I left the shop around midnight after a long day working on our contest entry and turned from McKinley onto 7th/99 to head east towards home. For anyone outside of town, this is the far west side of Eugene and I live in the far east side of Springfield. There are two towns between where I was and where I live.
Due to massive road construction, the four lane road is currently a single lane with a one foot drop-off (~1/3 meter for my civilized friends) into rock on one side and a sidewalk on the other. The street lights for this stretch were out, so this stretch was very dark.
As I accelerated, I noticed a dark shape on the road ahead of me. I began to slow and as I did so, I picked up three more shapes next to it. I rolled to a stop about 20 feet away from a group of four… raccoons. They had stopped in the road and were staring at me.
After a moment, they backed off the road as if to say ‘move along, buddy’ so I took my foot off the brake and began inching forward. As I neared them (watching from the sidewalk), I carefully reached out and locked the door.
“Thunderscreech”, I thought to myself, “you’re being silly.” Then I looked over to my left as I passed the group and saw that the biggest one was standing up and facing directly at me.
I don’t know what I thought it could do, but… I punched it. I hit the gas and took off.
It’s a coincidence, right? I mean, a hamburglar of raccoons (I assume that’s the proper collective noun for these animals) standing in the middle of a darkened construction zone that just happens to be a natural constriction point I’d travel through is something that happens to other people, right?