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The War On Squirrels

By Tony Hicks
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008 at 2:55 pm in Uncategorized.

I may have to wave a white flag in my struggle against the pure evil of squirrels. I’ve proven myself to be a less-than-worthy soldier.

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.

Picture of squirrel by Flickr user jimbowen0306 under Creative Commons attribution license

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8 Responses to “The War On Squirrels”

  1. Jody Says:

    That was mortifying. I came home from work at like 10 pm and someone had just run over a cat in front of my house. I scooped it up off the ground and ran it to the emergency clinic where it died pretty quickly. My sister who runs a veterinary clinic thought I was crazy, but I couldn’t just leave it there…I COULDN’T!!!!! I cried and cried over a cat I never knew. It taught me to NEVER do that again!!! One of my neighbors told the actual owner of the cat what I had done and she came over with a gift to thank me and we cried and cried again. Stupid animals!!! Why do they do this to us. For how humane Gary Bouge is, he has a much better grip on the whole situation than I!!!! I’m glad you didn’t have to kill the squirell..I probably would have taken it to the emergency clininc..I’m crazy, I know!

  2. Danny Says:

    So the moral is, just run over everything. Right? ‘Cause I want to make sure I get the Beastmaster’s lesson correct.

    Sorry, that may be harsh. OK, I hope that when the squirrels head exploded, it didn’t feel pain.

  3. Taco Charlie Says:

    So I see in the paper today that suddenly you and yoko ono are bestest friends. why don’t you go see expelled? probably it’s a nixon plot from hell.


  4. Tony Hicks Says:

    Didn’t Danny read what I wrote? I can’t leave a frickin WORM on the sidewalk without trying to help it. One time I had a fish that was obviously dying, and I ended up calling the vet, then UC Davis, to see what I could do for it.
    Danny’s missing the point, which is this: I didn’t want the thing to suffer. I was glad when I saw it crushed only because I’d seen it writhing around in pain, and I couldn’t stomach running it over. There was no fixing this little guy.
    And what is Taco Charlie talking about? Please clairify…

  5. Danny Says:

    No, I read it. I know you didn’t want it to suffer, and I’m feeling sympathy for the little headless squirrel. The worms, however are useful and help decompose things to keep the earth working well. All the squirrels used to do to me were steal the walnuts off the tree in my backyard and then drop the broken shells all over, causing me pain when I’d go out there barefoot as a young tot. I don’t think they cared about my pain. Not one bit.

    I’m sorry for the previous upsetting comments, and will work with the head of the Squirrel Committee for Rights to Run Across Streets to make some PSA’s and hopefully bring some new awareness to what could be a beautiful new world of Human/Squirrel relations. And for what it’s worth, I probably wouldn’t have been able to run it over either.

  6. Tony Hicks Says:

    Wise ass… that’s what I get.
    I didn’t say I want to be nice to squirrels. I still don’t trust them. That one probably got itself hurt on purpose, just to screw with my head. They do that kind of stuff, you know.

  7. Danny Says:

    They are evil. If you are what you eat, then they certainly are nuts. How many other creatures would see hundreds of giant shiny beasts roaring by them and think, “Yeah, I can totally make it across.” None that’s who. That’s why Frogger’s so hard.

  8. HeyJoe Says:

    Squirrels are one step above rats; disease carrying rodents. They’d gnaw on your jugular if given the chance. Don’t turn your back on them.

    On the flip side, they’re so damn cute.