like a suicide bomber, getting revenge
November 23, 2016 10:47 AM   Subscribe

At an October budget hearing Howard Brookins, alderman for Chicago's 21st Ward, asked an animal control official what could be done about aggressive squirrels. He didn't know he'd pay for it with a fractured skull, broken nose, and six teeth.

Brookins will recover though he'll require further surgeries. The squirrel wasn't so lucky.
posted by edeezy (68 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yeah, you want to take squirrels seriously. I fought a battle to keep them out of the bird feeders in our back yard once. That didn't end well. Plastic's nothing to them. They'll chew through plastic like day-old bread.

We eventually reached a detente with the squirrels. We made the bird feeders as hard to reach as we could, then we distracted bribed them with their own, much simpler, nut box on a tree a few yards away. All they had to do was flip up the top of that and grab the tasty peanuts inside. For a while, they all would do that whenever they wanted nuts.

Of course the biggest one of the bunch, the Donald Trump of our backyard squirrels, eventually got the bright idea of just moving into the damn thing and staying there on top of the remaining stock of nuts, like a furry, gray dragon sleeping on his hoard of gold. I once saw another squirrel climb the tree and open up the box, only to find this other big-ass squirrel already inside and going ballistic on him to defend his turf.

Don't fuck with squirrels. Guy's lucky he got off this light.
posted by Naberius at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


"He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way!"
posted by briank at 10:53 AM on November 23, 2016 [60 favorites]


The real problem here is the bicycle. If this guy had just been out for a walk, his injuries from the incident would have been much less. Squirrels gotta right to live, bicycles aren't even alive. #squirrelrights #downwithcycling
posted by hippybear at 10:54 AM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Looks like he's just gonna have to... grin and,... SQUIRREL it!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:56 AM on November 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


'THEY'
posted by infinitewindow at 10:57 AM on November 23, 2016


*That's* the *Chicago* way!

Nicky the Squirrel: I think in all fairness, I should explain to you exactly what it is that I do. For instance tomorrow morning I'll get up nice and early in my squirrel nest, climb the tree over to the bird feeder and... climb in and see and, uh... if you don't have my nuts for me, I'll... crack your fuckin' head wide-open like a big fucking nut when you're on your bike. And just about the time that I'm comin' out of squirrel jail, hopefully, you'll be coming out of your coma. And guess what? I'll split your fuckin' head open again. 'Cause I'm fuckin' stupid. I'm a fucking squirrel. I don't give a fuck about squirrel jail. That's my business. That's what I do.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:02 AM on November 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


I'll see you at the crossroads, Skamper
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:03 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Enough, you filthy humans!
posted by Coda Tronca at 11:03 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


When I found a squirrel nest on my balcony I tried to shoo them away with a stick. I knew I was in trouble when one bit the stick.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:10 AM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


I wonder what his total hospital bill will be. I'm going to assume that city aldermen have good insurance coverage because otherwise something like this could easily ruin lives.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:12 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Touché.
posted by bz at 11:13 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


At my old house - we had a large hazelnut tree in our yard. Not once in the 20 years I lived there did I get to sample any. There was a constant battle between the squirrels and blue jays for control of that tree. I cannot tell you how fever pitched and scary the fights were. Seriously.

What broke the impasse? Hawks came down and started picking off and eating the hazelnut flavoured squirrels - which only caught the attention of the crows who would fight for the bodies of the squirrels for extra protein. All I needed was a band of pint sized travelers and I would have had a Tolkien epic on my hands.
posted by helmutdog at 11:17 AM on November 23, 2016 [70 favorites]


Don't fuck with squirrels.

Squirrel eating mouse.
posted by Kabanos at 11:22 AM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll share another squirrel story about my mefite friend (Keith Talent)... squirrels had set up a nest in his fireplace and were making a huge unwanted racket. He and his wife decided to gently smoke the chimney in the hopes of making momma squirrel move her brood. The fire they set got slightly out of control, and the smoke made the squirrels fall into the fire, and which point they ran around their living room on fire. My horrified friend had to put the poor animals out of their misery - and was genuinely traumatized by the events. So traumatized in fact - that his wife let him go out and get an XBox to make him feel better. And that's how he got his first modern gaming console.

