The other night, I found a raccoon on my deck eating garbage. I usually wouldn’t leave a bag of stinking trash out in the open like that, but what can I say. I forgot.

Around 2 in the morning my dog alerted me, and half the neighborhood, to the presence of our uninvited guest. I did what any other rational, half-asleep adult would do in this situation: I opened the window and said, “Scat! Hey, you, raccoon. Scat!”

He looked at me dead in the eyes and shoved another piece of food into his mouth. I swear the little bugger smirked. My dog was having none of it. He jumped onto the chair opposite the window and barked in protest. The raccoon, unmoved, tore a new hole into the black bag.

I was plum out of ideas. I mean, I already yelled “scat!” What else was there to do? I was ready to let the bandit have his feast and call it a night. But Leo, my dog, displayed his disappointment in me and turned away. What an embarrassment. How could I let down my dog?

With new purpose, I went to the kitchen and retrieved the broom. Now, I’m not a complete moron. I know raccoons are dangerous, and I would never try to hurt or confront one. However, I did open the screen just enough to stick the broom handle into the raccoon’s face, hoping to scare him off.

You know those horror movies where there’s this cuddly little creature? And someone assumes it’s safe to pet it, so he goes over to and holds his hand out? And then, without warning, the cuddly poofball opens it’s razor-toothed maw and claims two or three of the idiot’s fingers?

Yeah. That’s pretty much what happened. But the raccoon only got away with the broom. Well, managed to knock it onto the deck anyway.

On the bright side, he did leave, and I promised I’d never leave garbage on the deck again. Which would have been a good plan, until I woke up this morning to find the entire trash can tipped over and it’s contents strewn across the lawn.

Of course you know, this means war.