“What are we going to do about all this noise?” said Mama Raccoon.
“Who cares?” said Papa Raccoon. “I hope the crash woke up those pricks. Who leaves rotting wood around just waiting to break under the weight of a guest?”
“Ow,” said Baby Raccoon.
“Well, at least let’s call for backup,” said Mama Raccoon.
And Papa Raccoon tweeted to the Raccoon Hooligans of the Outer Sunset. “Come help us stir things up.” He tried to add the address and cross street, but it went over 140 characters. He switched it to “place with the old poodles.”
The Hooligans must have been in the neighborhood because they tumbled into the yard within the half hour.
“Holy shit!” said Rocky Raccoon.
“Criminittly!” said Ricky Raccoon.
“Duuuuuuude,” said Icky Raccoon, who was stoned from eating some leftover pot brownies he’d found in a composting bin on 48th and Ochoa.
Rocky shook his head.
“What happened?” he asked, looking at the clutter of driftwood on the back porch.
“Well, we was crossin’ over this doorway here when Baby Raccoon plum crashed down to the ground. We thinks these shit heads rigged something up on purpose.”
“Honey, don’t swear.” Mama Raccoon nudged her husband, who returned her look with a hard gaze that said, “Dear, these are the Hooligans. We must speak their language if we are to earn their respect.”
Mama Raccoon must have understood Papa Raccoon’s telepathic message because she fell silent.
“Let’s get even!” shouted Ricky. He was the hothead of the group. “Where’s that old dog?”
“Not so fast, Ricky,” said Rocky. “Don’t underestimate that dog. He may be old, but he’s got bad air, that fellow. Blind you with his farts, he will.”
Sometimes Rocky spoke like Yoda when he was trying to manage the Hooligans.
“Well we gotta do something quick like. I just got a tweet from the Ass Kicker Raccoons of Richmond.”
“What were you doing in the 80’s?” Icky had shared some of the pot brownies with the rest of the gang. They were reminiscing in the shadow of the silvery moon. It had been a productive night. They had knocked over a table on 48th, grabbed some grub from some trashcans on Lawton, and frightened some lost tourists who’d ridden the N Judah to the end of the line.
Now they sat around the cinders of a beach bonfire. The Ass Kickers had joined them and Delilah, the meanest she-raccoon this side of Virginia, had put some weed on what was left of the fire. Not bad for a Thursday night.
“In the 80’s…” Rocky leaned back on his haunches. His voice grew nostalgic. “My grandpappy worked this neighborhood in the Inner Richmond. Near Lake and 9th. There was this one house with a German shepherd and a pit bull. The German shepherd was mean. She’d guard her territory. But the pit bull—they called her ‘Pinky’—was kind of sweet. She was one of those confused domesticated dogs. Those were the days when there was a Zim’s every twenty blocks. Great fried zucchini sticks. And Super Subs. Remember Super Subs on 20th and Geary? They mispainted the sign and it read ‘Suba’ instead of ‘Subs?’ That was a great place, too. The Alexandria was kickin’. Always popcorn out back and the kids who worked the sanitation shift were always too stoned to close the dumpsters outside. That was a great time.”
“Dude. You’re only six years old. You don’t know nothin’ ‘bout the 80’s. You don’t even remember Web 1.0,” said Delilah.
“Well, neither do you,” Rocky said, a little too defensively.