I often have peculiar phone conversations with my mother and other members of my family. Last night, I had one that was a little more odd than usual. The following is a transcript of the conversation.
Warning: If you're a member of PETA, or otherwise care about furry critters, don't read any of what follows.
Puff, to me, while I am working in the garage, at about 10:30 at night: Your mother's on the phone. She says there's raccoon in her house.
Me: I'm two hours away by transit. What does she want me to do about it?
Puff: Just try and calm her down.
Me, kissing any more of my precious shop time good-bye in Yosemite Sam fashion: razzle fracking mumblemumblemumble. I go upstairs to the phone. Hi Mom, How are you doing?
Mom: There's a raccoon in the house.
Mom: In the basement.
Me: Did you shut the door to keep it there?
Mom: I'm not that senile. Yet.
Me: That's good. I You seem to have the situation well in hand, and since there's nothing I can do I'll just...
Mom: There is something you can do.
Me, kissing goodbye at any chance at a quick return to the the shop. What do you want me to do?
Mom: I need you to seal up the old milk box. I think that's how he came in.
Mom: No. The next time you're here. I don't know where your bat is.
Me: What bat?
Mom: Sorry. I was talking to your brother.
Me: What's he doing?
Mom: He was looking for the raccoon earlier, but he couldn't find it anywhere.
Me: Are you sure it came in through the milk box?
Mom: It must have. They have paws like hands, you know. He could open it.
Me: Could he then close it from the inside so it locks on the outside?
Mom: How else could he have come in?
Me: You may have a hole in your wall down there somewhere.
Mom: Don't say that. I've so many troubles lately, and everything costs so much money. I hope you're wearing thick gloves.
Me: Why would I wear gloves? It's hotter than heck out there.
Mom: Not you. Your brother. If you think there's a hole down there, I want you to fix that too, the next time you're out here.
Mom: For now, I just want it out of my house. He gave me such a fright when I saw him. I screamed so loud your brother came running to see if I had been hurt.
Me: If you can stand a shock like that, at least we know your heart's okay.
Mom: Laughs. That's not funny.
muffled bangs followed by muffled shouting.
Me: Is that brother?
Mom: Yes. I wish he wouldn't use such language.
Mom: I hope you're praying for him.
Me: You mean right now, or generally?
More shouting. More banging.
Mom: Both. I think I need to go. He's saying something about a box.
Me: Mom, stay away from (click).
Puff: How is she?
Me: That's an interesting question.
Ten minutes later, the phone rings.
My brother, breathless: Don't worry. I've taken care of it.
Me: What happened?
Him: I killed it with my bat. It took a while. He didn't want to die.
Me: (Inwardly: O crap) outwardly: What are you going to do with it, now?
Him: What do you mean?
Me: Remember that guy a few weeks ago who killed a raccoon in his yard with a shovel and got charged for cruelty to animals?
Him: It's different when it's in the house. (pauses for a moment) But to be safe, I'll wait until about 2 in the morning, then throw it in the road and drive over it a few times. What do you think?
Me: I didn't hear that.
At the end of it all, I feel sorry for the raccoon.