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Trash panda

Two young raccoons huddle below a planter near the front door of Pereske’s Antiques in Lake Placid in July 2017. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

I recently learned that a nickname for a raccoon is a trash panda. Yes. I want to string those two words together all the time. I’m thinking of stickers and flags to replace window decals and political signs. We could start a club where we make plaques for our children’s rooms (Ok, just my child’s room). Instead of a bumper sticker proudly announcing my child’s sport, club or school choices, I could fondly declare that he is no longer a trash panda. I want to balance things out, right? 

Don’t worry; the Internet is here to show me how out of date and uncool I am. It doesn’t even take a deep dive to learn the fact that someone is already marketing everything including T-shirts, card games, and garden stakes. There is even an Alabama minor league baseball team as well as a Georgia indie band. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie reference wasn’t even the first time it was used. 

My children were both required to do chores around the house and keep their rooms clean. It was more of battle with one than the other. Making beds and picking up clothes became such a trigger that my husband and I decided to pick our battles. We let our children manage their own rooms, as long as we didn’t find food. We didn’t need to provide food and nest to the resident mice.

There are worse things to call your children than a raccoon. Apparently raccoons keep themselves very clean, though they don’t care about their living conditions. They eat about anything and are very adaptable. Just like my kid. 

It saddens me a bit to think that I could have been using this more endearing term to draw attention to my child’s room explosion. I could have planted a trash panda garden stake in the center. Though at the time it probably would have been considered a badge of honor. 

It seems like calling someone a trash panda is hardly an insult when calling out a person’s questionable sanitary habits. I mean, there is really nothing cuter than a panda, right? Then I found out that a panda is called a bamboo raccoon. It’s all in the name.

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