It probably didn’t look good.
I was calling a red squirrel a “son of a bitch” in an angry tone while chasing it down my driveway. And I was carrying a butcher knife. Yeah…I probably looked (and sounded) psychotic. But I can explain.
First, to clarify: I had no intention of murdering the red squirrel. I just wanted him to understand that his presence on my property was no longer desired. And since previous efforts to nudge him toward any of my neighbors’ yards had proven fruitless, I figured a more threatening and violent approach would do the trick. While making myself look psychotic in the process. Win-win, really.
This little son of a bitch had chewed right through the lid and rim of a thick plastic can I was using to store bird seed in my garage. This was one of a pair of containers that for several years had been relatively unscathed (I say relatively since field mice and chipmunks would occasionally mistake the tops of the containers for porta-potties). And then along comes Mr. Determination with his razor sharp teeth and claws, and BANG, there goes the bird seed. A new pair of metal cans with latching lids, picked up at Ace Hardware, has stymied the little son of a bitch for now; however, I imagine it won’t be long before he returns from taking a Practical Blow Torch Applications adult ed course, and then all bets will be off.
So I was washing the dishes this morning when I heard a familiar scratching sound coming from the wall between the mudroom and garage, and I knew it meant one thing: some furry little son of a bitch was exploring. I had done a pretty decent job of plugging up any means of ingress (we can discuss the mice in the attic later), and was in no mood to have any critters set up a timeshare in my house. I dashed out the kitchen door and looked in the open garage, and there he was: the red squirrel, with that oh-shit-he-found-me look on his face. I yelled at him, called him a son of a bitch, told him to get the hell out of my garage. He ran around like he had just taken a hit of crystal meth (a dosage more appropriate for a human rather than a red squirrel or other medium-sized woodland rodent), then flew out onto the driveway, where I pursued him for a few seconds before he disappeared.
All the while, I was carrying the butcher knife I had just washed and had begun to dry with a towel that was in my other hand. It may have appeared as though I was going to pull a Joe Pesci on the little son of a bitch and then wrap the corpse in the kitchen towel and bury him somewhere in the Blueberry Plains (southern Maine’s version of the Pine Barrens). But I swear: I wasn’t. I just happened to have a butcher knife in my hand the moment I was overcome with a pulse-quickening desire to kill that annoying little son of a bitch. Pure coincidence.
But he’ll be back. Not because I didn’t carry my knife-wielding rant to its logical and bloody conclusion. No. He’ll be back because he has the brain of a red squirrel. I swear, they do the stupidest things.