I just ran across this pile of ridiculousness that I wrote last year for a website that no longer exists. It made me laugh and I hadn’t posted anything in a bit, so I thought I would post it. Of course, maybe this is why the site no longer exists. What the hell….after all, they can’t shut me down and it is a true story. Sort of.
It seemed a peaceful day. The air was still and warm. The sun shone unhindered through the budding branches of oak trees. The distant pitch of children’s voices sang at a neighborhood playground. It was February, the dawn of spring in Florida – the kind of day that assured many a tank top was being joyfully considered across this wacky friggin’ state.
I ambled up my driveway, my eyes cast skyward, not knowing what the day held and in no real hurry to find out. My feet shuffled across a bed of oak pollen which stirred thoughts of the seasons according to Florida. The five and a half hours of winter were over and the convection oven that was summer still had to wait. For a couple of weeks spring would nestle us into its hyper-allergenic bosom, giving the local news something to talk about in between stories of toothless strippers, lusty city councilmen and botched liquor store robberies. Springtime was, indeed, bringing life out into the open. Birds were singing, the strip malls were undoubtedly packed and, for the first time in a while, the squirrels seemed to outnumber Canadians.
I opened the side gate and stopped. There was an unfamiliar sound in the air, a rustling in the trees like an alpaca was leaping from branch to branch. OK, maybe not an alpaca. Maybe more like an antelope. Or some cloven hooved swine. Or maybe some kind of large marsupial. Hard to say, really, as I’ve never been to Ohio. Let’s just say that it wasn’t your typical Florida tree rustling and move on, all right?
Where was I? Right – stopped at the gate. So, I froze in my tracks, almost afraid to look up into the tree and see this heretofore unidentified rustler, and just listened. Right then the tremble of the leaves gave way to the much more ominous sound of bark being shredded as if a chainsaw was ripping down the side of the apparently strangely populated tree. My eyes darted around as eyes will do when you are trying to pinpoint the origin of a sound. I quickly realized, though, that I could probably find the source easier if I just went ahead and looked at the tree, as there was really only one near me and the sound of an antelope or a kangaroo or whatever in a tree fifteen feet from me is not really the distant kind of sound that the whole darting eye thing lends itself to. By the time my eyes finally fixed on this not so elusive tree, I realized it was too late. My tormenter was coming right for me.
It had run straight down the side of the tree and, without missing a beat, turned horizontally and began a dead run down the concrete walk directly at me. Still frozen, I looked right into its eyes as it barreled toward me and finally processed just what sort of creature had been responsible for all of this hullabaloo.
It was a squirrel. And it looked pissed. Fluffy and cute – yes, but pissed. And it was enormous. Well, maybe ‘enormous’ is a bit of an exaggeration, but it was definitely larger than average. I mean, he was two pounds if he was a pound. And ripped – his little shoulders rippled as he charged me down with his tiny brow furrowed. Did I mention how pissed he looked? It was terrifying.
The beast closed the gap between us before I had a chance to finish even a whispered “what the fu…?” With lightening speed his furry little ass was on top of me and, when he was mere feet in front of me, he sprang from the ground and hurtled himself crotchwards. Without a moment to consider the consequences, I did the only thing that seemed appropriate – I squealed like a girl scout and leapt into the air. Luckily, I had on my fancy flip flops so I was able to clear him by a good four inches, swinging his apparent targets just above his cute, but fierce, little ears. It wasn’t the most graceful evasive maneuver ever, but it was evasive nonetheless, and I only tweaked my ankle a little.
Thwarted, he turned on a dime and was back up the tree before I could this time finish a fretful “SERIOUSLY, what the fu..?” As I attempted to compose myself and fish one flip flop out of the bushes, I swear I heard laughter from up in the tree. I bet it was that goddamned alpaca.
Should be an interesting year.