The Tomato

“I’ve seen a lot at the Rideau McDonald’s, but the University of Ottawa is something else.” Photo: Hanna Méthot. Edits: Rame Abdulkader.

U of O claims newest student not having a rough transition, just napping a lot

Recently accepted to the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Science to study animal behaviour, the McDonald’s raccoon landed on campus this Thursday to figure out if U of O campus life is a good fit for him.

But the visit left the raccoon, and students, questioning whether the U of O is truly the caring and inclusive campus it claims to be. The Tomato investigated the scene on Thursday after receiving several distressed reports from students.

Things reportedly got off to a shaky start for the raccoon: During his first walk on campus down the main drag, he got into that awkward which-way-is-this-person-walking dance with another student — trying to get out of the way, he nearly collided into several overcaffeinated students.

After sustaining a few glares, the raccoon nervously cleared his throat and continued past the res complex to find a place to eat. He noticed a good looking half-eaten sandwich sitting atop a shiny garbage bin, and plopped down on a picnic bench to calm himself down with a bite to eat.

But then, students began to turn their noses up at the smell of his food.

“It was kind of exotic-smelling,” Becky Smith told the Tomato. “But honestly, way too much for my nose. That picnic table will probably smell like it for weeks.”

After several students began pointing, the shy raccoon started to feel short of breath and shaky. This led even more people to raise their eyebrows, and soon he ascended a nearby tree in hopes of evading the collective gaze.

The raccoon recounted to the Tomato that despite having some distance from the crowd, he still became dizzy with anxiety and thought he might be having a heart attack.

To his chagrin, other students only noticed him and began lending a sympathetic ear when he was already way up in his tree. The university took a different approach however, insisting via Twitter that the raccoon was only taking a peaceful nap.

“It’s ridiculous to hear that,” the raccoon said in reaction to the university’s response. “It seems like they’ll say just about anything to avoid shouldering the blame when a student is having a tough time on campus.”

Even more outrageous than the tweet was the response from onlookers, who suggested the raccoon should try yoga, or eat some quinoa.

“Don’t worry, it’s all in your head!” one student yelled. “You should really put yourself out there more, make some friends maybe?” suggested another.

Eventually, the raccoon calmed down and shimmied down the tree to try that funny sounding dish the students had been so emphatically yelling about earlier, and maybe find a yoga buddy. But to his surprise, as soon as he came down the students were back to business — headphones in, eyes down, small-talking only if absolutely necessary.

The raccoon scratched his head, and turned to the Tomato reporters. “I’ve seen a lot at the Rideau McDonald’s, but the University of Ottawa is something else.”