"A Letter of Warning" by Kelly Anne Doran

By Kelly Anne Doran

To: Resident at 1035 Willow Drive

Dear Sir/Madam,

This notice is to inform you that the raccoons of Raccoons United Guild, District 57, have registered a formal complaint against the state of your trash bins, which violate the Guild’s recommended standards for all bins in the area. The Guild’s agent, Chief Inspector Percival Stripeytail, has noted the following violations on your property:

  1. Use of trash bin locks which are un-openable with the average raccoon paw.

  2. Trash bins habitually kept upright instead of sideways, an act which fails to accommodate chunkier and less acrobatic raccoons who are unable to climb tall and unstable bins.

  3. Rotisserie chicken scraps left in trash bins only approximately 1x per month, instead of the recommended 2x per week.

I would remind you that these standards have been deemed necessary in order to accommodate all members of the local raccoon population, and if you felt they were burdensome, you could have registered your complaints at the Guild’s annual open forum, which was scheduled every Monday last month at 3:00 AM.


If you would like to dispute the charges against you, you may argue your case in front of a jury of local raccoons on your scheduled hearing date and time: Friday, January 18, at 11:30 PM (rescheduling not permitted). Hearings are held in the vacant lot behind the Wendy’s. I warn you, however, that this is not the first grievance that has been registered against you (you may recall the peanut butter hiding incident of 2016), and the judge is not inclined to look kindly on repeat offenders.

The guild has prepared a handy pamphlet (enclosed) which will instruct you on how best to bring your bins back up to appropriate, raccoon-approved standards. Should you choose not to argue your case, you will have one month to resolve all aforementioned trash bin violations, and you will be subject to a fine of 12 pre-opened bags of Doritos (family size, Cool Ranch) due within one week of receipt of this notice.

The Guild thanks you for your prompt attention to this matter. Your cooperation helps us to create a community that is convenient and accessible to all raccoons, and to prevent our upstanding raccoon brethren from going hungry.

Failure to cooperate will lead to us pooping on your porch; don’t test us.

Kind regards,

Kelvin Laser

Raccoon Secretary General

Trash Bin Standards Division

Raccoons United Guild, District 57

Kelly Anne Doran is a writer and grad student from Southern California. Her work has appeared in Points in Case, Soft Cartel, and Bust, among others. You can follow her on Twitter @kellyadoran.

Art provided by Jack F. Cipher. You can find him on Twitter @JackDTylerD.

Kelly’s piece is a selection from issue one of Beer Money, which is available now. All profits are divided evenly among the editors and contributors.

Jason GongComment