Friday, August 25, 2006

Rocky Raccoon

Last night I went to eat at Roma's- mainly just to check it out to see how it's changed since it went from being "El Arroyo" to "Roma's".

Well, what's changed is that it's no longer a Mexican food restaurant, but is instead an Italian restaurant.

What hasn't changed is the raccoons that hang out and eat with you on the patio.

Apparently, I've changed. I used to think the raccoons were cute (they are- from a distance!) and I didn't mind them hanging out right beside me and I think I even tossed them some tortilla chips to munch on from time to time. However, last night, altho at first I was amused by them, I became sort of grossed out and even a little scared.

I saw a few of them eating some bread. Then I saw a couple of them fighting over the bread. Then I saw several more of them climbing on the deserted tables. Then as others came right over to my table begging for food like scary, and perhaps even rabid dogs, I got a little freaked out. Unfortunately, these raccoons are so use to being around people, nothing I did seemed to scare them away. Loud clapping, stomping my feet, and angrily yelling out NO did nothing to deter them.

Once my table was the only one with people sitting at it, the raccoons seemed to be taking over to the point of I didn't even feel welcome anymore. I saw them climbing on all of the tables, grabbing food off the abandoned plates, sticking their heads in used water glasses, and tearing into packets of Sweet and Low. I wondered, "How did/does this place pass health inspection?"

My feelings about the raccoons reminded me of how my feelings have also changed when it comes to my neighborhood squirrels. When I first moved in and saw about 5 squirrels playing in my yard I said, "Look how cute! All the yards in my neighborhood have tons of squirrels running around!" Now that is is NOT cute to me. Now I know that those squirrels pelt my dogs and me with the pecans they are ruining, they dig up most of my plants and flowers, they bury pecans in my yard and in the process make ugly little holes all over my yard. However, the difference between the squirrels and the raccoons is that the squirrels allow me to cook out and eat outside without completely taking over the party! They keep a more comfortable distance and I don't feel like they might attack me if I don't share my burger with them.

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