In all seriousness - leave pest control to the experts who have will have more humane tools at hand.
posted by helmutdog at 11:23 AM on November 23, 2016 [22 favorites]


Squirrels are the worst.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:25 AM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wonder what his total hospital bill will be. I'm going to assume that city aldermen have good insurance coverage because otherwise something like this could easily ruin lives.

It's all fun and games until someone reminds you about the terrifying reality of America.
posted by tracert at 11:29 AM on November 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


Yeah. One of the formative influences in my childhood was watching a squirrel casually roll up to a yellow jacket nest, grab a frantically buzzing yellow jacket, and then silence it by biting its head off and then chomping the rest.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

Also, I once took a road trip in the Upper Penninsula, where they have black squirrels. And those fuckers take squirrel aggression to a new fucking level I had never experienced before, not even from the cat-sized ones you see on university campuses. Like, this one squirrel in the parking lot in St. Ignace, MI gave me a fuck-you-meet-me-outside-by-the-dumpster-and-let's-settle-this-with-fists-and-teeth staredown to match anything I've ever gotten over a closing table at a contentious settlement.
posted by joyceanmachine at 11:32 AM on November 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


If you know a little python, you can keep the squirrels at bay with computer controlled waterguns.
posted by mbone at 11:40 AM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Squirrels tend not to fuck with humans in NYC, as far as I can tell. They're too busy with their protracted war against the pigeons.
posted by SansPoint at 11:55 AM on November 23, 2016


I am continuing to enjoy the many parallels between metafilter and alt.fan.dave_barry
posted by kleinsteradikaleminderheit at 12:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you know a little python...

That sounds like a solution right there.
posted by Splunge at 12:03 PM on November 23, 2016 [18 favorites]


If you know a little python, you can keep the squirrels at bay with computer controlled waterguns.

Well if you know a little python, the waterguns are, frankly, redundant.

damnit splunge.
posted by Naberius at 12:07 PM on November 23, 2016 [14 favorites]




Yeah, you want to take squirrels seriously. I fought a battle to keep them out of the bird feeders in our back yard once. That didn't end well. Plastic's nothing to them. They'll chew through plastic like day-old bread.

My scientist/engineer father rigged up the bird feeder so that with the flip of a switch by the sink, you could send a raiding squirrel high into the air via a judicious application of electrical current.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:15 PM on November 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


In all seriousness - leave pest control to the experts who have will have more humane tools at hand.

Please note: a cop does NOT count as a pest control expert.
posted by maudlin at 12:17 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I used to work on this landscaping crew in Boulder, CO. (Oh, I was relatively young and full of American Promise then, believe me. This was before the Incident at Red Feather Lakes, way before Iowa, and before my thing became a thing of betrayals and mix tapes.) Anyway- Boulder. I scored a landscaping gig and it was ok, whatevs. My manager was ok, whatevs. When I reported for my first day on the job I learned that I would be working alongside a younger guy who quickly introduced himself and said he was a mountain climber and that he was from New Zealand. There were one or two other guys on the crew that day as well. The idea is that were all a bunch of broke dudes with strong backs and not much else going on. As we rode out to the job site, New Zealand went out of his way to make small-talk. Said he was saving up to buy supplies for a big climb he was gonna make somewhere in the Rockies. He was all "What are your plans for the summer?" When I told him I had jack shit for plans he got very excited and invited me along with him on his mountain journey. I got the idea that he was lonely and maybe a little desperate for friendship so far away from home. (Later, over a beer, he said his visa had expired and that he was trying to avoid deportation as long as possible. A few days after that, he didn't show up for work and nobody ever heard from him again.) When we arrived at the job site - a place called Qualcomm (some kind of telecommunications company) nearby - it was already over a hundred degrees. I spent that day weed-eating little islands of grass in the endless, awful parking lot, which was packed with gleaming SUV's. Reader, I assure you: it sucked. You had to keep a wet towel draped over your head to keep from passing out. And if you had to piss, you pissed in a water bottle in the truck. Right around quitting time, I was done, man. I was finishing up a small section of grass when - bam! - my weed-eater picked up a small stone and whipped it right through the back windshield of a brand new Nissan X-Terra. The whole thing shattered. I shut off the weed-eater and stood there. My supervisor was on the other side of the lot, his backpack leaf blower buzzing faintly on the horizon. NZ came over to me and stared at the broken glass. The sun was setting. The lot was emptying out. Pretty soon, the owner of the X-Terra would come out and I would apologize. There would be paperwork. Insurance companies would be called. Phone numbers exchanged. I didn't care that much. I was a broke dysthymic individual & my scapula was fused to my spine from holding the goddamn weed-eater all day long. Sensing disharmony in the chaosmos, my supervisor came over at the exact same time the owner of the X-Terra (a white dude in his forties, Men's Wearhouse, balding, briefcase) came out. Total convergence. Before anybody could say anything, a ground squirrel clambered down a nearby tree and darted across the parking lot. That's when NZ lost. His. Fucking. Mind. For you see, reader they don't have squirrels in New Zealand.
posted by Bob Regular at 12:23 PM on November 23, 2016 [41 favorites]


