In one of my most recent posts, I alluded to a dislike of raccoons saying, "That's a story for another day." Well, today's the day. I think it may have all started on Highway 136 in McLean County four years ago. I had just emceed the Miss McLean County pageant and had to buzz Livermore before I came home. On the way, I hit a raccoon. The poor thing was kind of dumb; it saw me and started running but instead of diving off the road, it turned into the road and BAM! Kind of gruesome, I know, but not to worry, raccoon lovers! Paybacks are H-E-double hockey sticks! And I got mine three months later in the Great Smoky Mountains.

We had a family vacation in Gatlinburg that October. We had rented a condo on the fourth floor of one of those big vacation high-rises. But it's Gatlinburg and everything almost HAS to be built on the side of a mountain. And this building was. Right across from our door was a line of big trees. And there were three raccoons that liked hanging out on the limbs. They were there every morning. And sometimes you'd see them wandering around the condo at night. I know I did. The first night I was there, I had to go get something out of my car. When I got off the elevator, I walked down a sidewalk surrounded on both sides by walls. I rounded a corner and there were those three raccoons, in a line, straddling the entire sidewalk. And I wasn't scaring them away. So, not wanting one, two, or all three of them to swipe my legs with those claws, I decided to go another way. I walked through the pool room--swimming pool, I mean. And it was dark, the only light coming in being from the moon. I walked across what looked like a big blue mat on the floor. Well, guess what? It wasn't a big blue mat. It was an uncovered hot tub, and it was full. And I fell right into it, fully clothed. I was soaked, head to toe. And I couldn't quit laughing. After the fact, I realized how lucky I was that it WAS full. Otherwise, I might have broken something. Hilarious! When I got back to the room, everyone asked me, "What happened to you?" I had no choice but to say, "I fell into a hot tub because three raccoons wouldn't let me pass." Now, come on, how many times do you get to say THAT in your lifetime?