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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Big scoop for reporter: Trash Raccoon

Rosslyn, Virginia-based Politico reporter Helena B. Evich got a big story, the kind reporters dream about. People were talking about it, asking for updates.

Watergate? Another Trump tape? A download of documents from Wikileaks? A new Monica whats-her-name? Was there a Deep Throat informant involved?

Nope. She took a picture of a raccoon hitching a ride on the back of a garbage truck and posted it on Twitter. Internet goes nuclear.

Evich observed the trash-loving masked-thief of the mammal world clinging for dear life to the ladder of a trash truck as she drove to work on the morning of Feb. 17.

Evich did the right thing, alerting the driver and the company to the unexpected passenger, according to The Washington Post. The freeloading rascal ended up travelling seven miles on the garbage truck from Rosslyn to Falls Church, Virginia. The driver of the trash truck pulled over and – with the help of local police – the animal ran into a nearby park, according to the Post. A spokewoman for the waste disposal company said – no doubt responding to the Internet fallout – that the company and the city were sure the animal was unharmed.

The reporter’s photo shows the terrified Houdini of the animal kingdom with a “What have I gotten myself into now?” look on his face.. She then posted said photo to Twitter and madness ensued. Soon #trashraccoon was a thing. One Twitter response: “#trashraccoon is all of us.” At the same time, he could be auditioning for a Geico commercial or for a new version of one of those “Hang in there,” inspirational posters There were more that 1,000 re-Tweets and trash raccoon became a meme.

On Feb. 25, Evich posted on Twitter, shortly after posting some photos of her interviewing some political bigwig: “You guys. I think I’ve finally made it 24 hours without an email about the raccoon.”

Well, yeah, until you posted that.

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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