SFU security guard can’t tell if person entering building is a student or raccoon

ILLUSTRATION: Danielle Ragas / The Peak

By: Dev Petrovic, Staff Writer

That’s the best you can do, SFU? You gave me a plastic folding table to sit at while ensuring the university’s security? 

I’m in the AQ, a building once infested by students but now abandoned. Well, so I thought. It started with tapping noises at the entrance. Could it be what they call an SFU student? No way. No one’s seen one of those up here for ages. It was probably another raccoon situation. I took out my phone, ready to speed-dial pest control. At this point, the tapping escalated to a loud banging and shrieking.

“Who’s there?” I cautiously asked, receiving no response. I told myself it was probably nothing and went back to scrolling through r/birdswitharms on Reddit. 

The banging continued. Annoyed by the interruption, I went to inspect the situation. Right in front of me, there it was: an unidentifiable figure clawing at the door. I took out my Raccoon or SFU Student Security Guard Handbook. This seemed serious now.

“Can I see some ID?” I asked apprehensively, trying desperately to flip through the pages.

The being stared at me, completely shocked. I compared the handbook’s raccoon picture with the creature standing before me. Dark circles around the eyes? Yes. Furry complexion? Definitely. Secretive/invasive behaviour? Absolutely.

“I can’t let you into the building without a student ID,” I said.

“I— I just need to get to the trash can,” the creature squeaked at me. 

Ha! Sounds just like something a procyonidae would say. You’re not fooling me. And yet, I see a morally and physically ambiguous dark coat, long and sharp nails, and a confused facial expression. If I didn’t know any better I would say these aren’t human intentions, but that may be judgmental of me. Wait! No! That’s my job!

“You aren’t by any chance going to dig through this trash can, are you?” 

“Um . . . no?”

That wasn’t a question, critter! Okay it was, but I was still not convinced! I could not risk having a raccoon in my territory, at least not on my watch. I looked it straight in the eyes, analyzing every inch of its stenchy disposition. Maybe if I stared long enough it would go away. I intensified my glare, holding back baring my teeth — that would be a little too much.

“Okay. . . so, can I come in?” 

Unbelievable. I laughed, nay, cackled, with disbelief. It really thought it could get through me. No way. I am no raccoon advocate. If I risked letting it in, I would risk getting my eyes clawed at or worse, a case of second-hand raccoon funk. Besides, I take my job very seriously and I needed that to be absolutely clear.

“I don’t take situations like this lightly,” I said while pushing my chest out to prove authority. That’s what real guards do. Although, standing on my hind legs was definitely a challenge. I’m not very tall.

“Oh, um, ok. Well, I’m a student living in Residence.” 

Now that was a lie. I have connections with some inhabitants near the garbages there, and they never talked about this character.

“I think I have my SFU ID on me. I can show you.”

It dug through its raccoon sack with its filthy raccoon paws, scavenging for raccoon evidence. I scoffed at it, knowing this was just to deter me from the real problem at hand. 

“Here,” it passed me a piece of identification from SFU. Sure enough, the picture matches. No one told me SFU let animals take classes, but I don’t get paid enough to deal with that. 

“Ok,” I sighed, “clearly you are a student here. I already called pest control, though, so you’re going to have to stay put until they get here.” Well, this may have been hasty, being a raccoon myself . . .