Not So Hamptons
She screamed so loud that I figured someone must be dead. I sighed. My day had begun at 6:15 AM, and it was now close to sunset. I was in no mood to deal with a dead body, or any other sort of emergency for that matter. I had season three of Girls to rewatch and a flagel from Goldberg’s to eat. Technically– my shift was over anyway.
“Rachel!,” she said in panic, “Rachel, there is something furry and alive IN THE TRASH CAN!”
“Ok, don’t worry, Rachel,” I said. “I’ll get it out.”
Ironically, both me and my boss, are named Rachel. At first this seemed like a small , humorous detail. But figuring out whose Starbucks is whose with the same name each day is no joke. I had only been working as Rachel’s nanny for three weeks, but it was already clear to me that wildlife made her uneasy. T he deer carry ticks, the cat that runs by the pool each morning could be feral. A bug must never enter the house. Squirrels are evil.
I on the other hand, welcome all animals, big and small, land or sea. I said three hail mary’s the day she asked me to kill an ant scurrying across the kitchen floor.
I opened the trash can with caution before peering in. “Oh, he’s cute!” I said, and for a racoon, he really was.
“He. Is. In. My. Garbage, Rachel!”
“I see that.”
“Well he needs to get out!”
It was clear to me in that moment that the raccoon’s fate would be far worse if I left
Rachel to deal with him alone. Luring him out of the garbage would be a favor to them both. I jumped into action.
Neck Path Road is surrounded by woods. Unlike the Hamptons that those unfamiliar would picture, it does not sit on the beach. In fact, there is no water at all. Instead, you are surrounded by dense trees and acres of untouched land. In it’s own way, it is as rich and peaceful as the gigantic houses that line the ocean.
It was no surprise to me that the racoon wandered through the woods and to their trash can, but how he was able to get inside, who the hell knows. This critter was like the Great Houdini, and no matter which was I tilted or turned the can, he didn’t budge. Other Rachel crossed her arms in a huff, yelling something about him being like a tiny, disease infested Spider Man.
I gave up on the tilting and groaned. This was not how Kourtney and Khloe had done the Hamptons. The day I arrived I had pictured myself strolling down main street, a tall fat free mocha something in hand. I imagined looking to my right and noticing Gwyneth Paltrow galavanting around town. Casual, chill, and fabulous. Unfortunately, the highlights of my three weeks had been La Fondita, and walking Amagansett Square with my very upset, but typically very fun new boss. I was suddenly beginning to feel extremely lame for being twenty five.
“I don’t know how we’re going to get him out. Maybe we should just leave him in there and he’ll come out on his ow…”
“Oh, no,” Rachel hissed. She vanished into the garage for a moment, then reappeared, armed with a broom stick. “Get out of my garbage can. Get out!.”
She struck the side of the can as hard as any five foot recently pregnant woman could, but her voice was fierce. I looked in the can to see the raccoon starting back at me, unfazed. He could have literally cared less. Usually at this time of night I was biking to Loose Point. A gorgeous, calming place. I made a mental note to never skip out on my nightly bike ride again. I needed the peace.
“Alright,” I announced, “I’m going to take all the trash out of the can, and then tip it all the way over. It’s not that nice, but I think it’s the only way to get him out. He’s too scared to run out on his own.”
Rachel agreed. I began carefully reaching in to grab the bags. I talked sweetly to the raccoon as I did this, to show him I was a friend, not foe. He stared at me with daggers, watching as I took away his precious food supply of dirty diapers and discarded scraps from Clam Bar. Trash escaped from the holes he had ripped in the bags, and raccoon poop covered1 the bottom.
“Oh, gross! Look at this! Look at it!” We were starting to loose Rachel here. I could sense it. I grabbed the last bag and then it was just him.
Here we go, I said. I flipped the can completely upside down, until I heard a thud that I figured was the rascal hitting the ground. Rachel took a large step back. I was now surrounded by stinky garbage and this raccoon was going to come out pissed. I wondered if Alex Baldwin ever had to do this at his Amagansett home. He seemed very manly. I decided he could handle it. I lifted the can back up, and held my breath.
The raccoon appeared, slightly dazed, like a sleeping baby being suddenly lifted out of their car seat. He paused, took in his surroundings, and in no particular rush, headed toward the woods. Rachel and I stood and watched as he scattered up a tree, leaving us, and all his mess in the driveway. For the first time since the seen began Rachel began to laugh.
“So,” she asked, “how’s your summer in the Hamptons?”