I’m not sure what’s going on.
For the past week, every time I get in the car, my palms start to sweat.
By the time I shift from ‘R’ To ‘D’ and weave my way down the driveway, my blood pressure is rising. My heart pounding.
Because I know what to expect.
At any moment, it could happen.
I’ll be driving along, probably lulled into a false sense of security and calm.
A chipmunk or squirrel will explode from one side of the road or the other.
Sometimes he is committed to his mission of making it to the other side.
Sometimes he reconsiders his goal half way across the road, causing he and I to get into a weird stare-down situation as my vehicle bears down on him.
Seriously. They all seem to take a split second to look right at me before they hip hop their front legs back and forth from left to right. And, yes, if this is happening to you and the squirrel is facing left or right, he is looking right at you.
Discovery Channel lesson: Squirrels and chipmunks are prey animals – like horses. And the Thompson’s gazelle (also called a Tommie, one of the two most prevalent of the Gazella genus. The other is the Grant’s Gazelle. And, yes, I knew all that without looking it up because I am a long time Marlin Perkins and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom fan (although I am more a fan of Marlin’s sidekick Jim, because he was always doing the heavy lifting while Marlin talked to the camera as in, “While I’m up here talking to you, Jim is down wrestling with a 20 foot long salt water crocodile in a swamp infested with a giant squid and a few thousand piranhas.” I was such a fan of Jim’s that I made my nearly perfect husband dress up as Jim for Halloween one year while we were both still in college. And he did it on the condition that he could walk around with a fake knife stabbed through a colorful, stuffed parrot)).
Because that’s the kind of man he is.
Where was I?
Discovery channel correction: Suicidal sciuridae, as both squirrels and chipmunks belong to the sciuridae family.
Don’t make me go all ‘genus’ and ‘species’ on you.
So I’ve got suicidal squirrels and chipmunks erupting out of roadside shrubbery many times a day, in front of me, as I am driving!
This is perilous on so many levels.
I could be hurt.
The rodent could be hurt.
Marshal Dillon Dingle (who is in the middle of car training due to his tendency to whine at such a high pitch that only other dogs and – oh ya – everyone else can hear him, while he is riding in the car. So we are training him to be calm. This involves a lot of puppy crack, and thank goodness I had the forethought to become a dealer (you can read about that here)). Anyway, Marshal Dillon Dingle could be hurt by a suicidal squirrel or chipmunk bursting into the roadway in front of my car.
Also, my car could be hurt.
This matters as I have two and a half kids in college and I cannot afford another car right now.
So I’ve been thinking about what could be causing mass suicidal tendencies in the rodents of my small town and I think I’ve got it.
It’s the only thing that makes sense.
The squirrels and chipmunks don’t watch the news.
They have no idea that the government is shut down (though I do hear that they worry a bit about the new zoning rules as they pertain to nest development).
And it’s not winter yet, so Seasonal Affective Disorder – and the resulting depression from it – can’t be the cause.
These are the procrastinators.
The ones who played and hopped and danced and squeaked their way through a lovely New England summer only to find that they are not even remotely prepared for winter.
They are nutless rodents.
And being a nutless rodent in New England is a particularly intolerable condition this time of year.
Especially for the males.
What? I’m talking about their role as primary nut gatherers.
I have no idea what caused the great Dunstable Squirrel and Chipmunk Procrastination Outbreak of 2013 but we have to put a stop to it because it is tragic. I mean, sure, Carrion Local 213 is pretty excited about the increase in business and possible uptick in union dues, but the rest of us are left with near-misses and/or the guilt stemming from snuffing the life light out in an innocent, albeit depressed, rodent (sorry, sciuridae (how do you even pronounce that? Hang on…. okay, got it: sigh-oor-uh-dee)).
Anyway, it’s sad to squash a rodent.
And if we’re not careful, it could lead to depression in the drivers around here.
And pretty soon, instead of squirrels and chipmunks, grown men could be hurtling across the road in front of me, not because they themselves are nutless, but because they snuffed the life out of another hapless, nutless creature.
I say again, it is tragic to be nutless in New England as winter approaches.
Thanks for readin’
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