Photos by Kara-Lis Coverdale and Rose Athena
Getting surrounded by friendly raccoons who want to eat baguettes that you’ve duct-taped to your legs is almost like being the princess of your very own Disney movie. Almost.
Despite what the fashion industry says, manufacturing a suit of feral raccoons is not overly complicated. With a little dumpster diving, rotten food, duct tape and careful planning, almost anyone can attract enough disease-ridden wild mammals to cover his or her person for hours at a time. It’s easy, fun and presents only a slightly higher than average chance of contracting a terrible pathogenic infection!
1 First you’ll need to procure a base layer of clothes sturdy and thick enough to protect against the coons’ razor-sharp teeth and claws, which will likely infect you with rabies if they pierce your skin. Safety first! At this point you may be asking yourself, “Why am I about to affix discarded food to my body and let a bunch of shit-matted ringtails crawl all over me?” To which I answer: Because they’re fucking adorable (if you ignore the poop smell), and who wouldn’t want to wear what basically amounts to a suit made of teddy bears (with infectious diseases)?
2 As the old saying goes, the best way to get raccoons to swarm over your body is to think like a raccoon. And since eating is on their mind 80 percent of the time (the other 20 percent is divided between sex and taking dumps), there’s no better lure than food. The good news is that raccoons aren’t picky eaters; their diet is extremely diverse and includes nuts, seeds, fruit, eggs, insects, frogs, crayfish and anything that happens to be lying – or crawling – around. Of course, city coons find decomposing human food to be mighty tasty, so open your fridge and look for nasty pizza, rotten fruits and veggies, and whatever else your lazy fucking roommate forgot to throw out three months ago. Put the grossness in a well-sealed bag and head down to wherever the raccoons hang out in your town.
3 Just before entering coon HQ, duct-tape your bounty of trash food all over yourself. Raccoons’ propensity to enjoy garbage-can snacks, coupled with their shitty attitude and distinct facial markings, makes them the crust punks of the animal kingdom (without the heroin problem and terrible taste in music). And just like crusties, they’ll approach without warning and snatch a turkey sub right out of your hands, so you can only imagine how appetising you’re going to look with two-week-old baguettes for arms.
4 One comestible raccoons seem to find yucky, however, is broccoli. Use their aversion to your aesthetic and protective advantage by surrounding danger zones (i.e., your junk) with appropriate amounts of the leafy green stuff.
5 It may be prudent to conduct a bit of research before getting down to business, locating a spot where you are certain coons congregate – a particular set of picnic tables, or that secluded and poorly lit corner of the park where bums go to die. If you’re going to all this effort, you want to be certain of the outcome. I chose Mount Royal in Montreal, which has quite the raccoon infestation.
6 It’s totally normal to feel apprehensive when the first trash burglar comes in for a cautious nibble. If you’re anxious about the possibility of contracting a horrible affliction, talk to a local medical practitioner specialising in treating such diseases. You will find that most health-care professionals say the chances of getting rabies are quite remote, and this should go a long way toward putting your mind at ease. It would, however, be irresponsible for me to imply that infectious-disease statisticians take raccoon suits into account. Still, you’ll probably be fine, you fucking baby.
7 If you’re really coon smitten and want to go the extra mile for your soon-to-be new best friends, find a fishmonger who will sell or give you a bag of discarded fish stewing in their own putrid juices (the raccoon equivalent of foie gras topped with caviar). Voilà! In a matter of seconds you will be up to your genitals in raccoons.
8 While you’re at it, why not get creative and be fulfilled by encouraging a little coonilingus? If you find one that doesn’t mind the broccoli, consider it a keeper.
9 Excellent work. Now that you’ve settled on your new look for fall, it’s time to celebrate!
10 An important note: Keep in mind that feeding wild animals is considered illegal in some areas, and partaking in activities like those mentioned above might result in a fine. But, really, how much would you pay for a suit of these cuddly little guys? It’s priceless.
Photos by Kara-Lis Coverdale and Rose Athena