About a week ago, as I was pulling into my driveway I saw a fox outside my house. I haven’t seen it since, but seeing it once is enough evidence for me to decide that it has taken up permanent residence in one of my bushes; it’s also proof that it breaks in through my window and goes through my stuff while I’m at work.
Needless to say, it’s been tough to sleep.
I think that foxes are scarier than a lot of animals because they’re so smart. If there’s a bear or wolf outside my door, and it eats me, fine, it’s over, we’re done here. But a fox? The fox is one of the few animals that makes you think it could come up with a scheme. I’d get ripped up by a lion before I subjected myself to whatever mind-fuck death trap some genius fox would have in store for me.
“Good evening, Michael. In front of you there are two buttons. One will electrocute your brother, the other your father. If you do not push one by 11PM they will both be electrocuted. You must choose!”
“How did you get in my living room?”
“I just jiggled the handle. You really oughta get that fixed.”
But wait, you say. The fox isn’t a dangerous animal. They generally only eat rodents and worms, and besides, some have been domesticated as pets!
I’ll concede that point to you. But to quote the great Neil MacCauley: there’s a flip side to that coin.
Let’s say I end up making friends with this clever fox who lives in my bushes and probably uses my toothbrush while I’m asleep. At first he’s my pet, and everything’s cool. We go for walks and all that. But what happens when, little by little, he stops being so much of a pet and becomes more human? Maybe one afternoon I catch him using a fork. Then another morning, as I get ready for a shower, I see him slip into the bathroom right before I can, towel in hand. And then it all goes to hell when he completes the trifecta and beats me at Clue. Next thing you know, I throw the game board across the room, and this fox, who slept in my bushes and eats my Oreos when I leave to do stand-up, is playing Solitaire in the corner.
Next thing you know, he’ll get bitter and come up with another scheme.
“Hello Michael! I have planted dynamite at an undisclosed orphanage, and I have designed three puzzles that will lead you to its location,” says the fox who slept in my bushes, as he jumps on my beanbag chair and eats my peanut butter out of the jar with his paws.