Sunday, April 22, 2018

Fed up with life’s cacophony? Strap on a raccoon


There are basically two types of people--those who write little reminders to themselves, and those who forget to. In junior high I would write myself cryptic cartoon ideas in a little spiral notebook. Years later when I came across it I had no idea what "refrigerator crocodile explosion" meant. I bet it would have made a funny comic, though. There were dozens of notes just like it, never drawn. 

Now I add ideas to the Notes app on my phone. Evidently I have not changed much since the 8th grade, because I recently found this pithy scribble from nine months ago: "Column idea: Noise cancelling raccoon." The visual is pretty great, especially when pictured in use on a plane. All it would take is one celebrity, maybe Beyonce, and we would have a monster fad on our hands. There would not be enough raccoons in the world to satisfy it.

Then would come the inevitable knock-offs; noise-cancelling possums, weasels, beavers. Their use would be met with disdainful side-glances by those who know the difference between Louis Vuitton-level mammals and Marc Jacobs-level ones. It's not about using the most beautiful animals, either, not about chinchillas. Raccoon is an attitude as much as a genus. A raccoon's very posture says "You want some noise cancelled, boss? Point me in a direction."

You can spend $400 on headphones, easy, and it is true that headphones will never claw your face or poop down your neck. But you have to ask yourself if you are the kind of person who takes pride in living your life in a way which demands your constant vigilance or not. 

I am not sure where this raccoon idea came from, except that maybe as my head has lost its insulation I have enjoyed, more and more, warm items on it. I can also endure noise less and less, as if at birth we are gifted with a finite tolerance and it gradually wears away, like brake pads. I remember a time when I could tolerate a baby crying in public. These days I am ready to strap on a raccoon in 10 seconds. On a plane, five. 


It would have to wear the little red vest, of course, "service animal" emblazoned across its shoulders. But what better service can one animal provide to another than a little peace? Sure, fleas would be an issue. I am guessing they would not be the main one. 

. . .


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