*#^@!$% Squirrels, 2010 Edition

Some time ago, on a weekend morning before my vacation, I noticed that the accordion-pleated thingy that surrounds the air conditioner in my bedroom had come loose from the unit and there was a gap of about two inches where hot air was coming in. I had no idea how long it had been that way; due to the heatwave, I hoped not long, but since that side of the window is in a corner and is hard to see, it could have been a while.

I spent some time trying to find a way to snap it back into place, but that seemed to be a two-person job and, having no one to help me, I did what any reasonable person would do: I got out my trusty roll of duct tape and sealed it up. My apartment – and electric bill – having been made safe from excessive heat, I went on about my life and forgot to think about a more permanent repair.

Until today, that is.

I was awakened this morning by the unmistakable sound of a squirrel scampering around on my air conditioner.  The first thing that came to mind, however, was not my tape-job, but my tomatoes. I was sure that a *#^@!$% squirrel was casing my Topsy-Turvys, figuring out how he was going to ruin my gardening life yet again. I went to the window, pulled back the shade, and tapped angrily on the glass, causing the squirrel to abandon the air conditioner for the porch railing. I rapped on the window a tad more forcefully, and the little bugger ran off.

Thus having secured the safety of my tomatoes for the time being, I went on about getting ready for work. About an hour later, just as I was getting ready to leave, I happened to look over at the air conditioner and noticed that the gap was back. Last night’s monsoon rains apparently compromised the duct tape and it had come unstuck.  And then it dawned on me: The *#^@!$% squirrel hadn’t been casing the tomatoes… It had been trying to get into my house! I just know that nasty little bugger was planning to give my cats fleas, eat my unrefrigerated fruit, and commit heaven knows what kind of mayhem.

And so, out came the duct tape once again. I used about three times as much, but I’m just not feeling confident about it anymore, which is upsetting. Like most (all?) reasonably handy people, I’ve always had an unshakable faith in the efficacy of duct tape. But now, between the rain and the squirrel, I’m wondering if it’s enough. I might actually need to find someone to help me fix my a/c installation properly.

Stupid *#^@!$% squirrels. Eat my tomatoes, try to break into my home, make me question duct tape? I hate you, you dirty, fluffy rats.

“I don’t believe in a lot of things, but I do believe in duct tape.”

Miles Straum, LOST

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16 thoughts on “*#^@!$% Squirrels, 2010 Edition

  1. Rudi July 13, 2010 / 1:56 pm

    As a former theatre person, you should know that gaffer’s tape is far, far more adhesive and durable than ye olde duct tape. That, and it’s available in fashionable matte black – total score!

    That said, sorry to hear that the squirrels are trying to sublet your place. They have some nerve….

  2. common loon July 13, 2010 / 2:06 pm

    Awwwww! Your nephews have claimed that “squirrels are my favorite animal, Mom.” Made me stand in a forest just to listen to them chatter, much to my chagrin. In fact, your conterpart here believes he can talk to them. Would you like him to phone and tell them your policy?

  3. susan July 13, 2010 / 2:57 pm

    Ummm..ever buy a rat trap?? That’s how we got our nasty invader-to-be…of course, I think I shared that story with you before. Reinforcements had to be called, a brick became weaponry, then one of the ‘enforcers’ took the soon-to be-stew home. Still makes me queasy thinking about it…
    But…no more squirrels…

  4. Eileen July 13, 2010 / 3:14 pm

    Ummm. How is this not your landlords responsibility (to fix the AC)…like NOW?

    And I’m with Susan on the killing it, but in no way could I actually do the killing. (sorry that is what the husband – or landlord- is for – Im sure I recall that in the better and worse part of the vows; in any case, NOT my job).

    But I’d pay to listen to little loon ‘xplain to the squirrel Sarah’s “policy”…that’d be awesome!

    Good luck. Btw, once it’s dead, I recommend putting said squirrel on a pike and keeping it on the deck half way between the tomato plants and AC unit – as a warning to all his dumb butt friends.