As a cyclist I've heard numerous stories about squirrels getting shredded in the wheels of road bikes and the aftermath resulting in broken collarbones and fractured skulls but I've never actually seen evidence! Closest call I've seen is a squirrel that ran full speed into the front fork of a friends bike. It bounced off and ran the other way. Scared the hell out of us.
posted by photoslob at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2016


This squirrel taunts my cat at least once a day. I don't want to know what would happen if they could get at each other.
posted by AFABulous at 12:42 PM on November 23, 2016 [10 favorites]


I have two squirrel stories, both during my time at UCLA (whose squirrel population in the 25 years since have apparently continued to advance their plans for world domination).

1. I was sitting on a bench outside a lecture hall (Rolfe) waiting for class to start. In one hand I had a newspaper, the other a cheese danish. While reading the paper I felt a sudden force that knocked the danish out of my hand. When I turned my head to look, a squirrel stood there inches from my hand and the danish, which was now on the bench seat. I stared the the squirrel, it stared at me. I realized I had lost and so I shrugged, said, "I guess it's yours," and watched as the squirrel scooped up the half-eaten danish and scampered away.

2. Some time later but at the same bench, though this time I was just killing time people watching. I noticed that as some students were walking under a tree they would flinch and look up and around in confusion. After this happened a few more times I realized that there was a squirrel in that tree THROWING DOWN NUTS/ACORNS whenever someone walked under the tree. It was literally picking up whatever the tree had (I am terrible at botany) would walk along a branch for a bit, look down, and right as someone was directly under it would drop what it picked right on the person's head. I have no idea if it was the same squirrel.
posted by linux at 12:42 PM on November 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


Yeah, that was a squirrel with a human mind - the result of a freak lab accident - desperately trying to get help. If you went around the building, you likely would have seen a full grown person crammed into a tree eating an old danish crust, but it being UCLA, you would have thought nothing of it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:53 PM on November 23, 2016 [16 favorites]


As a cyclist I've heard numerous stories about squirrels getting shredded in the wheels of road bikes and the aftermath resulting in broken collarbones and fractured skulls but I've never actually seen evidence! Closest call I've seen is a squirrel that ran full speed into the front fork of a friends bike. It bounced off and ran the other way. Scared the hell out of us.

I had a blind or despondent squirrel run into my back wheel on my commute to work one morning, but it just bounced off, hightailed it away, and was (probably) fine. Good thing for both of us that I wasn't going at racing speHAHAHAHAHAHA ... yeah, even at my fittest, squirrels are still safe from me.
posted by maudlin at 12:53 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cornell University had a squirrel that would run into the front door of the student union building and into the little sundries shop in the lobby, steal a Snickers bar, and run out. Saw it with my own eyes.
posted by misskaz at 12:58 PM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Cage trap. Peanut butter. Water barrel.

One time one of them watched me carry his brother away in the trap and learned nothing. An hour later he was in the trap.

In some neighborhoods you might have to conceal the trap to avoid outraging the neighbors.
posted by Bruce H. at 12:58 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I cannot tell you how fever pitched and scary the fights were. Seriously.

