Stupid News! I was walking around in the Hill Section of beautiful Scranton, Pennsylvania when something caused me to stop abruptly. There, not three feet away from me on the sidewalk was a squirrel drinking from a puddle.
Anyone who knows anything about squirrels knows that there are certain rules about squirrels. And anyone who knows me knows that I have a bad history with squirrels--because, I believe, I broke one of those rules. The big rule. I broke the big rule of squirrels and it has caused me trouble ever since.
The general rules of squirrels are about squirrel things and squirrel activities that humans are not allowed to see. Basically any activity that is not scampering and climbing trees or being exploded in the road is verboten. The BIG rule of squirrels is, however, that you never see a baby squirrel in the wild. You only see big red ones, big gray ones, or big black ones (Canada)--but never babies. Unfortunately, last year, while walking around Lake Scranton, I saw a baby squirrel. And things haven't been right since.
I continued my walks around the lake--sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. Whenever I walked the lake alone I would encounter a squirrel. It would sit in the middle of the trail (a paved road), stare at me, and not run away. There are two things in the universe that will frighten anyone, anywhere: toilet water rising when it should for all reasons not be, and a squirrel that does not run away when you approach. There are laws in the universe, and one of them is that squirrels dart off and scramble up a tree within a certain diameter. But on every occasion that I walked the lake by myself, I would encounter a brazen game of squirrel intimidation. I had to walk to the edge of the road to avoid the squirrel. I--a human being that has mastered fire and knows limited mathematics--I had to give wide swath to an animal whose Hitler equivalent is a nice set of whitewalls. And it watched me with every step I took. Every time. Every time I was alone.
And this brings us to yesterday, the end of my brief winter reprieve from their bushy tailed revenge for rocking the boat. It was a threat, plain and simple. The thing--the creature--sitting there sipping gently from a puddle. Eying me up. Well within the well-known squirrel-run-away radius. Close enough to touch.
You may not realize the unspoken (but perfectly clear) statement in this act. I was walking home. They know where I live.