Raccoons in the Attic, Menageries and “If I Was You, I’d…”

   Written by on February 9, 2017 at 11:14 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

From the time I was six years old and my brother gave me a Green Snake until my marriage to Management I had had a rotating assortment of animals, reptiles, amphibians and birds in my house.

Although I still have various animals they are seldom in the house.  The best I can figure is in the wedding vows followed by the “I do’s” was a small print clause whispered by the preacher that said something like, “Will you promise to love honor and cherish this woman?”  Me, “I will.”  The Preacher, “And will you agree to remove all of the reptiles, amphibians and unattractive or destructive creatures from the home?”  Me, “I will.”

Somehow I don’t remember that line but it must have been there because as soon as we got home from our honeymoon the critter eviction started.

Management never had the pleasure of meeting McCullock, a sort of a pet raccoon that almost destroyed my bathroom or Marie Antoinette, an Eastern King Snake that was almost beheaded by a peasant who used a garden hoe instead of a guillotine.  I sewed Marie’s half-severed head back in place and although the results weren’t attractive, Marie lived for another ten years or so.  If Management had taken the time to build relationships with my critters I am certain she would have insisted they stay but to be fair, she was adjusting to me and just didn’t have time. I’ll admit that adjusting to me was possibly a full time job.

In spite of the restrictions on MY menagerie, it seems my son has an entire family of raccoons living in his attic, sort of a coon-de-minium if you will.  The unfair part of this is I would be happy to have several of them but it is not allowed.

Earlier this week he heard a noise on the roof and found a coon dragging a box trap across the roof, apparently intending to push it over the edge.

Although many people already consider me to be over the edge, if anything ever pushes me over the edge it is going to be rude people. They are getting ruder in person, on the highway and in letters.  They are just downright obnoxious when they are anonymous on the Internet.

I just made the mistake of reading the comments following a news story on the Website of a national newspaper.  I think I have added a permanent and ugly scar to my psyche.  If these are representative of the average online reader, all of us are in a heap of trouble.

I have to admit it sort of sucks you in like quicksand. (NOTE to on-line anonymous posters:  I am aware quicksand does not really suck you in.  I understand it is possible to crawl out of quicksand. This comment was intended as a metaphor. I have never been personally involved with quicksand and you probably haven’t either. And furthermore there isn’t any reason to call me ugly names; you can’t find one that hasn’t already been used.)

You just can’t believe what idiots they are and how illogical and poorly written the posts are and you keep reading. It is addictive and self-destructive.  I kept getting the urge to sign up and post “Is everybody who posts on this site an abusive, vulgar, ignorant, self-important, poorly educated ego maniac?” but I was afraid someone would say “yes.”

Prior to the Internet these annoyances were more civil but just as aggravating.  Living in rural Virginia I learned long ago that no matter where you were or what you were doing someone would come up and say, “It’s none of my business, and I don’t know anything about it and I’ve never done it, BUT if I was you what I would do is…”

I haven’t heard that in a while.  Apparently all of those folks are sitting at home or at work posting anonymous comments on newspaper websites.  As some guy once said, “It’s an ill wind that blows no good.”

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