Verified. We've got some squirrels that are sons-of-bitches to each other, all the squirrels are in a constant war with the jays, everyone fears and hides from the neighborhood cats and the owls and the hawks; in fact, helmutdog's story is replicated, exactly, at my place by replacing hazelnut tree with mulberry tree, and replacing hawk with owl. Yes, the crows will come in like little vultures and scoop up remains, as will neighborhood cats, if they feel so inclined.

This isn't to say that nature doesn't have it's soft spots - I've seen a mama racoon and three little ones behind her early in the morning, stopping, returning to scoot-along the slowpoke straggler, nod once at me, and carry on. Almost ritually, every morning, an old, maladroit opossum waddles slowly down my fence row: I've begun throwing non-compostable kitchen waste there, and he takes care of it, generally. Bunnies, chipmunks, bats (lots of bats) in the summer evenings, moths and butterflies - it truly is beautiful to be so urban.

But make no mistake, nature is red in tooth and claw, even among the 'gentle forest creatures'.
posted by eclectist at 1:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [8 favorites]


This happened to me with a rabbit, not a squirrel. It bounced off, looked at me balefully when I went back to check on it and hopped away. The next day a coworker presented me with a stuffed bunny toy—across which he had drawn a tread mark.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]



This squirrel taunts my cat at least once a day. I don't want to know what would happen if they could get at each other.


Yeah, the skwrlz that hang out on my patio are basically Wii Fit for cats.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


Remember, the Squirrel of Strife, Ratatoskr, who climbs up and down the Yggdrassil. He brings no good..." He tells slanderous gossip, provoking the eagle and Nidhogg" I am saying, that a squirrel is going to mess with you because even the Norse gods have to put up with troublesome squirrel.
posted by jadepearl at 1:04 PM on November 23, 2016 [11 favorites]


oh yes those cute little pastry thieves are PLAGUE VECTORS

they will also crawl right into your lap in Yosemite if you are sitting there eating a pb&j sammich.

they will kill you in all sortsa ways and steal your lunch!
posted by supermedusa at 1:06 PM on November 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


This squirrel taunts my cat at least once a day. I don't want to know what would happen if they could get at each other.

My cats have caught a couple of squirrels and chipmunks and brought them inside to show us. Then it would turn out that they were still alive and would hide behind furniture once the cats let them go. It might be that the cats work together, one distracting the squirrel while the other pounces, but from what I can tell either the squirrel runs away or the cat wins.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:19 PM on November 23, 2016


I read somewhere once that there is a line in Mexico at some point where it is squirrels to the north and monkeys to the south. Monkeys don't tolerate squirrels.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:26 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


Remember, the Squirrel of Strife, Ratatoskr, who climbs up and down the Yggdrassil. He brings no good..." He tells slanderous gossip, provoking the eagle and Nidhogg" I am saying, that a squirrel is going to mess with you because even the Norse gods have to put up with troublesome squirrel.

I'm not worried. Squirrel Girl and Tippytoe will put Rotatoskr in his place again!
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:27 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I once took a non-emergent call from a woman who wondered if she should go ahead the e.r. after the partly-tame squirrel she had trained to take peanuts from her hand did a flying leap off her fence and "sort of accidentally attacked her face". She was hesitant primarily because she didn't want to get the squirrel in trouble; he hadn't bitten her, just scrabbled a bit on her head with his little claws. Was she bleeding? Well, yes, but...
This was, of course, in Squirrel Hill.
posted by notquitemaryann at 1:29 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


So like, the day after the election, I just so happened to be sitting in my pajamas sobbing uncontrollably when I heard this horrible godawful yowling and screeching coming from the backyard. I ran out sock-footed, tear-streaked, snot-nosed, sans glasses, to find that after years of trying, my 80-lb hound mix had finally succeeded in getting a hold of a squirrel, which he was trying to play with like a super squeaky stuffed toy.

I yelled at him to leave it, which he did. He stood there looking down at it and all this blood was dripping off his face and I was like, oh my god, on top of everything my dog is a monster, and I totally freaked out and called my husband to come home and deal with it. But it turned out that the blood was actually coming from the dog, who'd sustained a few cuts to his nose that were bleeding profusely. That squirrel went down fighting.

