Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Come See the Albino Raccoon!

My mom used to say "you're only disappointed by your expectations". I'm annoyed by my expectations. It's 2007. Where are the flying cars?
When you build things up in your mind you generate a potential experience. The longer you go without the actual experience, the more elaborate the mental imagery. This is dangerous in that the disappointment can be so great as to scar you for long after the actual experience. You might think I'm referring to Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At Wits End, but I'm not.

The Calusa Nature Center is a 100+ acre nature preserve with a fantastic Planetarium, great cypress swamp nature trails and interpretive displays of reptiles, mammals, birds and insects of southern Florida.

Years ago, the Nature Center was a remote destination with little in the way of development around it. Today the area has been enveloped by Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Chik-filet and BPs. While the nature center has retained Independence and still sits in stark contrast to the corporate environmental takeover, they have acquiesced to one form of consumer attraction, the flashing digital sign. In fairness, the local church has done the same but either way it seems odd to see "To greed, all nature is insufficient" in flashing red lights at the church and this outside the nature center.

I drive past this sign once a week and it tempts with promises of venomous snakes and other novelties, but it's the ALBINO RACCOON that sparks the imagination.

Of course in retrospect I can't remember for the life of me what I expected before we actually went, but it was certainly more than a ghostly, maskless raccoon pacing in a tiny dilapidated cage.

I feel less disappointment and in truth more shame as if I had just paid to see the "Lobster Boy" or "Bat Boy" etc. This poor creature would certainly not last more than a few days in the wild without pigmented fur, but captivity might be worse. Who's to say.

This blog entry isn't ending well. Hmm. Well what did you expect?


  1. I totally understand your situation. When I was younger, at Homosassa Springs State Park, while all the manatees were outside, I was inside staring at their two headed slider, and just felt bad for it (them).

  2. Nice Blog. I was waiting and waiting. Finally, there it is. On the road back to humor. I choose to expect nothing, that way when I get something I'm thrilled.