Haven’t posted a squirrel story in a while, but today’s Washington Post Sunday Source comes to the rescue with “Critter City – A Century Ago, Squirrels Were Rare in D.C. How Did They Come to Rule the Capital?”
Don’t forget to read the sidebar “Eastern Gray Squirrels In a Nutshell”
I’m sure this squirrel is still mad about being evicted from the attic. She has a distinctive tail, which isn’t quite visible in this photo, but trust me, it’s her.
After her penthouse door was sealed up (and we had our electrical main replaced because she’d eaten all the insulation off it), she spent months racing around on the outside of our house, looking in the windows and following me from room to room.
If I didn’t close the blinds, she’d bang on the windows with her little squirrel fists when she saw me. I’m sure she was giving me the finger with her creepy little squirrel hands.
She didn’t even have a nest up there, she was just partying. I’m surprised to she hasn’t found a way to pick the locks to get back in and set up house again. Yet.
For now, she just sits out there on the compost bin and stares at the house. She’s planning something, I can tell.
I’m quite certain squirrels harbor grudges. We probably should have had her relocated when they fixed the attic, but we didn’t think it was necessary.
Don’t you hate it when you start out writing a nice story about squirrels spreading some sort of viral zombie disease among a bunch of artists and you end up writing about terrorists wrecking a wedding? Eh, there could still be zombies. And, as Husband has suggested, maybe the only way to kill the genetically modified terrorist-controlled zombies is by raising the dead and sending traditional voodoo-inspired zombies to destroy them.
Husband has been practicing turning off his brain so we can resume our Galactica 1980 marathon, so I may not want to listen to him. Galactica 1980 is the perfect Writer’s Guild Strike viewing choice, because no writers were involved in the making of this show.
Our squirrels have become obese and I think it’s safe to say that the daily all-you-can-eat cicadas are at least partly to blame.
Yesterday we were watching a couple of huge squirrels heave their ponderous bulks about the yard and one stopped to groom himself, giving us a good view of his forelegs. They weren’t legs, they were arms. Beefy arms. Beefy squirrel arms. You can use a lot of words to describe squirrels, but beefy should never need to be one of them.
28th St. N., 6900 block, March 18. Responding to a report of a resident trapping squirrels in a back yard, an animal control officer met with the resident, who said that squirrels had been eating and destroying a garden. The resident had been trapping the animals (allegedly without a permit) and relocating them, but it did not seem to be working. The officer explained that when wildlife is removed, other wildlife moves in. The officer suggested placing a bucket of ammonia near the area as a deterrence.
I wonder if I could deter my co-workers by placing a bucket of ammonia outside my office door?
plucked from the ashes of the punkprincess.com archives, reposted 02-28-07
Batgrl sent me this Chicago Tribune story, “Town goes bit nutty over whiter shade of squirrel.”
OLNEY, Ill. — Pink-eyed and white as a wedding cake, the albino squirrels of Olney have the right of way on city streets. They’re protected by police officers who wear white squirrel patches. And to make sure the hard-to-miss baby squirrels aren’t eaten, cats are forbidden by law to roam beyond their owner’s yards.
Pampered with peanuts and handmade tree houses, these renowned squirrels already live several steps above the average rodent–but just wait until Saturday.
To honor the 100-year anniversary of the first recorded white squirrel sighting, when a pair of captured albinos were displayed in a tavern, this southern Illinois city of 8,600 plans a formal “Blessing of the Squirrels.” Residents will compete in a 5K “scamper” down Main Street; a youth group will sing “Willie, Olney’s Little White Squirrel,” and floats with squirrel themes will roll in a centennial parade.
Topping it off, city officials will unveil a $1,300 black-and-white granite monument to Olney’s favorite critters…
There’s more to the article, but I’m stuck on the mental image of the 5k “scamper” right now and I just can’t go on.
I particularly like the rivalry with Marionville, Missouri over who has the largest squirrel population. The people of Olney scoff at the people of Marionville, suggesting they’ve made this claim without even doing an actual count of the population. Some nerve, eh?
This morning I was getting out of my car when Dr. X, a mathematician, pulled into the lot. I left my car door open while we exchanged pleasantries.
I could have sworn I saw something out of the corner of my eye. That’s when Dr. Y came running over insisting he’d just seen a squirrel run into my car.
Sure enough, there was a squirrel careening around the interior of my car with a mouth full of acorns. Didn’t anyone tell this little monster that Squirrel Awareness Week doesn’t start for 3 more days?
We opened the passengerside door thinking he’d run out. Nope. He liked it in there. Unfortunately, to open the back doors you have to reach in and manually unlock the door. Everytime we’d try that, Rocky would make like he was going to claw us.
