Squirrels - A Neighborhood Hazard,
or
Why the Cops Won`t Patrol Maple Street Anymore
added 1/1/07


I never dreamed slowly cruising on my Trike through a residential neighborhood could be so incredibly dangerous! Little did I suspect what was just around the next corner.

I was on Maple Street, a very nice neighborhood with perfect lawns and slow traffic. As I passed an oncoming car, a brown furry missile shot out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me. It was a squirrel, and it must have been trying to run across the road when it encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time to brake or avoid it, it was that close.

I hate to run over animals, and I really hate it on a Trike, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me. I barely had time to brace for the impact. Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels, I discovered, can take care of themselves!

Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing my oncoming Trike with steadfast resolve in his little beady eyes. His mouth opened and, at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for "Bonsai" or maybe "Die you gravy-sucking, heathen scum!" The leap was nothing short of spectacular as he shot straight up, flew over my windshield and impacted me squarely on the chest!

Instantly, he set upon me. If I did not know better, I would have sworn he had brought 20 of his little furry buddies along for the attack. Chattering, hissing and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I was dressed only in a light t-shirt, summer riding half finger gloves and jeans, this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry, noisy little tornado was doing some damage! Picture a large hairy man on a sleek black and chrome street cruiser, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt and leather gloves. Puttering along at maybe 25 mph down a quiet residential street in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And losing badly.

I grabbed for him with my left hand. After a couple of misses I finally managed to snag his tail. With all my strength, I flung the evil rodent off to the left of the Trike, almost running into the tight curb and a parked Mercedes as I recoiled from the throw. That should have done it. The matter should have ended right then and there. It really should have been. The squirrel should have sailed out onto one of the pristinely kept yards and gone on about his merry business, and I could have headed home. No one would have been the wiser.

BUT, this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary pissed-off garden-variety squirrel. This was an EVIL MUTANT ATTACK SQUIRREL OF CHAOS AND DEATH! Somehow he caught the cuff of my ridding glove with one of his little hands and with the force of the throw, swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing impact, he landed squarely on my back and resumed his rather anti-social and extremely distracting activities. All the while making large amounts of noise and rude comments about my ride and my ancestry. I swear that is what it sounded like to me. He also managed to peel my left hand glove off and take it with him!

The situation was not improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were continuing, and now I could not reach him.

I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars and my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of an overpowered VW Trike can have only one result. TORGUE. This is what the Trike was made for, and it is very, very good at it. The engine roared and the front wheel left the pavement. The squirrel screamed out in anger. The Trike screamed out in ecstasy. And I SCREAMED in ... well ... I just plain screamed.

Now picture a large hairy man on a sleek black and chrome street cruiser, dressed in jeans, a slightly squirrel-torn-t-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, the Trike roaring at maybe 50 mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street with his front tire spinning in the air, and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man, Trike and squirrel are all screaming bloody murder and picking up speed. With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my other hand back on the handlebars and try to get control of the Trike. This was leaving the Mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did not want to crash and burn into somebody`s tree, house, or a parked car. Also, I had not yet figured out how to release the throttle, my brain was just simply overloaded.

My brain clicked on momentarily and I managed to mash the back brake down, but it had little effect against the full throttled engine screaming in the wheeling Trike. About this time the squirrel decided that I was not paying sufficient attention to this very serious battle (maybe he is an evil mutant NAZI attack squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got INSIDE my full-faced helmet with me. Again my brain momentarily kicked in with several thoughts at once.

Helmet Law and back in the rear of my brain somewhere was the fact that I hoped that I had tight fitting jeans on over the tops of my boots). As the faceplate closed partway, he began hissing in my face. I am quite sure my screaming changed intensity and pitch. It had little effect on the squirrel, however.

The RPM`s on the engine finally maxed out (since I was not bothering with the shifting at the moment) so the front end started to drop. Now picture a large hairy man on a sleek black and chrome street cruiser, dressed in jeans, a very raggedly torn t-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, roaring at probably 80mph, still with the front end suspended above the pavement, with a large puffy squirrel`s tail sticking out of the mostly closed full-faced helmet, and that tail was shooting around in all directions.

By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse and loosing some of the higher pitches. Finally I got the upper hand. I managed to grab his tail again, pulling him out of my helmet and slinging him to the left as hard as I could. This time it worked sort-of. Spectacularly sort-of so to speak.

Picture a new scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have just pulled off onto a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some paperwork in the cool shade of some nice trees. Suddenly a large hairy man on a sleek black and chrome street cruiser, dressed in jeans, a torn t-shirt that is flapping in the breeze behind him and wearing only one leather glove, moving at probably 80 mph with his front wheel in the air and screaming bloody murder, roars by and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade directly into your parked police car.

I heard loud screams. They weren`t mine.

Still breathing heavily, I managed to get the screaming Trike under control and dropped the front wheel back to the pavement. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop with screeching tires in a cloud of rubber smoke at the stop sign of a busy cross street. Finally stopped I guessed I would have to return and fess up (and to get my glove back). Except for two things.

First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about me at the moment. When I looked back, the doors on both sides of the patrol car were flung wide open. The cop from the passenger side was on his back, doing a crab walk into somebody`s front yard, quickly moving away from the car. The cop who had been in the driver` seat was standing in the middle of the street and was aiming a riot shotgun at his own patrol car.

So the cops were not interested in me. They often insist, "let the professionals handle it" anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I could clearly see shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery from the back seat. But I could also swear I saw the squirrel in the back window, shaking his little fist at me, shooting me the finger and making other gestures.

That was one dangerous squirrel. And now he has a patrol car. A somewhat shredded patrol car, but it was all his.

I took a deep breath, turned on my turn signal, made a gentle right turn off of Maple Street and sedately left the neighborhood. I decided it was best to just buy myself a new pair of gloves, a very large box of Band-Aids and several large containers of something cold to drink to get my shattered nerves back under control.

I Always Knew There Was Something Sinister About Cute Fuzzy Squirrels! That had to have been a DEVIL SQUIRREL!!!! If it was even a squirrel at all.





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