The squirrels are coming for me.
They’ve been plotting their revenge for months, ever since I ran over one of their friends with my vehicle. Upon seeing the incident on that fateful day, they immediately formed a pack (called a dray) and followed my car as I frantically drove home. They were apparently upset at my lack of regret over the incident. It’s impossible to get the image out of my head of a thousand angry squirrels in my rearview mirror.
It was a mistake to even go home. The appropriate thing to do would’ve been to drive directly to a seedy hotel and wait them out until their flared tempers eased a bit. It would’ve then been possible to work out some sort of deal—to have negotiated a peace treaty with the fluffy-tailed anger squirrels.
Now the squirrels hate me and want me dead. Think it’s an exaggeration? Ask my kids about the death threats they’ve received on the sidewalk in front of our house. Murderer spelled out in broken acorn shells when they get home from school. Or the late-night phone calls, with nothing but a weird clicking sound on the other end of the line. “Who is this?” I ask, in a demanding, yet terrified, voice.
It’s called sciurophobia: fear of squirrels. It’s an affliction I now suffer from.
The police mocked me when I called them to report the harassment. “We’ve seen in uptick in squirrel-related gang activity,” said the officer on the other line, while the other officers gathered around him cackled uncontrollably. “We’ll send two squirrel detectives to your home to investigate.”
Therapy isn’t effective—or at least hasn’t been up to this point. It’s nearly impossible to find a therapist who even specializes in all things squirrel. Whenever I mention their “steely gazes,” or “antagonizing fluffy tails,” it’s not hard to miss the disdain in the therapist’s voice when she suggests that I send them a gift box of mixed nuts to smooth things over. Like I even know the address to send it to! 1 Tree Place? Besides, Post Office employees don’t climb trees.
Visiting the local hardware store, I was relieved to find a urine-scented spray meant to keep the squirrels at bay. This concoction is a variety of squirrel-predator urine samples.
“Will this work on an angry pack of vengeful squirrels?” I eagerly asked the store employee.
“Not sure,” he responded. “No one has ever been stupid enough to waste their money on a can of pee before.”
Fortunately, I was stupid enough to waste my money on a can of pee, and I was desperate.
The results were an epic failure. As soon as I sprayed it, dozens of squirrels perched atop my fence post began laughing and pointing in my direction. One even had the audacity to pretend to have fainted. He fell to the ground for dramatic effect and began fake twitching, while the other squirrels laughed uncontrollably. “Good one, Hank,” said one of his squirrel pals.
No, the only reasonable thing left to do is to move. To pack up my family in the middle of the night and make a break for a place free from squirrels and their squirrel judgement.
Unfortunately, that place doesn’t exist. Squirrels are everywhere. Even in my dreams. They haunt me. There is no outrunning these furry pursuers of vigilante justice.
I therefore have no choice but to hunker down in my home and wait them out. It’s not going to end well. I know that. All I can do is send out this cautionary tale for others to heed. Don’t anger the squirrels, my friends.