• Richard Scrimger

things that go bump in the night


Back from Vancouver now, and the locals are at it again. Toronto, city that can't help itself. A parking ticket on the dash, a used condom on the gravel, and raccoon poop on the bar of soap. It is to sigh. Let me explain. The laneway at the back of our house (from which the boron-rich dump site was recently removed) is a daytime hangout for graffiti artists and home repair enthusiasts, who add beauty and noise and life to the place. Come nightfall, the sawyers and taggers go home, and the laneway becomes home to a more furtive crowd: parking cops, prostitutes and raccoons. We have tried to keep an open mind here -- even parking cops, we argued, were God's creatures (it had been weeks since B McGivern had ticketed us, and our hearts were softening). But you have to draw the line somewhere, and poop on the back porch and used condoms by the back fence were a bit too much. So we put a bar of soap (a piece of grandmotherly lore) on the porch to discourage the animals, and a garbage can (with a sign saying PLEASE USE!) by the back fence to encourage the johns. And for a few days it seemed to be working. The porch and back fence area stayed clean. I went to Vancouver. And now I am back and the beasts are at it again. This morning I woke to find fresh spoor from all three nocturnal perambulists. Poop, condom, ticket. The cop is a new name. Monterey, it looks like from the signature. I wonder if the raccoon and sex trader are new too? I put out some fresh bar of soap. We'll see how that works.



If I am awake at 2:00 this morning I may head outside with a flashlight to catch whoever is doing what. Maybe the bar of soap trick will work with the parking cop ...

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada