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Squirrels on Trial

Researchers at the University of Utah Husbandry Department report that most squirrels, when in Taco Bell, will not order spicy food. “Hold the hot sauce,” squirrels are reputed to say.

A few years ago my big brother shared a recipe for a concoction so spicy it removed calcium deposits from shower tiles. The purpose of this fiery elixir was to incinerate nasty bacteria from your mouth all the way down to your nether regions.

After blending hot chili peppers (jalapeno, habanero, serano, cayenne, Josh Klinghoffer) and vinegar into a Two-Buck Chuck empty wine bottle, you back away. After two weeks, you strain the stuff, fill a shot glass with the misty liquid, and bottoms up! The fumes alone are classified as a toxic airborne event. One shot glass in the morning, my BB advised, will kill any unfriendly bacteria.

I enjoy spicy food, so I chugged it every day even though my eyeballs exploded. Then I forgot about it and the contents festered under the sink. Time to resurrect the stuff as a deterrent for my squirrel-munched petunias and tomatoes.

The stuff fermented into greater lethality: now it not only brings tears to the eyes, but smells like dead mice.  After suiting up in a get-up worthy of Hazmat, I spray the foul liquid all over the petunias and tomato plants.

For a few days, the squirrel damage comes to a halt. The petunias thrive; tomatoes grow beyond the marble stage. Then squirrelmageddon: one afternoon a dozen green tomatoes litter the garden, one bite taken out of each. Only sad chomped stalks remain of the petunias. In a miracle of adaptation, the squirrels evolved into liking the spice as a condiment.

Time for the Squirrel Relocation Program.

However, when I explain the squirrel situation to our friend F, a trial lawyer (he has heard all the jokes*), he says this is a clear case of personal injury.

“Yes! We have been gravely injured!” I agree.

No, F says, he means that the squirrels have a case and he plans to represent them.

Highlights from the trial: Attendees include F, Himself, our neighbor’s elderly dog who shows up in case there’s something to eat, squirrels (under the shed) and me. I describe how the squirrels swore at me from their lair.

“Objection!” cries F.

“On what basis?” I ask.

“You can’t know what the squirrels were saying. They don’t speak English. They speak Squirrel.”

“You can tell from their tone,” I insist.

“Objection sustained!” cries the judge, also F.

“Hey,” I raise my voice. “This is a kangaroo court!”

“Not so,” F says. “This is a squirrel court. A different mammal entirely.”

When we show the before and after pictures of the petunias, along with incriminating photos of squirrels munching said petunias, F yells, “Guilty!” We remind him he is not the jury, we are our jury (me and Himself). Himself declares, “The jury finds the squirrels guilty on all counts!”

Time to put the Squirrel Relocation Program in effect. I order a humane trap, which will be here soon. While the mice figured out how to thwart the mouse-size humane traps, we hope the squirrels will not be as smart.

Stay tuned for The Squirrel Relocation Program

*Lawyer jokes

  1. What is wrong with the picture: a lawyer up to his knees in concrete. Not enough concrete.
  2. Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.
  3. Court transcripts: Q: What happened?  A: He said he had to kill me because I could identify him. Q: Did he kill you?
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