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January 11, 2010 5:48 AM   Subscribe

Attack of the demon squirrel.
posted by valkyryn (54 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
This very funny.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:59 AM on January 11, 2010


Instead of speeding dangerously at 80 mph in a residential neighborhood, why doesn't he, oh I dunno, stop his stupid "huge black and chrome cruiser" and actually deal with the situation. The squirrel was probably enraged at the site and sound of some overpriced piece of shit commonly known as a Harley.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:01 AM on January 11, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Valkyrie is not a Harley.
posted by winks007 at 6:11 AM on January 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


Ah, didn't catch the name reference the first time. It's still an ugly bike.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:14 AM on January 11, 2010


Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a slightly squirrel torn t-shirt, and only one leather glove roaring at maybe 70mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street…on one wheel and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder.

I must be too square to understand the devil may care, wind through your hair lifestyle, man, because I too would have dismounted the bike long before I tried to shake an attacking animal off by going 80mph down a residential street.
posted by availablelight at 6:15 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


MaryDellamorte - He addresses that. He was too panicked and distracted to stop. The squirrel story was there to reinforce the safety tip he was making at the top of the article: If you can't concentrate, you make poor riding decisions.

Also, the Valkyrie is a Honda, not a Harley. It's essentially a "naked" Goldwing - a very refined motorcycle indeed.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:15 AM on January 11, 2010


His only grip on the bike, at this time, was on the throttle, which he torqued while retaining control of the bike propelling him to 70 plus mph.
posted by Max Power at 6:19 AM on January 11, 2010


Instead of speeding dangerously at 80 mph in a residential neighborhood, why doesn't he, oh I dunno, stop his stupid "huge black and chrome cruiser" and actually deal with the situation.

Have you ever actually been in a panic situation of that sort? I mean, it's like you're considering the possibility of a squirrel attack over tea and crumpets, without bothering to picture what it's like actually have your face chewed on by an angry rodent, when all of your limbs are busy. You need both hands and one foot to drive a motorcycle properly; one hand is the throttle, one hand is the clutch, and one foot handles the gears. Further, stopping at more than a very leisurely place requires both hands be placed on the handlebars, to balance yourself against deceleration force. And if you didn't notice from the story, one of his hands was busy.

Now, I obviously haven't been in that specific situation, but I assure you most fervently that calm, rational behavior in that general circumstance is nearly impossible.

Perhaps you could calmly use both hands to stop a speeding motorcycle safely, while getting your shirt and torso, and then face, ripped up by a furious squirrel. If so, I envy your self-discipline, and suggest very strongly that you look into work as a mercenary soldier, because that kind of coolness under pressure would make you fearsome in a firefight.
posted by Malor at 6:33 AM on January 11, 2010 [9 favorites]


I would also hazard to guess that the entire incident took about 10 seconds -though it probably seemed to take hours at the time and was certainly drawn out in the writing for full comedic effect.
posted by jadayne at 6:37 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Regarding hitting the gas when the squirrel attacked: I used to ride. I was in a park, on the grass, getting back on the road. The curb beneath the tire crumbled. Spooked me - and I hit the gas. Which spooked me more. When shit is *happening*, it's goddamn hard to lose instinct to keep an iron grip on the throttle. The throttle which is the source of your problems, anyway.

I don't ride any more.
posted by notsnot at 6:38 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go Squirrel! Whose neighborhood is it anyway?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:41 AM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Go Squirrel! Whose neighborhood is it anyway?
posted by Ruthless Bunny


Heh.
posted by Malor at 6:46 AM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Perhaps you could calmly use both hands to stop a speeding motorcycle safely

He was only going 25 mph. Good points on the "squirrel panic defense", though (NOT HAMBURGER).

I still admit to rooting for the squirrel. It must be the years of dealing with "lifestyle" riders with straight pipes roaring down my (urban) residential street on the way back to the burbs.
posted by availablelight at 6:47 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


As a survivor of a squirrel attack (thankfully not while controlling a vehicle, but similarly distressing, and in retrospect comical) I can certainly relate. I still have scars from the attack.
posted by idiopath at 7:04 AM on January 11, 2010


I support this new annoying noisy motorcycle attacking squirrel initiative and would like to donate to a squirrel training center in my area.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:13 AM on January 11, 2010 [13 favorites]


Squirrels are the real reason seasoned bikers wear leather/kevlar.
posted by slimepuppy at 7:17 AM on January 11, 2010


That is one kickass squirrel I'm glad to admire from a distance.

I think I can understand why it took him longer than most people would expect to effectively brake.

Last summer I was on a long bike ride. After being on a congested and tricky main road for some time, I turned into a quiet residential street at my usual spot to get back home. I had barely entered the street at my usual rate of speed when I heard a loud buzzing near my right ear that seemed to be coming from under my bike helmet. I was convinced it was a bee. (Years ago, I saw someone at a SCA event get stung by a hornet that had gotten under his metal helm. Not good.) Instead of braking immediately, as I have done before in any number of emergency situations, I kept coasting, did not apply the brake with my left hand, unbuckled my helmet with my right hand, and flailed it about to try to get rid of the insect. I wound up turning to the left, running out of speed, then ditching the bike (while landing on my feet) just short of a parked car.

