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Feb 29

Written by: Greg Runyon
2/29/2012 9:49 AM 

There was a story over the weekend about a guy in central Iowa who caught a raccoon in a trap.  Now, that’s not particularly newsworthy, so clearly there must be more to the story, and indeed there is.  He didn’t take the caged coon and plop it in the back of his pickup truck (I can almost guarantee he had a pickup truck) and drive it five miles down the road and release it, though he may consider doing that next time.

What the subject of this story did—I’m too lazy to even look up his name, and really he’s suffering enough as it is—is take out his .22 pistol and tried to shoot the still caged raccoon.  The sequence of events that followed is why I’ve titled this essay “I’m a Bad Human,” because when I heard the story on the news, I laughed.  Hard.

This poor sap took a shot at the raccoon.  The bullet reportedly hit the cage, ricocheted, and hit the shooter in the gut.  This caused him to drop his gun, which discharged again when it hit the ground, and struck the shooter again in the same general location.  Now that, my friends, is funny!  Not funny for that guy, and I do feel bad for his misfortune, but if you play that scene out in your head, I defy you not to smile.

I say I feel bad for the guy, and I do, but at the same time I have to say that I’m happy for the raccoon, which I can only hope was released after defying death not once but twice.  Seems only fair. 

I’m such a sensitive soul that I apologize in advance to spiders in my house before I usher them off to heaven.  I’m not so sensitive that I won’t kill the little buggers, but I do manage to feel bad for doing it.  Of course, should I miss with the wad of Kleenex I’m using to exterminate them, I am not above screaming like a girl either.  Take that for what it’s worth.

I am as duplicitous as they come when it comes to critters over which we have supposed dominion.  I love a good steak, but there ain’t no way I’m going to end Bessie the Heifer’s life with my own hands to get it.  I love Thanksgiving, and actively hate live turkeys, but I still won’t swing the axe the kill one.  After the apocalypse, I’ll almost certainly have to be a vegetarian.  I’m not looking forward to it.

If I’d have trapped that raccoon, I’d have carted him to the next county and dropped him off, wishing him well with a tip of the cap and probably given him some food for inconveniencing him, but that’s just me.  Most of the time, I’d agree that that could even be seen as ridiculous.  But at least I wouldn’t have two bullets in my gut.

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