As I pulled out of the driveway to take the kids to school, I suddenly stopped the car. “What are you waiting for?” asked my son. “The 7:05,” I informed him. We all checked the clock in the car. It said 7:04. One minute later, it changed to 7:05. Peering out the window, we suddenly saw a good-sized raccoon emerge from a neighbor’s bushes, step tentatively off the curb, and then dart across the street and disappear.

As I pulled out of the driveway to take the kids to school, I suddenly stopped the car.


“What are you waiting for?” asked my son.


“The 7:05,” I informed him.


We all checked the clock in the car. It said 7:04. One minute later, it changed to 7:05. Peering out the window, we suddenly saw a good-sized raccoon emerge from a neighbor’s bushes, step tentatively off the curb, and then dart across the street and disappear.


“Right on schedule,” I said, shaking my head in amazement. “I wonder what that’s all about.”


“I think he spends the night gallivanting around but he has to get home by 7:10 or his wife will yell at him,” said my daughter.


“I know I would if your dad was out digging in the garbage cans all night,” I said.


“Maybe he has to get home to take his kids to school, like you?” she suggested.


“Raccoons don’t go to school. Only fish are in schools,” I commented.


She rolled her eyes at me.


Admittedly, this was not the first raccoon we had seen in the suburbs.  There were almost as many raccoons in the ‘burbs as there were moms in minivans.  However, this was the first raccoon we’d seen that seemed to be on a fixed schedule. It’s possible he was just a creature of habit, kind of like my dog who woke up every night at 3 a.m., woofed once, and went back to sleep. Or maybe he really did have someplace to be, like my husband who had to make the 7:09 train every morning or he’d get to work late.


Strangely enough, my sister-in-law who lived across in the country had a similar phenomenon with a slug. Her slug slimed across her back patio every night at 8:16. Of course, being a slug, the 8:16 went on well past 9:16, which gave her plenty of time to either observe the slug crossing or watch paint dry, whichever seemed like a more interesting use of her time. The bigger question with the slug though, was not where he was going and why he did it at the same time every night, but how he got back to the other side of the yard by 8:16 the next night. These are the questions that kept my sister-in-law up at night.


Meanwhile, back in our neck of the woods, I had resumed my task of driving my kids to school when I noticed a neighbor emerge from his house to walk his extremely large dog. The dog suddenly spotted a squirrel, and started barking his head off and pulling aggressively at his leash. I realized the neighbor actually walked the dog everyday at 7:07 …


… Which would probably explain why the raccoon gets the heck out of there by 7:05.


For more Lost in Suburbia, visit Tracy’s blog at www.lostinsuburbia.net.