Posted by: Don Bemis | May 15, 2015

Why engineers should not get days off…

The Chernobyl reactor was an RBMK.  I built my own RBMK today with four buckets and two balls of nylon string.

It’s a Raccoon Behavior Modification Kit.  We’ll see if it works.

Raccoons are intelligent, fun to watch, and disgusting.  They are housebroken after their own fashion.  A coon selects an elevated place where it can do its duty undisturbed while keeping an eye on the neighbors.  Our second story deck is just such a place.

The coon used to climb up the cedar tree to get onto the porch roof, but the tree and porch are gone now.  Last night, we heard scrabbling up the outside of our bedroom wall.  Birds nest in the ivy on the wall, so a coon can stop off for a snack on its way to or from the john.  All it needs is a big TV.

This morning, I noticed the ivy was peeling away from the wall, confirming what we already knew.

So I went to the hardware store and told them I needed noisy buckets.  They looked at me oddly, but they’ve known me for years and pointed to the noisy bucket department.  I left with four galvanized pails.

Raccoons like water, but presumably they prefer to deal with it on their own terms, and they aren’t Baptists.  The RBMK is designed so Mr. (or Ms.) Coon will encounter a string or two on the way to the pit stop.  Hopefully an unexpected immersion and the clatter of falling pails will traumatize the creature into not coming back.

I don’t want to kill the raccoon.  I only want it to kick the bucket.

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