How SFU’s A-listers are managing without the limelight (and potato wedges) during the pandemic

What hides under the brave, masked faces of SFU’s raccoon population when the student phones go away?

By: Emma Jean, Staff Writer

Providing its readers with the latest scoops on SFU’s most notable, The Peak reached out to three different raccoons on the Burnaby campus to get a sense of how they’re coping with being away from their adoring fans on the mountain.

One prominent raccoon, who wished to keep her name private but is famously known on campus as “Tailless Boi,” noted with relief that the insufferable years as an A-lister have finally ceased. 

“So the other night, I go to the AQ garbage bin to grab a bite ’cause, you know, Mama’s gotta eat, but I was worried I’d run into all the students with their stupid cameras trying to pet me for the ‘gram. But once I got there? No one! Not a single person! I still haven’t gotten used to it.” 

She noted that, as a single mother, it’s difficult to deal with always being in the limelight. 

“You know, it’s hard enough to keep a strong face in front of your kids sometimes when people are always in your face yelling, ‘IT’S DAT BOI!’ like I’m some type of animal. Honestly, this whole quarantine thing has been just rejuvenating.” 

That feeling of gratitude, however, was far from universal for other SFU inhabitants. 

Another anonymous raccoon with which I spoke, who I’ll call Lindsay for the sake of this interview, seemed to be having a difficult time adjusting to this newfound freedom. Sporting dark circles under her eyes, brassy bleached highlights and a brutalist, deconstructed take on choppy bangs, Lindsay disclosed that she had recently gotten in trouble with the other raccoons over possession of a dangerous substance: pearls from Bubble World. 

“They keep trying to force us to be the little cutie patooties the students want us to be, but why should they care?” Lindsay began. “What is it to them if the boba pearls could get stuck in my throat? I’m sick of having to be whatever they want me to be. Their precious students aren’t here so I should finally get a chance to eat trash and live fast. They can all BACK OFF.” 

Another anonymous raccoon I’ll call Norma, whose presence at SFU has been a staple for years, also seemed to be struggling despite her brave, camera-ready face. 

When asked if she had any worries about being forgotten by students, she fluffed up her tail and wrapped it around her neck like a feather boa. 

“What, no . . .  Of COURSE not. Sure, it’s been a bit difficult for all of us, hearing silence from the Dining Hall where there used to be cheering mobs at all hours of the day, and we no longer have a constant supply of potato wedges. We’re still big, though. It’s just the campus that got small.

“I do, of course, still get my admirers,” Norma continued. “The construction workers who have come in and out of that shiny new box they’ve been building for generations of raccoons have always been so kind to me and my family. So long as we get love from them, we will get love from the people of Simon Fraser University.” 

I pointed out that the structure, the Student Union Building, was finally completed, and the construction workers would likely appear there no longer. 

“WHAT?!” Norma wailed, dropping the twig she was pretending to smoke. “They’ve been here for five goddamn years and even THEY’RE leaving? No. They can’t! We’re STARS! No one ever leaves a star!” 

Norma then began hissing and foaming at the mouth, so it seemed best to conclude the interviews for the day. 

Be sure to think of your friendly neighbourhood raccoons in isolation this fall. They are certainly thinking of you.

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