  5. common loon July 13, 2010 / 5:40 pm

    (think of Elmer Fudd’s song) “Kill the squirrel, kill the squirrel…”

    Just another reason for us to move – it would be better than “thumping a bunny!” Don’t think of it as murder, think of it as a bullseye. We could put our young negotiator (aka “the squirrel whisperer” on speaker phone (so he couldn’t watch the scene unfold), and then I would end things. Eileen would have to mount it on the pike, though, as that’s out of my comfort zone.

  6. Mom July 13, 2010 / 6:43 pm

    You all are too funny. Isn’t there something lethal you could saturate the trap bait in that would cause nearly instantaneous demise eliminating the brick?? Couldn’t quite do that either. Oh & Loon — do you have conference call capability so we could all hear the chatter??

  7. susan July 13, 2010 / 8:46 pm

    chatter…punny! 🙂

  8. Sarah July 13, 2010 / 9:53 pm

    Oh, come on, people. I have a hard time killing bugs bigger than my thumbnail or with especially crunchy exoskeletons. There isn’t a chance in hell I could kill an actual squirrel. And besides, there are about a jillion of them around here; it’s not like I’d be able to identify the bugger on the air conditioner this morning.

    And, CL… While I would love to have your squirrel-whisperer son explain my policy to the wee beasties for me, I am pretty sure it includes words you don’t want him to know at this point in his life.

  9. Susan July 13, 2010 / 10:04 pm

    Now, Sarah…we don’t want YOU to do any harm…we’re suggesting you find people to harm your ‘wee beastie’. Rudi…are you local? Go kill the squirrel.

    THEN, get the landlord to fix the AC.

    YOU…go get some yummy food somewhere and share it with all exterminators.

    Problem solved. Til next time. Then rinse and repeat as many times as needed 🙂

  10. Eileen July 13, 2010 / 10:10 pm

    Here here Susan!

  11. Rudi July 14, 2010 / 12:25 am

    @Susan: I don’t even kill spiders! Cockroaches, silverfish and the like are fair game, but not spiders, and definitely not squirrels! Did you read about the visiting fledgling blue jay we had in our window well (along with its noisy and protective parents) last weekend? There ‘ya go.

    Like I said: gaffer’s tape. It’s The Answer™.

  12. susan July 14, 2010 / 7:41 am

    @Rudi…I’m actually with you on that (which I’m confessing before everyone else on the page outs my ridiculously large fear of 8-legged creatures). My almost 13 year old daughter kills the things that need dying when the hubby’s not around. Who does the killing for you? Send them to Sarah. I beleve you about the gaffer’s tape…but squirrels are obsessive…may take the @#$%^ squirrel LONGER to get through the stuff….but he’ll keep trying….and trying…and trying…

    And I’m going to read about the blue jay….

  13. susan July 14, 2010 / 7:50 am

    @Rudi…take 2. I see now…you DON’T KILL the wee beasties. Even when they invade your turf and wake you up. Hmmm. Someone around here would probably make stew out of ye olde visitor as well. Apparently, anything is food in this neck of the woods.

    All right, Sarah…phone a friend. Your hillbilly cousins may have to come bearing bricks…:-)

  14. common loon July 14, 2010 / 9:53 am

    To ID the proper squireel, decide if you want patent, plastic, or latent finger, er, I mean paw prints. Enhance your A/C unit appropriately. If you’re too scared of the squirrel, go for the latent print and buy one of those ridiculously expensive lights to shine on your squirrel community, thus identifying the culprit. Said nephew also has a passion for climbing (just ask Susan, as his first words to her this visit were “I can climb your walls”), so he would be willing to negotiate for you on the squirrel’s turf – Bonus! You might want to let him take the lead on that, as expletives often put humans on the defensive, although I don’t know the effect on squirrels. Now, you will have to come up with a way to distract your nephew when I show up because he doesn’t like the sight of blood. If said nephew has been misbehaving, though, I might change my mind on that and see if he can connect the dots…

  15. Mom July 14, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    @ Sarah — do keep us all “posted” on your AC repairs & squirrel control/anhilation. Eh gad. I can’t imagine squirrels in your bed if you won’t allow your beloved kitties in there 🙂

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