Later that evening the hubs was humorously lecturing the dog on hopefully having learned his lesson regarding trying to make squirrels play with you. Because I like to think of my dog as perfect and blameless at all times, I put forward an alternate scenario where the dog was just sitting in the backyard under a tree, minding his own business, when this deranged squirrel with a death wish leapt out of the tree assassin-style and just started attacking his snout out of nowhere, leaving him with no choice but to defend himself.

My husband spent the next few days mocking me about this and requesting reenactments.

I just sent him this article as proof that kamikaze squirrels are, in fact, a thing. He can't say we didn't try to warn him.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 1:34 PM on November 23, 2016 [13 favorites]


My late father HATED squirrels - he used to put chili powder in the nuts in the bird feeder to fuck with them, and hide behind the living room curtains to watch them hop around the garden after eating (apparently birds don't have receptors for capsaicin, but squirrels do).

One cold winter day his car wouldn't start. He called roadside assistance for a home start, they popped the bonnet to find...

...a bunch of chewed wires and a pile of acorn shells on top of the engine block.

Don't fuck with squirrels.
posted by bifter at 2:02 PM on November 23, 2016 [17 favorites]


He didn't know he'd pay for it with a fractured skull, broken nose, and six teeth.

SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:48 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


My late father HATED squirrels - he used to put chili powder in the nuts in the bird feeder to fuck with them, and hide behind the living room curtains to watch them hop around the garden after eating (apparently birds don't have receptors for capsaicin, but squirrels do).

Yeah, don't do this. My father-in-law had a similar approach. It seems a good way to deter them, but deterrence is not the same as watching helpless animals writhing and screaming in agony as they claw their own eyes out.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:51 PM on November 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Supposedly this is why chilis are hot. The plants 'want' birds (with their shorter, less destructive digestive tracts) to eat them and spread their seeds. The plants don't want mammals (with much more thorough digestion) to eat their fruit.
posted by Bee'sWing at 3:23 PM on November 23, 2016 [7 favorites]


My scientist/engineer father rigged up the bird feeder so that with the flip of a switch by the sink, you could send a raiding squirrel high into the air via a judicious application of electrical current.

My own engineer father did the same thing. That's when we learned squirrels could learn where to grab to not complete the circuit.
posted by traveler_ at 4:26 PM on November 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was 12, walking home past a church and there's this entire wedding party circled around a fallen baby squirrel. The bride was really upset. I don't remember exactly how it was determined that I should take it home in a paper bag but I did. It was a couple miles and I couldn't believe it was happy in the paper bag.

So we had this toy poodle named Babette that mom bought at a garage sale and she really wanted to get to the squirrel and I didn't understand her intentions and she's roaring and jumping at me as I try to hold it away from her and she trips me and takes the squirrel. She turns it upside down on the floor and starts licking its genitals like it's a newborn puppy. So dog and squirrel are good. Had a can of condensed milk so I opened it and got a dropper and that went well too.

When Babette had puppies we kept them in a box that she could get in and out of so I emptied one in the basement and brought it up.

My mom gets home and I tell her I have a surprise and she looks in the box and is indeed very surprised. But she's cool with it and helps me figure out what it needs.

When Babette had her two pups, she taught them to fight and it hurt to watch but both of them went on to dominate households with much bigger dogs. Well, she did that with the squirrel and got hurt a couple times but didn't complain.

Time passed. Most of my shirts were ruined because squirrel liked to climb me and sit on my shoulder and those claws are really sharp. The day came when it was time to open the door and Squirrel (I never named it? Guess I knew this wouldn't be forever?) shoots out there and attacks a cat I hadn't noticed and wins decisively. It was brutal. Adolescent Squirrel fucked that cat up and came back with bloody claws. Babette barked encouragement but stayed out of it. This is a dog that used to sneak up on cats when she was young and slap their butt and get chased around the pool, but she never assaulted them. There wasn't any malice and the cats seemed to know that. It was her idea of fun and the cats didn't really try to catch her. I think they had fun too.

Oh no. This was something else entirely. I didn't know whose cat it was or I would have contacted the owner. Saw it with bandages a few days later.

