If you haven't been following my life (which you should) then I'll give you the quick update, and I've got to warn you, there's been a lot of ins and outs, a lot of what-have-you's and a lot of strands . . . and if you have been following my life, then skim ahead to the new shit that has come to light:
1) the story so far: last week, a pregnant raccoon invaded our attic and had babies, and she did this the day before the insulation guys came to insulate the attic and so when they went up there to pump in the cellulose, they were chased away by an irate mother raccoon who was very concerned about protecting her kits-- kits which were mewling and sleeping directly over our heads in our bedroom; we called a raccoon guy and he came and threw some male scent up there-- which usually causes them to vacate-- and we saw how she got in: she tore off a screen I had stapled under a roof vent (to keep the squirrels out) and we learned that raccoons are much stronger and craftier than squirrels, and then we learned that this particular raccoon was much more stubborn than other raccoons-- the raccoon guy had to come back three times (unprecedented) and the raccoon was especially aggressive, so he had to hurl bamboo javelins of scent back to where the nest was (under the eaves) because the mother was confronting him at the access hole (and this section of the attic is really just a crawl space)
2) the new shit: after a final trip to our house Thursday afternoon, the raccoon guy declared the attic raccoon free, which was quite a relief, and he gave me some big washers and heavy duty screws and told me to use those to affix the screen, as they were raccoon-proof; at this point, I probably should have gotten up on the ladder and made the attic raccoon-proof, but it was almost time for soccer practice and I had just downloaded the Ultimate Guitar app on our Ipad and so instead of screwing in the screen, I played "Don't Go Back to Rockville" while my kids got their cleats and shin-guards on; at this point my wife came home and I told her the good news and she told me that she really thought I should screw in the screen, but I told her that the raccoons weren't coming back and I would do it tomorrow and she told me she wanted to "go on the record" as saying that it was really stupid to put this chore off, especially after all we had been through, but then we had to go to soccer, and when I got home from coaching, I grabbed a bite to eat and took a shower-- in the meantime my friend Connell showed up, as it was pub night; and my wife went "on the record" with Connell as to how I should affix the screen and made it clear to him that she would kill Dave if the raccoons came back due to Dave's indolence, and then I came down and pleaded my case-- I wanted to get a respiration mask at Home Depot and maybe some extra metal screen and mainly I didn't feel like going up there and doing the job and that I would definitely tackle the project tomorrow, and then I went upstairs to get a sweatshirt and I thought I might have heard something in the attic-- but maybe not, because I was starting to hear things all the time, due to a sleepless week of listening to raccoons every night; so then we went to the pub and it was a big night-- lots of people were out and there was much convivial dart-playing with the locals-- and it was getting late (12:30 AM) but we were shooting bulls in a game of cricket (which can take forever) when my phone rang and, of course, it was Catherine and she said "guess what? I heard something" and hung up, so I high-tailed it out of the pub (after taking two more turns at the bull) and when I got home she called me a "selfish lazy asshole" and I agreed with her and told her I was completely wrong and that I should have manned-up and gotten up there immediately and that I had no excuse except that "I didn't want to" and then we heard another sound later in the night and figured it was the mother leaving for the last time (perhaps she forgot her phone?) and we didn't hear the babies so we assumed that she carried them to a new spot (which is what the raccoon guy said would happen) and I got up early-- bleary eyed and slightly hungover-- and accepted my punishment: I set up the ladder and climbed into the dusty, nasty crawl space (without a dust mask) and stapled the screen into place and then I promised Catherine I would screw it in tight when I got home from school; despite the lack of sleep and the late-night scolding from my wife, it was still a fun day at work-- I got to recount the story and issue a dire warning to my students about the consequences of procrastination and I planned to get Catherine some flowers with a note attached that read "You Were Right!" to restore marital bliss, and just after I gave my last period of the day a much anticipated "raccoon update" my phone rang, and even though I was teaching, I answered it . . . it was my wife and she said, "the raccoons are still in there, call me as soon as you can" and then-- in a sequence of texts and phone calls-- I learned that when the insulation guy went up to finish blowing cellulose into the other side of the attic, the side you can stand in, he was attacked again and he literally had to jump through the attic access hole at the top of the stairs (a bigger hole than the one in our bedroom) and then the raccoon retreated to a deep recess in the attic where the old house met the new house, so Mark (the most heroic insulation guy in the universe) went back up there and covered that spot with a roll of fiberglass insulation and then Wayne -- the contractor, also a great guy and extremely good-natured about this insanity-- came over with a thermal sensor (which looks like a large stud-finder, but costs eight grand) and located the nest; the kits were behind Alex's closet; so he drilled a two inch hole, and when I arrived home from work, I was able to see the babies through this hole, you could poke them, and apparently the mom was somewhere in this recess as well, somewhat trapped by the insulation; Mark also reported there was some other carcass (with maggots on it) in the recess next to this one-- it was either a squirrel or a raccoon, he couldn't tell and he couldn't get it out until the mother raccoon was gone; the raccoon guy came back over and said he didn't realize that the mother could get to the other side of the attic and he recommended laying down more scent in the attic and in the nest hole, and promised she would soon vacate, but Wayne -- the contractor-- wanted to get the job done as soon as possible and was seriously thinking about cutting a hole in the closet wall and trying to capture the mother and get her out that way; there was an interesting, slightly confrontational showdown between the contractor and the raccoon guy, with each of them questioning the other's methods, but the raccoon guy finally convinced Wayne that a cornered raccoon is a vicious dangerous, disease-ridden beast, and Wayne decided he would just have to finish the job later; now all this was compelling drama, but this is what is truly important about the story;
3) part three . . . the moral: what's truly important here is that Dave is no longer in trouble and, in fact, his wife even said that Dave's laziness was "a blessing in disguise" because if Dave would have permanently affixed that screen-- as his wife suggested-- then the mother would have either been trapped in the attic and ripped her way out, or perhaps, she would have been "locked" out of the attic and done serious damage trying to get back in, or she would have abandoned her babies and they would have died in there, creating a horrible stench; so marital bliss was restored (without flowers) and I was a hero in the manner of Hamlet; at this point I decided to switch things up and actually do some stuff, so I reconnected with my eccentric animal trapping neighbor Leonard-- who I hadn't spoken with since this incident-- and though he had given up trapping animals and driving them far from the borough, he was extremely helpful and set me up with a nice metal trap and warned me six way to Sunday about how mean and nasty raccoons were and how they would "rip your arm off" and so I put the trap up in the attic just for extra insurance (baited with marshmallows and peanut butter) and broke the access panel while doing this, so I had to pull out some plywood and cut a new panel-- which was scary because it meant the attic was wide open and that crazy animal was definitely up there-- but I got that done and the panel back in place and then we went to dinner for my grandmothers 93rd birthday, dropped the kids at my parents' house because our house was a mess and full of dust and debris, and then Catherine and I returned home and quickly fell asleep . . . and in the middle of the night Catherine heard the mother carrying out all the babies and in the morning we checked the hole in the closet and the babies were gone . . . so I stapled the screen in place -- very lazily-- and if that loosely affixed screen stays put, then we know we are raccoon free and I can get up there and screw it in, and if not, I'll be writing another extremely long sentence; again, to reiterate, the point of this story is that Dave's Laziness looked like it might undo him, but instead his unmitigated sloth saved the day!