We decided we needed a plan to get him out. Animal Control was our last resort because Dr. Y insisted that they’re pretty sloppy around here and don’t care whether they get the animal out dead or alive. As irritating as this little gray ball of chattering psychosis was, I didn’t want him to get hurt. I just wanted him out of my car.
Then the mathematicians began making this project a lot harder than it needed to be, jabbering about vectors and shit. That’s when I remembered: these two are theoreticians. We were probably going to have to design a computer model first or something.
I had a sudden flashback to the incident involving the nuclear physicists, the espresso machine, and the powerstrip and decided to take matters into my own hands.
Don’t get me wrong, they were proposing a solid course of action, but I needed to get to work and we’d already spent an awful lot of time taking into account the basic concepts of rodent behavior. How long was it going to take us to factor in basic human nature? I didn’t have that kind of time. I wanted the little monster out of my car so I could get some coffee, er, I mean, get to work.
We were going to have to enact The Plan and hope for the best.
I can’t even begin to imagine how silly we looked.
We all gathered on the passengerside of the car. Dr. X inflated the plastic newspaper bag he found in his car. (Thank god they weren’t microbiologists or we’d still be there sterilizing the bag before one of them would get it near their mouth). As the designated physicist in the bunch, they left it to me to decide how much he should inflate the bag. I made up a nonsense theory about the relationship between sound pressure levels and the tensile strength of the plastic (eventually conceding that everything I knew about the subject I learned at summer camp) and then we were ready.
We counted to 3. And nothing happened. Dr. X didn’t hit the bag hard enough and it just sort of made a dull squeaking fart-esque noise, causing us to start laughing. We tried again.
1. 2. 3. Bang!
The squirrel made tracks, I got my briefcase, and, most importantly, I was reunited with my beloved coffee.
I made Dr. X promise to check in with the campus police to explain the loud gunfire-like sound so we didn’t have every cop in the area descending on this place looking for snipers.
That was what had originally hung up the plan…would people hear the popping sound and mistake it for gunfire? People are rather on edge here as there’s a sniper loose in the DC area and every belief that s/he will strike again.
Dr. X got to make the call because he has tenure, you see, and is not only expected but required by his rank to periodically make loony phonecalls like this to University officials. It’s part of the deal. If word got out that academics were even partially sane or, even worse, useful, they might expect us to behave like so-called normal people. Can’t have that now, can we? Ruins all the fun.
Originally posted October 4, 2002 10:06 AM at punkprincess.com
Oh man. Talk about timely, huh? I have a story like that about skunks, sent to me by my mother this morning.
I’d post it, but I have to translate it into English first.
Posted by: Tara at October 4, 2002 12:50 PM
Funny you mention skunks Tara because I was thinking about the way these stories grow and mutate on campus, in a week or so it will have been a skunk. Or maybe a deer. By next semester there will be a rumor about a family of bears living in an SUV in the student parking garage.
Posted by: skarlet at October 4, 2002 05:43 PM
Hey, did you hear about the bears that escaped from Rock Creek Park and took up residence in a dorm? It’s hard to differentiate between bears and ordinary students, although the bears show up for class more often.
Posted by: Linkmeister at October 4, 2002 06:10 PM
I just very nearly did a classic spit-take onto my monitor, Link. *giggle*
Posted by: skarlet at October 4, 2002 08:56 PM
Posted by: Zelda at October 5, 2002 10:01 AM
The other day I was walking to BART in the wee morning light and was stopped by a squirrel blockade. There was this enormous fluffy beastie, scampering down the tree as fast as his little muscled legs could propel him, with a mouth full of almonds.
I have been known to leave out almonds, or brazil nuts, or even pecans, for the little guys when they get bullied by the my-fig-eating alpha squirrels.
So here’s this big fat squirrel, at eye level with me on this tree, teeth cradling 2 almonds, giving me The Look. The “I can fit two more, lady,” look.
Here are some adorable baby bears, apropos of nothing.
Posted by: Jessica at October 5, 2002 02:16 PM
You think the squirrels are organizing? They can take us, I think.
I found acorns in my car and I’m convinced it now has the faint aroma of squirrel pee, but maybe I’m imagining that…
Posted by: skarlet at October 5, 2002 02:39 PM
i’m laughing so hard i’m crying, and my son thinks i’m insane. i blame all of you. and the damn squirrels too.
i have no squirrels. i feel so deprived.
Posted by: kd at October 5, 2002 07:03 PM
This is one of the funniest damn stories EVER! EVER! EVER to exist! BWAAAAAAHHHH HAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: JeanNINE at October 7, 2002 04:21 PM
i have no squirrels. i feel so deprived.
Hey KD: expect a package. ;)
I’m only kidding of course.
No animals were injured in the making of this website.
Posted by: skarlet at October 8, 2002 11:37 AM