There's something about an attack by something organic, I think, that makes fight and/or flight more attractive than stopping immediately. I think if I had heard the buzzing while on the busy road, I would have been much more likely to brake first and then remove my helmet because I was so hyper-aware of the traffic around me. The residential street seemed car-free, and that was enough to help me stupidly choose flailing away at what seemed to be a single source of danger.

Also: Squirrel Cop pt. 1 and Squirrel Cop pt. 2 (different cops, different squirrel -- I think)
posted by maudlin at 7:18 AM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


At least he didn't have squirrels in his pants
posted by briank at 7:23 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was convinced it was a bee.

Out of interest: was it a bee? Or did you never find out?
posted by Drexen at 7:36 AM on January 11, 2010


I hate squirrels, especially the ones in the 'burbs. They'll cut you just for kicks.
posted by RussHy at 7:43 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


It might have been a bee, but I'm pretty sure now it was just a fly, as it disappeared while I was flailing and I didn't get stung.

Worst case scenario for anyone on two wheels: Rocky the Flying Squirrel on a meth bender.
posted by maudlin at 7:48 AM on January 11, 2010


maudlin: "Rocky the Flying Squirrel on a meth bender"

After my own squirrel attack experience I am pretty certain that squirrels have a meth gland somewhere in their endocrine system. Think about it: all the jerking and twitching, how fast they scurry around, the obsessive nut burying and moving and burying again and moving again. They are a bunch of fucking spazzed out tweakers (maybe there is something in the acorns?).
posted by idiopath at 7:56 AM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


Tales from the suburban guerrilla front of the sempiternal Squirrel Wars.
posted by drlith at 8:04 AM on January 11, 2010


And yet more skwerl lore.... scary squirrel world!
posted by drhydro at 8:12 AM on January 11, 2010


Squirrels on crack (which is my future band's name)
posted by slimepuppy at 8:26 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come on... all squirrels are not that bad!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:42 AM on January 11, 2010


And showing my age and origins, another mad squirel song.
posted by dilettante at 8:42 AM on January 11, 2010


Mastercheddaar: "Come on... all squirrels are not that bad!"

I have already described my own squirrel attack elsewhere, but I should mention here that it was a hand raised indoor squirrel that attacked me.
posted by idiopath at 8:57 AM on January 11, 2010


Doesn't it seem as though the squirrel might have had rabies?
posted by texorama at 8:59 AM on January 11, 2010


Did someone say squirrels on meth?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:03 AM on January 11, 2010


When I was a kid my family tried a "squirrels as pets" experiment. We had a big cage with stuff for them to climb around on, and occasionally we would let them out to play around the house. Squirrels can be adorable and cute, but their claws are also ridiculously sharp and there's a reason our experiment didn't last very long. Nasty little pointy, bitey teeth, too. To this day, the thought of a squirrel scurrying around (let alone actively attacking) a human torso is one of the most painful, undesirable things I can think of that won't actually kill somebody. I feel for the guy who wrote this; I bet he was covered in scratches and gnaw-marks afterwards.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:22 AM on January 11, 2010


My preschool class had a pet squirrel named Buddy who had lost his tail in an accident. He was always sweet and docile- probably because we fed him so much he couldn't do anything except waddle. I never knew that fat little kiddo was so dangerous.
posted by pugh at 9:57 AM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


It felt a bit like the fifteenth retelling of a fish-tale where the 10" bass is described as a five foot sturgeon by the end, but since I like that sort of thing, I won't complain. (Stylistically, it reminded me a bit of The Horror of Blimps which is a good thing.)

"As the faceplate closed partway and he began hissing in my face I am quite sure my screaming changed tone and intensity. It seemed to have little affect on the squirrel however."

Got me laughing out loud. I used to ride quite a bit, and crap getting into your helmet is a valid concern, now admittedly, it's usually a bug and it typically comes in from the front...
posted by quin at 10:09 AM on January 11, 2010


There's something about an attack by something organic, I think, that makes fight and/or flight more attractive than stopping immediately.

Obviously my robot bees have not yet advanced upon your neighborhood. Soon you will feel their steely sting! Soon you will know true fear!
posted by graventy at 11:19 AM on January 11, 2010


How big are your robot bees? Big enough to carry a smallish rodent? Because, and I'm just brainstorming here... "Robot bees piloted by demonic squirrels" has a certain je ne sais quoi to it.

If you could figure out a way to incorporate fire and maybe snakes, you'd have an unstoppable army of fear.
posted by quin at 12:11 PM on January 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I once chuckled at a woman who jumped and screamed when a baby squirrel ran out of a skip that we were walking by. She then lectured me on her previous traumatic squirrel attack experience that resulted in her needing 20 stitches.

Now I am afraid of strange women.
posted by srboisvert at 1:40 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yep, thought it sounded familiar when wife was telling me about killer squirrels/motorcycle story on MeFi. Saw it the first time on Twin Mama's website (last year?).

