Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Squirrels with the Rage Virus - WTF

Welcome to the 1970s my friends.

Remember Frogs, Day of the Animals, Food of the Gods, et al--those animals getting even movies from the 70s? Well, how about Week of the F----- Squirrels. Grab your nuts and run, baby. You see, around here the squirrels aren't just burying nuts, they are nuts. They're attacking.

I was in the right place at the right time, and picked up a freelance reporting gig with the Highland Square Tattler (the neighborhood paper that's more like a newsletter) to cover a recent slew of squirrel attacks. Could it be like Squirrels getting the Rage virus? Don't know, but I do know the last the last thing we need is a Jaws-like panic in the streets as we’re heading into Fall outdoor fun season.

A few days after the first reported incident, camera in hand, I paid a visit to Highlanders Gil and Tanya Shelby to learn firsthand about their ordeal. When they greeted me at the door, I could tell by the dark circles under their eyes they were still living the nightmare. Am breaking all manner of privacy protocols here, but this is the transcript:

(interview transcript)

HST: I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me. I know it can’t be easy. If we could begin with the attack? How it happened?

Tanya: The what?

HST: Tell me what happened.

Tanya: I was walking Eggo our dog, and I remember I was singing to myself that Hips Don’t Lie song, and then my hair I thought was tangled in a branch so I reached up and felt this hairy head and the feet with those scratchy toenails just sort of began to dance about my head. And the chattering … I will never forget it. Eggo went crazy and at that moment I realized it was a squirrel, and the tail was like in my eyes and all over my face, touching my skin. And in my mouth a little. Gil my husband heard my screams and came running from the house waving his arms. The squirrel sprang down and glanced off Eggo, giving him a nasty bite and scratch on his paw and scurried into the street. I could see he had tufts of my hair in his hands that made it look like he was holding pom poms. So gross. I always trusted squirrels, maybe because Hollywood makes them cute in movies. But that’s not reality anymore. Not for me. Or Eggo.

HST: Mr. Shelby? Gil? What went through your mind seeing this squirrel, clearly insane, on your wife’s hair? Gil?

(End of transcript)

Clearly the husband was ashamed as if he should have somehow been able to prevent it. As a proud strong man myself I have felt this helplessness too.Throughout our interview he tried a few times to tell his side of the story but his voice would always trail off as would his gaze and he looked away. Most likely with secret tears welling in his prideless eyes. I asked a few more questions about rumors of other attacks in the neighborhood. Gil, sitting near his wife, remained ashamed. Trying once more to speak through his shame, Gil opened his mouth to speak but finally just slumped into the couch and looked off as he envisioned who knows what kind of squirrel mayhem. Emasculated.

How many other cases have gone unreported? I don’t know. But the Shelby’s story makes four in the last month. As the great Dick used to say, the game’s afoot. I will be publishing ‘roughs’ from my paper column here on Laughing Scared--while I still have my freaking fingers that is ... nibble nibble nibble. P.S. If you have ever been attacked by a squirrel, or like to make up fake news stories like this about possible Zombie squirrel attacks, pls share.


  1. Hey, according to Carrie from Sex In The City, squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits! I think she may have been onto something...

  2. You should hear what the squirrels say about her. (Rim shot)

  3. Now you have me thinking the four Fat Freddies (the squirrels that hang out in my yard begging for corn)are going to go on a rampage. I'm scared, very scared.

  4. Ah, the old begging for corn ruse. Studies show that while you are watching (distracted by) the hat in hand routine the Ocean's 11 squirrels are off behind a bush studying the floor plan of your house. It is a co-or-din-ated attack.

  5. Lol @ her singing hips don't lie. I'm sorry her dog got bit and what she's going though.

    I always thought that squirrels were insane, finally--it's getting some light shined on it.

  6. That chattering sound they make when they're pissed actually is pretty creepy.