In case you missed it last week, a racoon fell through the ceiling of a dining hall on the Louisiana State University campus. It just so happened that it was dinner time so the animal landed inside a full cafeteria. Pandemonium took hold as students scattered and screamed while employees tried to catch it. I watched several videos and it looked like a big mess.
One student who was interviewed said the racoon ran over her bag during the chaos. The thought of a possibly diseased animal scampering across her stuff made the student lost her appetite. I can’t say that I blame her.
I have a restaurant experience with “wildlife” that I have actually told before and that Sidney brings up from time to time. Just like with the LSU student, the episode caused me to lose my appetite.
Sid and I were eating at the original River City Café restaurant in Myrtle Beach, one of the best burger joints I have ever visited. The location we were eating at is a short walk from the beach and customers are encouraged to eat peanuts and throw the shells on the floors. Those who live in the South know that restaurants in hot climates close to the beach attract pests, especially when floors are constantly littered with salty snacks.
We were finishing up our hamburgers when Sidney looked at me with giant eyes. Picking up on her gaze, I returned a confused, yet concerned, glance.
“You have a bug on you!” she warned.
I jumped up and started doing a little dance to get it off. By the direction of Sid’s gaze, I knew it was a little below my collar. But I didn’t dare look. A “bug” in South Carolina means one thing: a Palmetto Bug, which is basically slang for the largest and nastiest cockroach you can imagine. I can do spiders, snakes, and rodents—but I can’t do bugs—especially cockroaches. I didn’t look down until Sid told me the threat was gone.
Once I returned to my seat I gathered enough courage to look under our table to see if I could spot it. I couldn’t, which I didn’t know was a good or bad thing. Sid didn’t sugarcoat the situation as she admitted that the Palmetto Bug was huge. Needless to say, I didn’t take another bite.
Indoor food and outdoor creatures just don’t mix. Whether it be a racoon or a cockroach, even a gourmet dinner is bound to be ruined. Don’t Blink.