You think it's just a rodent and you find a little more is going on in there. I brought a paper bag home and there was a mind in there. Squirrel watched me play wargames, the old Avalon Hill ones, with great interest. Sometimes it would move pieces. It watched TV. The aquarium was fascinating. It came and got me when the waterline to the icemaker ruptured and dog was just sitting there watching the water spread. She'd sent her protege when normally she would have been tugging my pants. Smarter than you think.

Squirrel went wild but would come back to say hi and lasted about 6 years. Come right in an open window to visit. It sent a number of neighborhood cats to the vet and I never meant to cause that. It would taunt them. Totally bait them. You have to watch out for the ones trained by dogs.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:33 PM on November 23, 2016 [31 favorites]


Marvel Comics and Ryan North have announced that in an upcoming issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, SG gets a flying costume. As a life-long fan of Rocky the Flying Squirrel (and of the actor voicing that classic character, June Foray, who is 10 months away from her 100th birthday, having last performed as the plucky squirrel just two years ago, but I digress), I thoroughly approve of the addition of flight to the powers of one of comicdom's greatest animal-themed heroes. But yes, I am appropriately concerned that the apparent increased occurrence of squirrel attacks may be tied to Squirrel Girl comics being left where animals can find them. There have also been reports of raccoons being seen trying to fire weapons since the recent resurgence of Rocket Raccoon, but they are mostly unconfirmed. But please be careful where you drop your comics.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:37 PM on November 23, 2016 [4 favorites]


I ran over a nutria once with no harm no foul as far as I could tell while riding the local river side bike path. It felt kind of squirrely going under my bike wheel. Does that count for a squirrel incident?
Also had a squirrel dart completely between my moving wheels with no damage to the obviously trained stunt squirrel. I don't fuck with squirrels. No percentage in it.
posted by diode at 6:37 PM on November 23, 2016


Marvel Comics and Ryan North have announced that in an upcoming issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, SG gets a flying costume. As a life-long fan of Rocky the Flying Squirrel (and of the actor voicing that classic character, June Foray, who is 10 months away from her 100th birthday, having last performed as the plucky squirrel just two years ago, but I digress), I thoroughly approve of the addition of flight to the powers of one of comicdom's greatest animal-themed heroes.

When I lived in the woods, there were flying skwrlz living in the tree nearest my porch. Damndest thing you ever saw. It was impossible to watch them and not make sound effects.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:05 PM on November 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


Squirrel watched me play wargames, the old Avalon Hill ones, with great interest. Sometimes it would move pieces. It watched TV. The aquarium was fascinating. It came and got me when the waterline to the icemaker ruptured and dog was just sitting there watching the water spread.

What a coincidence, having a pet squirrel and having the water line to your fridge just rupture like that -- life is full of unaccountable things.
posted by jamjam at 8:22 PM on November 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Some lady came along the trail and found me lying there next to my bicycle and called 911," he said. "I only saw the squirrel when I came to and saw it stuck in the wheel."

Sounds like a false flag operation meant to gain sympathy for his continued war on squirrelkind.

He planted that squirrel in those spokes, is what I'm saying.
posted by hamandcheese at 1:13 AM on November 24, 2016


My scientist/engineer father rigged up the bird feeder ...

Your short story about it here was the highlight of that thread.
posted by Kabanos at 4:47 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of my acquaintances is currently field-testing a trap made by a large pest control company. He has it in his back yard, rigged to a system that sends him a text message when it's triggered. He told me that he gets 2-3 squirrels a day, some times, but it has made not one dent in the local squirrel population: they're breeding faster than he can do away with them.

