.) Making use of the functions of the old structure, the ride retains the rapid up-down movement of its old incarnation with a fresh coat of Guardians of the Galaxy (specifically the movie incarnation) paint.
The most important thing is that it stars Rocket Raccoon! You see, the scenario for the ride is that Taneleer Tivan a.k.a., The Collector (played by an Benicio Del Toro in the first Guardians movie, but by some stand-in during the video segments of the ride) has captured the Guardians of the Galaxy and is displaying them in his collection. As the audience is given a tour of his facility, Rocket escapes and hijacks their ride to get his friends free. The even better part is rather than going cheap and just having Bradley Cooper provide some voiceover and have the furry menace appear on screen occasionally, they’ve actually produced an animatronic Rocket that runs around and talks to the audience.
As per usual, Disney also put a lot of effort into the dressings for the ride, with the queue being a winding tour of the Collector’s Collection, displaying iconic relics from the Marvel Universe. It’s apparently a Marvel Fanboy’s dream come true. Too bad I don’t get to California very often. There are currently no plans to replace Tower of Terror in Florida with the Guardians ride, either.
Cool beans! Someone over at Penn Live decided to write an article about Raccoons in the Movies. Sadly, most of the entries, including Dr. Doolittle 2, The Nut Job, Over the Hedge, and Furry Vengeance are kind of mediocre. Their cameos in The Great Outdoors and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle were much more enjoyable. You know, for all my love of the cute little critters, I wasn’t aware there was a film adaptation of Sterling North’s Rascal. I’ve never read that book. I’ll need to add it to my massive backlog, which is slowly becoming all digital.
Reumy Films on Youtube (they’re hosting videos detailing the process of making a short animated film about a boy and raccoon.)