Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Who was that masked man?

I normally park my bike at the end of the Eliza Furnace Trail where it meets Grant Street because I prefer not to ride on busy downtown streets. That's going to change for a while as the sidewalk is closed across from PNC's Firstside Center and they tear it up to build a park on the site of the former Public Safety Building.

As I pulled in front of my office building to lock up at one of the newer Bike-Pgh racks that have gone up all over town, I see a raccoon on the sidewalk, pacing back and forth trying to find some way out of town. I guess he'd came downtown looking to raid the garbage can buffet and found himself kind of trapped as the humans returned. A few of those humans, security guards from my office building, were watching his antics.

Just after I finished bolting my bike, the raccoon started coming right towards me. My thought was to kick my foot at him (while not actually kicking him) and turn him back so he didn't run out into the street but he went right by me, climbed up the spokes of my front tire and then went right up the tree next to the bike rack. Well, that was as safe as anything for now.

The show was over so the guards went back inside to the air conditioned comfort of the lobby. (At 6:15 this morning, downtown had already reached 77 degrees.) When I went in and up to the security desk, I asked, "Is anyone going to call Animal Control to come and take him where he ought to be?"

"I don't even know who we would call," the guard said.

"Ahhh, you call Animal Control."

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