Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Squirrel Wars

Morrigan and I were laughing hysterically about the following, and there is some debate as to where to start, so we decided I should start with the current and then explain.

The Great Omnipotent One put all his birdfeeders back out on the dogwood after Hurricane Ivan. He said flocks of birds swarmed upon it. He put his hummingbird feeder out and the Hummingbirds just came out of nowhere. Tons of them. Then he said, “Heh, I’ve only seen a few squirrels. Hope all those little bastards died. Getting rid of squirrels is like trying to blow rats out of your yard.”

Now this is where my sister and I laugh uproariously. TGOO has been at war with the entire squirrel population since probably 1975. Oh my Mother loves to goad him. She loves to see squirrels on his feeders and then just offhandedly remark as she leaves the room, “Heh. Looks like the squirrels won that one.” This has been going on for 30 years. I’m not kidding.

1975, TGOO buys his first birdfeeder and places it in front of our picture window in Orange Park, FL. He looks out, and there are squirrels on it. It was a feeder attached to the top of a pipe. The squirrels were shimmying up the pipe to the feeder. So he started to grease it. The squirrels would shimmy up the pole and sliiiiiiide back down and he would laugh his victorious laugh, knowing that man had defeated rodent. But then the squirrels would pat dirt and grass and hair on the grease and they would shimmy back up the pole. So he put this platform under it, like a cone, something so when they got there, they couldn’t get to the edge to get around it. So they started jumping from the trees. And they had good aim. Sure we’d see one tumble to the ground every now and then, but they got good. Real good. My Mom would see it and say, “Squirrels:1, Man:0” and she would up the score, infuriating him. “Squirrels: 10, Man:0”. The battle was on whenever he was not on deployment.

In 1979 we move to Pensacola where my folk’s have a beautiful dogwood tree in the back. (We are thankful it survived Ivan. Screw the house, we kids wanted to know about that tree!) With this new house and tree came… squirrels. And it started all over. I can’t remember all of it, there were so many contraptions he built to keep them off. My sister remembers more because she was at the age as I was in Orange Park, where she paid more attention to ‘The Squirrel Wars’. There was some plastic coke bottle contraption, three of them, bottoms cut out, greased, and on the pole. They found a way. He spent money on squirrel free birdfeeders… no such thing. He’s shot them with a BB gun and I’m sure if the neighbors wouldn’t have a conniption, he’d have hunted them down with his hand gun.

Then one year, he sunk to the funniest of all funnies… he bought a “Have a Heart” safe trap. He would trap the buggers, spray paint their tails red so he could identify them, then he’d take them down to 10 mile road, a few miles away and release them. He damn near had a heart attack one day when he was driving down the main road to his neighborhood and he came to a screeching halt as a squirrel scampered across the road…. And it had a red tail. They found their way home.

The classic story is when my sister was given the job of unloading a squirrel. She took it in her car and drove it out a couple miles away and it had been raining. Unhappy as it was that she had to deal with this rodent, she opened her car door, took out the trap, opened it and tried to shake the squirrel out. But she was trying to shake it out over a puddle and that squirrel wanted NOTHING to do with it. Nothing. And he clawed and pressed his way back to the back of the cage as she shook harder and harder to get that damn squirrel out.

Ahhhh. Good memories.

So we are laughing now as we hear this, “Heh, I’ve only seen a few squirrels. Hope all those little bastards died. Getting rid of squirrels is like trying to blow rats out of your yard.” He may actually have won this battle. Ivan was on his side. My sister and I are picturing squirrels on the top of those pine trees as they got snapped off, squirrels plummeting to their deaths…. But we’re not seeing any squirrel carcasses, let alone an abundance of them. And there has been no flooding in my folk’s neighborhood, just mass destruction. So I’m waiting. Day by day, I think the squirrels will make their way back to his birdfeeders, if anything so the great squirrel Gods can hear my Mom goad, “huh. Look at that. Looks like Ivan didn’t do it either. Squirrels:1, Man:0”, as she walks out of the room.

And then today… today I am e-mailing TGOO. He is talking about all the pine trees. Any that didn’t fall, he had cut down. (They’re really lucky none hit the house. As these 200 foot pine trees were felled by the wind, he said the noise was horrific and the entire house shook.) He sends me this e-mail talking about the lack of pines and at the end saying, “The squirrels can’t figure out where to live”.

I am laughing and I e-mail him back, “Wait. Does that mean you finally won? Man vs. Squirrel?” to which he replied,

“No, hell no I didn't win. The furry little bastards began to show up again three days after the hurricane. I don't know where they'd been. I assumed they had been blown away. Maybe they found their way home like a lost dog. What we really need is some foxes to have survived. And I haven't seen the red-tailed hawks wheeling overhead either. I hope they survived.”

He has since decided HIS squirrels got blown away and NEW squirrels got blown in his yard.

And… I cannot quit laughing. Let the Squirrel Wars Recommence!


Blogger Contagion said...

For my dad it was/is Gophers.. he hates the damn things. I can remember many times watching my dad put a hose down the gopher hole, having me turn it on while he stood over the other hole so he could kick the head off of the gopher as it came out. Ahh the memories.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Dad and I would be great friends.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

"Your Dad Kicks Gopher Heads" Muwahahahah! What a riot!

12:45 PM  
Blogger Contagion said...

I remember one time my dad was walking across the backyard right after work to move a sprinkler and a gopher popped up right in his path. With out missing a step, he used the heal on his dress shoe to decapitate the damn thing. It was funny as all hell because he didn't break a stride, moved the sprinkler, came back picked up the peices and threw it in the trash.

1:20 PM  

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