We gave up on pumpkins. Spent all summer trying to grow gourds only to have the squirrels pick them off just as they began to get big enough to excite us. Then Halloween, we kept the pumpkins inside until day of, because 30 seconds after putting them on the porch, a squirrel was gnawing their faces off....
posted by caution live frogs at 7:10 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


The solution to squirrels is more hawks.
posted by spitbull at 7:36 AM on November 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


True story: when we were living in the suburbs of Ottawa, with a nice yard with some trees, we decided to splurge on a nice Lee Valley bird feeder. No matter where or how I hooked up the damn thing this little grey squirrel, recently turfed out of the Cirque du Soleil school of acrobats no doubt, would empty the thing out. A little-trap-and-some-peanut butter later I drive a few kilometers away to our church where I figured the little guy would be happy since it had a huge forested compound. I release the damn thing an up it climbs a tree that sits next to an outdoor shrine of the Virgin Mary. Since I was there I decide to take a minute to kneel down and pray. As soon as I ma doing that I hear the loudest angriest chirping I've ever heard right behind me. I turn around and that overfed furry tailed rat is standing on his hind legs at the very tip of the foremost branch of that tree, a few feet above my head, and is literally giving me an earful of squirrel shit and wont stop until I finally give up and leave. For all I know he's still at it. it's then that I realized that, save for opposable thumbs, we could be the ones chasing bird seeds.
posted by Malingering Hector at 9:11 AM on November 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why aren't moderate squirrels condemning this radical squirrel terrorism?
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:12 AM on November 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


We like squirrels. Our house is squirrel-proof.

There's hordes of them in the backyard and the park beyond. We even have a few red squirrels now, which are smaller but act like grey or black squirrels on coke.

We have a bird-feeder on a 6 ft metal pole, and a stove-pipe sized device which has been 100% effective in thwarting the squirrels. (once we moved it far enough from a tree so they can't just dive onto it).

I've never seen a squirrel charge into a bike. Wow, that was one tough (or crazy) squirrel.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:04 AM on November 24, 2016


The plants don't want mammals (with much more thorough digestion) to eat their fruit.

Yeah "thorough" isn't how I'd describe my digestion after eating a lot of chilli. Has anyone considered this effect as a potential evolutionary pressure?
posted by howfar at 2:20 PM on November 24, 2016


The solution to squirrels is more hawks.

Or a colony of feral cats. We live in the woods and the squirrels were both fat and numerous before the feral cats moved in. In fact, that might be why the feral cats moved in. Well we've got a stable colony of 5 neutered cats now, down from 8-9 at the height and NO squirrels ever. I see bunnies (and sometimes bunny parts left on my doormat) and some birds, and the cats outright share their cat food with the possums, but I haven't seen a single squirrel on my property in almost a decade.

I had a coworker who rehabbed baby squirrels and sometimes brought them to work. I used to let them climb me as part of their rehab training. Baby squirrels are adorable.

But in general I still resent that campus squirrel who stole a half a BLT off my plate that one time. I was saving it for dinner, ASSHOLE! That fuzzy asshole ran away, lettuce and tomato flying in his wake.
posted by threeturtles at 2:32 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah "thorough" isn't how I'd describe my digestion after eating a lot of chilli.

The point is that mammals have a much longer and windier tract, so there's much more time for discomfort. Bird intestines [drawing] are almost a straight line by comparison [drawing].
posted by AFABulous at 8:43 AM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah "thorough" isn't how I'd describe my digestion after eating a lot of chilli.

The point is that mammals have a much longer and windier tract, so there's much more time for discomfort. Bird intestines [drawing] are almost a straight line by comparison [drawing].

We could definitely use a bypass -- and the weird thing is, there was an Ask maybe a year or two ago, in which a guy was saying that when he ate a certain food it went completely through in less than an hour (IIRC), that read for all the world as if he had one. It somehow triggered a memory of an old Tom Robbins' novel in which he used the metaphor 'like thin shit through a tall Swede' to describe the alacrity with which one character would deal with another in a fight, and I wondered whether that was a Robbins coinage, or he picked it up living as he did in a part of the country with a lot of Scandinavian influence.

As far as chilis are concerned, they have their innings (and outings), but it turns out we have so many viable copies of a virus which attacks chili plants in our digestive tracts (pepper mild mottle virus, PMMV) that we might have to be considered a significant vector of the disease. So we're getting our revenge.
posted by jamjam at 12:32 PM on November 25, 2016


We're getting our revenge while simultaneously Montezuma is getting his.
posted by hippybear at 12:47 PM on November 25, 2016 [1 favorite]






It's spreading to the US
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:49 PM on December 14, 2016


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