Monday, November 29, 2010

Nature: 3; Zimmers: Naught

It has been a while since I have gone back to the hilarity that is my blogging roots. It is time, friends. If only because we have had a chaotic November and some of it is too funny NOT to share.

Many of you may be familiar with Osi's sordid past with the local wildlife. he has been taunted more than once by raccoons in several zip codes. It's as if they have a poster of him in the local raccoon post office with a sign above it instructing wildlife to "Get This Guy."

The raccoons have branched out, my friends. The word is out and the Bexley squirrels have risen to the challenge.

On a random Wednesday night a few weeks ago, I was awakened by a frantic stage-whisper calling my name. "Chris!" my Great White Hunter of a husband called, "CHRIS! THERE IS A SQUIRREL IN THE HOUSE!"

You may, at this point, stop (as I did) and ask yourself what am I going to to do about this that the GWH can't do himself? While you are pondering this, please keep in mind that this is a man who once annoyed a raccoon off of our deck by a) poking it with a fireplace poker and b) spraying same raccoon with "Clorox Clean-Up." I felt as if it was up to me to defend the family home against this obviously rabid beast.

Let us first agree that squirrels are just rats with better costumes. Let us also agree that while they may be cute and cuddly outside, squirrels do NOT belong on this inside - with the people. And they most certainly do not belong ensconced under the guest bed, which is exactly where Osi found him.

Upon sitting on the bed to remove his shoes, Osi saw our friend Mr. Nutters scamper from beneath the bed in search of escape. This sight sent Osi, also scampering, out of the room, closing the door behind him. That brings us to the stage-whisper alarm I received at midnight that night.

After searching fruitlessly for an animal removal service that would answer our midnight distress call, we (and my WE, I mean I) decided to take matters into our own hands. I Googled "How to get a squirrel out of your house." Here are the directions I received.

Step one was "Don't Panic!" Well, shit. That ship had already sailed. Step one also helpfully instructs you not to get bitten. Thanks, genius.

On to step two, which was to secure your pets elsewhere. Well, now, funny you should mention the pets. Because we have one of those. One whose only job is to alert us to intruders, say, of the rodent variety. Here is Frannie, The Wonder Mutt's, reaction to being told there is a squirrel in the house and she should do her doggy duty.

Step three instructed me to "Gingerly work around the squirrel." Check. That I can do. Donning Crocs and brandishing a broom, I entered the room, skirting the edges, and announced loudly to the squirrel that no one wanted to harm it, I was just opening a window to aide in his escape. There was no need for HIM to panic, because there was no one here by us squirrel-lovers. I proceeded quickly to step 4,which was to open the windows in the room, remove the screens and get the hell out. Actually, get the hell out was step 5 (and 6, if you want to get technical. They were pretty clear about getting the hell out).

At 2 am, we heard a good deal of noise, followed by several thumps. Upon entering the room in the morning, pictures on the wall were askew, our dresser was trashed and the squirrel appeared to be gone. We even called Critter Control to come ensure that the squirrel was gone. They assured us that the squirrel was, indeed, GONE. We determined he came in through the open fireplace flue and scampered upstairs after taking one look at the dog (who, I am assuming, was dozing on the couch through the entirety of Mr. Nutters' entrance). Critter Control secured the flue and left us confident that we were no squirrel-free.

Flash forward to Saturday, when I am once again awakened from my peaceful slumber by the now screaming Great White Hunter: "CHRIS! THERE'S ANOTHER SQUIRREL!!"

Osi had seen a squirrel in the living room, and saw it dart across the room, but didn't see where it went. Another call to Critter Control ensued. (For those keeping track, we are now $300 in the hole for squirrel surveillance and removal). Critter Controller arrived and, after some scuttlebutt, emerged from the guest room victorious, with the squirrel in a cage.

The Great White Hunter cursed at the squirrel all the way out the door. While we relatively certain that - this time - we are squirrel free, I know I live in fear of the day that TGWH calls me to defend Chez Zimmer once again.

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