By Tony Hicks
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 at 2:55 pm in Uncategorized.
The foul little man-eating beasts have been a thorn in humanity’s side for centuries. I’ve never actually killed one, but figured I would never hesitate, especially if friends or family were in danger of being eaten. But I think I’ve mellowed with age (code for “I’m losing my nerve and am afraid of hurting things for fear my karma will be polluted, which will either keep me out of heaven or doom me to live my next existence as some sort of blind slug”).
So I’m driving to work this morning, racing down the hill into Ygnacio Valley Road when I see a squirrel that’s been run over. Ok, fine – happens all the time, just another casualty of being a naked tree denizen too low on the evolutionary totem pole to fight, much less understand, the human automobile. Usually squirrel carcasses are pretty flat, indicating the hairy beast went to squirrel hell relatively quickly and painlessly.
“But … wait. Oh God, it’s moving. And it’s not just the tail. The whole thing is rolling around in the street. It’s little legs are kicking…”
Dear God, what a sight. My natural inclination was to swerve, which I immediately regretted, not because I didn’t want to end the poor little guy’s suffering (notice how quickly they go from “man-eating menace” to “poor little guys”), but because I lack the spine to actually kill anything. I mean anything. I picked up three worms off the sidewalk and found the nearest patch of dirt this morning. No, I regretted it because the thing was suffering.
I dragged my guilt into work where, of course, I was greeted by the guy at the next desk … Gary Bogue, the friend and protector of all beasts. I told Gary my story and his eyes bored into me for a second. I knew what he was thinking.
“So, I probably should’ve gone back and put it out of its misery,” I mumbled.
Gary shrugged. “Do that and it might take off a finger.”
“I mean with my car. It would probably be the right thing to do…”
“Yeah,” said Gary, still staring at me.
“Will it make my tires messy,” I asked, immediately feeling insensitive.
“Nah,” said Gary. “It comes right off.”
“GOD$%#@*&,” I thought. I’m not actually going to do this am I? “&%$#…yeah, OK, FINE.”
I went back to my car, drove all the way back up the hill and flipped a U-turn. I dreaded the next mile. “Good God, I hope this thing is already dead,” I said to myself. I wondered if I was actually man enough to kill something to stop its suffering. I decided I had to.
“There it is,” I said, approaching it, remember how he was rolling around before. He wasn’t rolling anymore. “Thank God,” I said, immediately sort of regretting that once I saw how it’s head, for lack of a better term, had exploded.
I got back to the office and sat down. Silence. I turned to see the Bogue eyes boring into me.
“So…?” he asked.
“Somebody already flattened it,” I said, relieved.
“Good,” said Beastmaster Bogue.
I hate stupid squirrels.
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