My Dining Hall disaster

SFU resident Hella Enderson narrates “foes to friends” experience with a raccoon

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A woman sits eating sushi while a raccoon enjoys a piece of sushi next to her. The person is white with long brown hair and wears ripped jeans, a pink shirt, and a red hoodie sitting with her legs crossed and a plate of sushi. The raccoon stands on its back legs smiling back at her while holding sushi too.
Maple Sukontasukkul / The Peak

By: Tamanna T., Staff Writer

My name is Hella Enderson, and this is the story of how a raccoon and I bonded over our love for sushi.

I was walking towards the Dining Hall when I saw the raccoon for the first time. It was hanging out with its buddies near the tables in front of the Dining Hall building. I had been craving sushi since finals ended and now was the time to reward myself. I entered the Dining Hall and the smell of different foods hit me like a wall of bricks. I quickly asked for a box full of California rolls, three stale pizza slices, rubbery yam fries, and a diet water to balance it all —  your typical gourmet Dining Hall meal. I turned and encountered the raccoon again.

It had those sunken eyes with huge dark circles; it reminded me of myself during finals season so much that I first mistook it for another student waiting in line. 

I ignored it and went ahead out with my food when it came charging towards me, its tiny, grubby hands outstretched. A little unsettled, I set my food on a table and looked around for help. Sure, raccoons are adorable —  but only when they aren’t trying to snatch your comfort foods right out of your hands because they’re greedy and they want everything you have ever wanted to eat! 

As I tried to call out for help, the little trash panda saw its opportunity and jumped on the table to shove its hands into my sushi box, and I almost cried. It seemed like it wanted those California rolls just as bad as I did, because it proceeded to stuff its mouth like a chipmunk, packing food into its cheeks. Horrified, I moved towards the table and the food fell off the edge and onto the ground, and the raccoon went along with it.

It looked at me as if to ask what in the world was I doing, interrupting its meal like that? That made me almost laugh out loud in anger. All I wanted was my sushi, and between us stood this raccoon who was about to catch these hands if it did not walk away. 

I quickly gathered my soggy fries and diet water (I still wanted to eat, OK?) and grabbed another box of sushi before rushing towards the door. As fate would have it, I tripped again — the sushi falling on the ground in front of the door — feeling like Bella from Twilight. Regretting my entire existence, I bent down to pick it up, but then I saw the raccoon again. While the doors did not open automatically for me, they surprisingly did for the racoon, also mistaking it for a human. This time, it just kept staring at my sushi, and now I felt bad. 

I could have whatever type of food I wanted, but what did this poor ringtail know about the world’s cuisines? Sympathizing, I wondered, how would I feel if I could never have sushi? Absolutely awful and downright miserable!

Then, I felt a connection between us. Our eyes locked and our souls synced over mutual love for California rolls. We were just two beings, yearning for a good roll of sushi in the middle of a barely- occupied university.

I ended up naming it Chonky, the sushi-loving raccoon. Now we have sushi every Tuesday morning outside the Dining Hall, right before the construction workers show up. Sometimes its mother joins us too, and I am more than happy to share. Next time, maybe we will try Togo Sushi at Cornerstone.