Furry-tailed rats...
posted by aldus_manutius at 2:11 PM on January 11, 2010


Brings back memories of all sorts of large insects hitting my jacket and face shield like bullets. I was sure I heard this exact story about a decade ago when me and my friends rode much more frequently, but poking around:

The original source of the story, with sort of related picture.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 2:53 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Instead of speeding dangerously at 80 mph in a residential neighborhood, why doesn't he, oh I dunno, stop his stupid "huge black and chrome cruiser" and actually deal with the situation. The squirrel was probably enraged at the site and sound of some overpriced piece of shit commonly known as a Harley.

Wow. How embarrassing for you, Mary.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:45 PM on January 11, 2010


This story, for some reason, makes me very frightened of the pending zombie invasion.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:46 PM on January 11, 2010


I would also hazard to guess that the entire incident took about 10 seconds

I'd guess half that time. The squirrel shredding him is probably exaggeration. See it, have it hit you in the chest, toss it off, it comes back on, it runs topside as you panic, swipe at it & pop a wheelie, into your helmet, toss it off, back under control: five seconds. Five Very Intense Seconds.

I'm a right-handed rider. I'm not sure if I'd be reaching for the squirrel with my left or right hand. I'm dominantly right, so it'd be hold right if I want stability, or flail right for grabbing.

That he didn't crash is testament to learned skill. No amount of practice can fully prepare you for a squirrel inside one's helmet.

Squirrels are rodents, just like plague rats. Always remember that. Nasty little evil beasts.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:05 PM on January 11, 2010


Nice bike, the Valkrie.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:08 PM on January 11, 2010


Okay, as I was trying to relate to this guy, I remembered a time I commuted home from work a few months ago in the evening. Note that I am deathly afraid of spiders.

After I got onto the freeway, I leaned my head back and felt the top of my head hit a spiderweb. In my car. As I leaned my head forward again, slightly, I felt the web still clinging to not only my head, but also my ears, my neck, my collar, and my left shoulder. And it was not a wispy web, the kind easily breaks, gossamer; it was a stiff web, more like thick, high-tension cotton candy strings, akin the the web Shelob wove in the film Return of the King. And that's when I thought I felt something crawling on my left earlobe.

I did not panic. You cannot panic in a car on a Los Angeles freeway. So I jerked my body forward and searched my neck and ears for a spider with my right hand, but I couldn't reach my left ear. My left hand could not reach down my left collar. I had to just literally grin and bear the fact that I was wearing a spider web hat, and that the spider that had spun that evil web could have crawled down my collar, or was making its way into my ear. MY EAR. I was probably freaked out.

I calmly continued my pace toward the next nearest exit, where I pulled over in an empty parking lot and proceeded to do holy-crap-I'm-covered-in-spider-webs dance. Actually, more like a frantic spider striptease.

But if the spider had decided to bite me while I was driving, I surely would have died. And not from the spider bite.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:21 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've poked around a bit, and I think it's a classic Tall Tale. But a good one!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:31 PM on January 11, 2010


Jabberjaw, that story is horrific and actually gave me a tense tightening in my chest as I read it. Spiders freak me out more than anything else. I have a similar story but the spider actually crawled down the front of my shirt while I was driving down the road. I immediately pulled over and ripped my shirt and bra off in sheer panic. Just thinking about it now makes my heart beat fast.

Nice bike, the Valkrie.

Says you.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:34 PM on January 11, 2010


Anything with two wheels is miles better than four wheels.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:53 PM on January 11, 2010


Anything with two wheels is miles better than four wheels.

I agree 1000%, but I still stand behind what I said about the Valkrie.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:57 PM on January 11, 2010


Now picture a man going to his doctor to treat some scratches on his chest. Now imagine the man telling his doctor that a squirrel did it. Now imagine a man cursing and swearing through half a dozen painful shots for the next two weeks.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:02 PM on January 11, 2010


Definitely sounds like a case of rabies. Dude better get his shots.
posted by Neale at 11:36 PM on January 11, 2010


This is a joke right

and all the comments taking it seriously are jokes?

right?!
posted by tehloki at 6:08 AM on January 12, 2010


tehloki: "all the comments taking it seriously are jokes?"

No. Squirrels really do attack sometimes, usually not because of rabies. I am pretty sure it is a territorial / hormonal thing. It is post-puberty males that do it (but not all of them, some people keep a pet that just never goes berserk).

You probably don't hear much about it because one will more likely get mockery than sympathy for relating the tale.
posted by idiopath at 7:12 AM on January 12, 2010


No. Squirrels really do attack sometimes, usually not because of rabies

For example.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:22 AM on January 12, 2010


I know squirrels attack, there was one trapped in my covered patio once and he jumped on me and scratched my arm a little, but then he realized he was on a person and immediately fled to the other side of the room, instead of you know, clinging and trying to cause as much damage as possible
posted by tehloki at 9:44 PM on January 12, 2010


Yeah, they do that clinging and jumping back on and all that, that is a proper attack like I am talking about.
posted by idiopath at 5:09 AM on January 13, 2010


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