Going undercover with the raccoons

Illustrated by Cora Fu

Written by: Jennifer Low

SEPTEMBER 4, 2018 – DAY 10: They have accepted me as one of their own

The raccoons still have not seen through my disguise. I credit, of course, my own terrific arts and craft skills in creating the realistic paws, mask, and tail, and my many months of rigorous training. Hours of late-night binge studying in the W.A.C. Bennett Library and excessive consumption of caffeine have finally made me nocturnal. My extensive knowledge of foraging on campus for affordable food and textbooks has made me a capable scavenger.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018 – DAY 11: The benefits of dumpster-diving

The group has moved westward, and infiltrated West Mall. I have proved myself to be an asset to the team on account of being large enough to easily set off the automatic door sensors granting the group access into the building.

With its typically long line-ups and frequently distracted customers, Tim Hortons and its surrounding trash receptacles, in particular, have proved a valuable scavenging ground. The best part? I got to try everything on their menu, and I didn’t even spend a single cent.

SEPTEMBER 9, 2018 – DAY 15: Crisis averted

We’ve been caught on video! Whilst completing a raid near Maggie Benston Centre, a few rather excited-looking students (likely delirious from sleep deprivation) managed to catch us on their smartphones.

Rudely, the students proceeded to verbally insult my group and I, drawing sarcastic connections between our lifestyle and their habit of eating junk food. The group leader was absolutely disgusted by their behaviour and moved to attack, but I managed to defuse the situation and convince everyone to retreat before any blood was spilt or smartphones destroyed.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 – DAY 16: Ah, to be young and in love

While traveling down a particular section of SFU’s underground parking, our group came across two students arguing over a parking spot. The group paused out of curiosity and as the only “raccoon” who spoke fluent human, I was sent to investigate.

The first student seemed to be waving their arms in an aggressive fashion, and used a few choice words to indicate that they were, in fact, the first to reach the spot. The second more calmly suggested that, as their car was already taking up most of the spot, the first person should let it go. Both froze suddenly, and I realized that my rather bulky fake paws made a horribly loud sound on the concrete.

I expertly dived behind a parked car, but failed to conceal my artificial bushy tail. Upon seeing the tail, the students tones both softened and one commented on my expert tail craftsmanship. They took a few pictures and commented on the cuteness of the group, and of myself in particular. Afterwards, the two parted ways amicably and exchanged social media contacts as the second student had snapped a photo of my tail. I am confident that they will be seeing one another again soon.

The other raccoons do not seem to understand — and refuse to support — my new business idea of student matchmaking services.