Over the past few weeks, my mother has been subjected to nightly visits from unwanted guests. While this is not unusual since I regularly break into her house late at night to steal stuff, the nature of these visitors is somewhat different. For example, I generally don't scamper across her roof with my tiny feet. Also, I don't usually leave a nest and babies in her chimney; I leave them out in the open. Finally, I don't have a black stripe over my eyes that makes me ironically similar to the the stereotypical human burglar. No, after much speculation and $65 worth of idiotic exterminator, my mom determined that she had raccoons living in her chimney.
Since I have developed a reputation in the area of freelance pest control, my mother called me to talk about solutions. Without doing any research at all, I put my mind to it and came up with nothing. But, my mother being much smarter than me, suggested using smoke bombs. Immediately intrigued, I went to the store and bought a box of TNT smoke balls (like bombs, but manlier). I contacted one of my brothers and we put together a hasty, ill-conceived plan. We considered a number of options, and rejected all but one. We couldn't light a fire because we didn't want cooked raccoon stuck in the chimney; we didn't want to kill them for the same reason; we didn't want to try to trap them for fear of having to get close enough to them to be bitten; and we didn't want to lure them out with food since that would probably be counterproductive.
We assembled at my mother's house at 7:30 pm on Saturday. We came armed with my airsoft gun, airsoft handgun, pellet gun, my brother-in-law's airsoft sniper rifle, and of course, my box of smoke balls. Despite my better judgment, we ascended the latter and set up around the chimney where we believed the little varmints were hiding. Using only the weak flashlights we had, we peered down each chimney and verified that there were no raccoons within a few feet from the top, but that they had definitely been there as we found excrement and little paw prints in the soot. We then proceeded to the main event. We lit and dropped one smoke ball down each chimney shaft, moved back into a ready-to-fire position and waited. After a minute or so, we began to see colored smoke pouring from each hole. We sat with nervous anticipation as we waited for the little buggers to come running out, fully expecting that they would attack us. After several minutes, the smoke cleared, but no rodents appeared. We decided that one ball per hole was not enough, so we dropped one more down each hole. Again, we backed up and waited. Once again, the smoke wafted up and cleared out without so much as a chirp from the beasts.
We were now convinced that the raccoons must have set up shop somewhere
else, probably in the attic. I was curious to know how far down each
chimney shaft went, so we broke out a spotlight and looked down. We
first looked down the chimney that led to upstairs fireplace. We saw
the flue, but no evidence of the hat-makers. Then, I looked down the
chimney that led downstairs. Just like in every horror movie ever, I
looked casually, not expecting to see anything, but instead, saw this:
Also, like in most horror movies, seeing their beady little eyes scared the beloved crap out of me. I quickly motioned to my brother who took this picture.
With my brother covering me from behind, I lit another smoke bomb and
dropped it down the hole. I moved back and crouched down with my gun
pointed right at the opening. As before, we started to see colored
smoke after about a minute, but this time it was a lot more smoke.
After a few minutes, we saw creepy little fingers come up over the lip
of the opening, followed by noses and ears. They both had come up for
air. I got ready to fire if they went anywhere but straight off the
roof and out of the yard, but they just stayed there at the opening,
unwilling to come all the way out. We watched as the smoke cleared,
ready to make our move. Unfortunately, they never gave us a chance. We
cautiously approached the chimney, looked over and saw this:
We only had two smoke bombs left, so we decided that the best course of
action was to cap the unoccupied chimney, then flood the occupied
chimney with smoke. I approached the occupied chimney with my airsoft
gun and kept it trained on the little effers while my brother affixed
the chimney cap to the other hole. Then, with the sniper rifle trained
on the hole, I lit and dropped the remaining smoke bombs down the
shaft. It was just like the end of "The Dirty Dozen". Despite our heroic efforts, the little buggers wouldn't come out and we were out of ordinance, so we called it a night, planning to come back the next evening.
I spent part of the following day preparing "depth charges". They are totally legal and not modified fireworks designed to explode with concussive force attached to the end of a string plumbed to hang just above the flue. My brother went to the store and came back with 48 smoke bombs - we were not going to be defeated this time. As before, we ascended to the roof ready for battle. With my gun ready, we shined the spotlight down the shaft but didn't see anything. We dropped a single smoke bomb and moved back to watch. Because there was less wind the second night, it took longer for the smoke to appear and then clear, but sill no little critters came up. So, we decided to up the ante. We dropped seven smoke bombs down the hole. It took more than 20 minutes for the smoke to clear, but even after all that, there was no evidence that the raccoons were still there. Just to be safe, I set off one of my depth charges because I read that they don't like loud noises. To be a jerk, I set off another, then another. However, on the third charge, we saw a big poof of hair come out of the shaft. I pulled out the expended device only to find that it was covered with tufts of fur. Given the lack of blood or other matter, I concluded that we must have detonated the nest, and consequently determined that it must have been empty. Riding the success of the third charge, I set off a fourth, but without positive results. So, we declared victory and capped the remaining chimney. We then set off smoke bombs around other parts of the yard and garage to stimulate aversion therapy. Hopefully the acrid smoke that became so thick that it burned my eyes will have a similar effect on all who dare cross the threshold of my mother's property.
All in all, it was the most fun I've ever had fighting little buggers.
[Editor's note: I changed the title from "We must respond with our deadliest weapon - the lawyers." because this one is funnier.]