You know the routine. Just at the very last moment, a squirrel will leap from the shadows right in front of your car. You gasp and grip the wheel as adrenaline squeezes through your system. The squirrel zigs right. You zag left. The squirrel zags left. You, in desperation, zig back right again. The squirrel stops in its tracks literally mocking you as you slam on the brakes and pray that you haven’t hit it. At the very last moment, the squirrel jumps easily to the side and laughs with his buddies, having completely freaked yet another hideously stupid human being.
You can’t tell me that there’s not something going on. This happens just too many times for it to be chalked up to pure chance. Those squirrels have had ALL DAY to cross the road but instead they wait there until just THAT moment when YOU come along before they lunge, hesitate, and then dart out in front of your car. To them, it’s a game, mere sport, a good laugh at your expense.
This morning all of that changed. I decided that if it was game of chicken they wanted, then it was chicken that I was prepared to give them.
I watched for my opportunity. Soon enough, right on cue, a fat little squirrel jumped from the shadows acting perplexed and gave his weak little “oh what do I do now?” routine in the middle of the road, watching for my reaction. I was ready for him. I didn’t flinch. He sneered and faked left. I turned left. He was momentarily confused. He faked right. I turned right. The blood drained from his little squirrel face. He bobbed and did a little head fake but I stayed the course. In sudden desperation, he feigned to the center and then lunged for the edge of the road. I swerved hard for the curb and caught a tread-full of short hairs from the end of his terrified tail as I followed him into a pile of dead leaves.
“What the heck was that all about?!” I knew he was asking himself, as I pulled back on to the road. And when the next squirrel jumped out in front of me I did it again, and then again. And then again.
The word will get out. I’ll just keep calling their bluff until soon, very soon, the word will spread from oak tree to oak tree, from one squirrel to the next - to watch out for that crazy old bastard in the old green Ford Escort wagon with the balding tires…
He means business.