Roasted Red Lentil Curry
Spencer Ackerman Is Shriller than Ever

September 1, 2007 Is the DAY OF THE LORD--for the Raccoons, that Is

Yes, the Basileia of the raccoons is arriving on September 1, 2007:

City of Lafayette -- CCCSWA Presentation on the Lamorinda Food Scrap Recycling Program: Staff from the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority (CCCSWA) will make a presentation on the new food scrap recycling program scheduled to begin Sept 1, 2007. Information on participation and options for kitchen food waste collection will be discussed...

Five days a week, 1400 green carts each day, green carts formerly filled just with grass clippings and branches, now filled with a week's food waste, including tea bags and coffee grounds. Unlatched green carts. Green carts made from reasonably tough plastic, but not plastic strong enough to resist the teeth of a family of raccoons with a whole night to work in and... motivation...

Meanwhile, in Kassel, Federal Republic of Germany:

'Nazi raccoons' in Europe: Waschbaeren, or “wash bears,” are raccoons, which habitually wash their paws. In 1934, Nazi official Hermann Goering received a seemingly mundane request from the Reich Forestry Service. A fur farm wanted permission to release a batch of exotic bushy-tailed animals into the wild to “enrich the local fauna” and give hunters something new to shoot at. Goering approved the request and set off an ecological disaster that is spreading across Europe.... Raccoons... range from the Baltic Sea to the Alps....

No place in Germany has more of them than Kassel, a city of about 200,000 people in the central state of Hesse. It has plenty of leafy suburban backyards that border large tracts of public forests. The city lies less than 20 miles from the Nazi fur farm that is usually blamed for Germany’s raccoon explosion.... Five years ago, a family of raccoons got into a house belonging to Ingrid and Dieter Hoffmann of Kassel. They settled into the chimney and — despite efforts to smoke them out — ruined their roof, which cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix. The Hoffmanns also spent $1,300 to raccoon-proof their residence with electrified gutters and other measures.

“The little ones look cute and have a pretty face,” said Ingrid Hoffmann, 70. “But their mother can bite your finger off.” Dieter Hoffmann wagged a finger: “We like the United States of America, but we do not like your Waschbaeren!”