by Mark Sarian
Squirrels hate gardening. They hate begonias. They hate
tulips. They hate inpatients. And they definitely hate America. I say this
not with any true bias against furry woodland creatures but on several years
of fact and intelligence gathering. I believe America’s enemies are
here, within our borders. Feasting on our scraps, our nuts, and our plants.
It’s Squirrels. And they have implemented a Squirrel Jihad.
You want terrorism. Try this. You spend, on average, $600 a year to fill your backyard—yes, that’s right, a backyard in Manhattan—with a beautiful array of flora and plant life to brighten the day, heighten your senses and bring God’s heaven a little closer to Earth. What happens? An angry band of militant squirrels demolishes any attempt at beautification with savage attacks that leave freshly planted flowers destroyed and planted ceramic pots violently shattered upon the Earth. It happens so swiftly, so mind-numbingly fast, that before you can take your hardened, dirt-swept gloves off, the Jihad has attacked and left nothing but a barren wasteland of destruction and despair in its wake.
Some say that squirrels love fresh soil. I say fuck you to them. Dirt is dirt. If I put a filet mignon and a pile of human feces in front of a starving dog, something tells me both plates will be licked clean upon my return. Another hypothesis is that squirrels are very short-minded creatures. Squirrels cannot remember where they bury things, so they just dig and dig and dig and dig until they find them. I can buy that. But what are they burying that’s so damn important? What on earth could a New York City squirrel find that is worth hiding for the winter? Knicks tickets?
With no real motive or piece of evidence to take to government
authorities, I decided to deal with the situation myself.
What to do? Attack or retreat? Defend or advance? My Father-in-law, a fine country gentleman born and bred in the hills of Virginia, suggested feeding the squirrels so they’re distracted from the flowers. Hmm. Distraction. After strategically laying out several ears of fresh corn, I returned the next day to find that the squirrels’ hunger is insatiable. I not only found the corn nibbled to the core but yes, my begonias had become a tasty desert for the maize-induced orgy. Subsequently, I no longer neeed heed advice from my redneck in-laws.
I researched on the Internet for a solution and amazingly came up with two seemingly ingenious devices. First option: the “Zapper.” A short, thin pole which is punched into the ground. Once grounded (and filled with two double-AA batteries), it emits a buzzing tone to frighten off any approaching critter. Result: the next day, I found the Zapper lying on the ground, unearthed, and completely gnawed apart—along with two previously planted Mexican heathers, which were ripped from the soil and mashed to a pulp. Olé! So much for the Zapper. Second option: Deer urine. Let nature’s own pungent odor take its course. After mixing together this noxious-smelling powder with water, I discovered that it not only would repel animals but worked quite nicely on humans as well. Upon sprinkling Bambi’s pee over my garden, I was bombarded with angry neighbors complaining about the smell wafting into the apartments facing our now reeking garden. So much for ever hosting a mixer with the building.
“Kill them!” Many have suggested. Now it’s
not that I’m totally against murdering squirrels, it’s just with
only about 27 of them living in Manhattan, I just can’t see myself endangering
a species here on an island nation. Besides, there’s the blood. The
gallons and gallons of blood.
So, I am now announcing to the world that terrorism does work. That’s right, I said it. The squirrels have won. I give up. As another spring approaches, I will happily watch TV, do the dishes, play on the Internet, eat, breath, and exist. All while the squirrels plot, scheme, design, conspire, contrive, and connive. Is there a battle to be won or a war to be lost? Who cares anymore? Odds are I’ll move before the squirrels do.
Mark Sarian is an actor/comedian/writer living in New York City. His new sketch show, "Hooray for Mark & Ari" runs at the UCB Theatre.
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