Squirrelly Goings On, At Building Moxie And Beyond :: Squirrels and Social Media
Most of you who frequent this forum are probably well aware of my unusual association with squirrels. That’s right; squirrels. Those cute, little, cuddly rodentia of our backyards and woodlands, with the sharp claws, big bushy tails, and numerous secret
stashes of acorns. Many of you are entertained, while simultaneously perplexed, by this. You go along with the humor, award me tons of +K’s for “squirrels” on Klout, and generously contribute to anything even remotely squirrel-related that I might happen to post.
Here’s a prime example of what I mean. Just a few weeks ago, I posted a few photos of a squirrel in the red maple outside my window, on Google Plus, declaring something to the effect of “Oh crap, there’s one just outside my window right now, and it keeps staring at me…”.
Now, normally, when posting articles about energy conservation, historic homes, sustainability, etc. — you know, serious stuff — I typically get about a dozen responses, mostly reasonable ones, and a few sardonic. Yet, these photos collectively earned me sixteen — sixteen, I say — breezy comments from quite a few of you that went (drum roll, please…) exactly like this:
Brenda – You are a nut, that is why it is staring at you, John!
Ginny – Must be looking for dessert. Feeling sweet today John?
Alexandra – He’s coming to get you and store you for a winter meal. Be afraid; be very afraid!
Sean – No worries, that one is there just for recon purposes
Brenda – That’s right, it is the ones you don’t see that are going to get you…
Alexandra – Hmm, I didn’t write that comment above. Either my sister did, or the squirrels have taken my memory! Hope I can squeak by on my looks (heheheheh).
Brenda – Maybe the squirrels have taken over your keyboard… LOL
Susan – is that Rocky?
Shannon – Oh careful it’s coming to get you
ME – Thank you all, for your very funny comments. The wealth of responses I’ve gotten to this picture reinforces my position as the undisputed +k squirrelly guy!
Alexandra – +K and +1. Either way, you are definitely squirrelly & undisputed (at what, is up for grabs).
Alexandra – Say, John, have you seen this video? You can add it to your “arsenal” of smooth moves! [Flying squirrel take-down]
Brenda – John, this is for you! [water skiing squirrel]
Todd – Luckily you’re an authority on all things “squirrel”
ME – Word of my squirrelly klout has reached the woodland denizens. I now draw them, like a veritable pied-piper!
Todd – So have you trained them to bring you walnuts yet?
ME – I tried to. But they keep the walnuts for themselves, and just bring me the bug-eaten acorns.
Brenda – Soon you will have all of the squirrels in your neighborhood paying you homage with bug eaten acorns, John.
ME – You mean I don’t already?! :-)
Brenda – LOL, well maybe you do. Who knows!
So exactly how did I incur this “Squirrel King” reputation? This status amongst my peers that would warrant such an effusion of responses to two silly old photos? Surely, at least some of the more recent newcomers to our community must be curious, and it is largely to them that I owe an explanation. But be forewarned: There is a dark undercurrent to this story that many of you might find shocking, disturbing, and undoubtedly … a tad hyperbolic! But hear me out, gentle readers…
It all began about three years ago, when in the deep of winter, two marauders chewed their way into my house. Finding their way up to my attic, they evaded capture for several days, until finally lured into a pair of his and hers Havahart Live Traps, by gobs of gourmet peanut butter. Naturally, I wrote a blog post about this incident. But entertaining as it was, this story would soon be forgotten, I thought, fading away with the passage of time. How wrong I was!
Not much later, a brief account of this incident re-emerged in a relatively innocent Twitter exchange about pest invasions of homes. Again, one would think that that would’ve been the end of it. However, two tweeps of ours, who’s real names I’ll withhold out of fear of reprisals and frivolous lawsuits, and only refer to collectively by the opaquely obfuscatory portmanteau of “Splinter-LesS Construction”, appeared to take more than just a passing interest in my squirrelly
tail tale. In fact, it soon became obvious that these two were planning a sinister plot to send an entire army of squirrel invaders right to my back door! Perhaps to succeed where the first two (whom I now believe to have been advance scouts) had failed.
Not only had I discovered that
Amy and Sean, Ooops! I mean Splinter-LesS Construction were busily training squirrels in Ninja warrior techniques, but also perfecting some highly advanced weaponry, including shoulder-held acorn launchers, and little squirrel jet-packs. Yes, that’s right — flying squirrels. Clearly, I was doomed if I didn’t do something to stave off this imminent attack. (And hey, just because you’re not paranoid, doesn’t mean you’re not being followed. Yeah).
So my first line of defense was to get everything out in the open. You know … total transparency. I approached jb one day, saying “Hey, jb. I’ve got this really funny story about a couple of squirrels, and … ha ha ha ha!!!”, to which he replied, “Sure, go for it”, unaware of the desperate state of affairs actually motivating me to publish my story here on Building Moxie. Of course, “Hey Rocky, Watch Me Pull A Squirrel Outta My Attic (Again?!)” gained quite a bit of attention, instantly positioning me as an authority on dealing with rodent invaders, and giving considerable pause to Splinter-LesS Construction. They’d now have to rethink their efforts, and proceed more cautiously.
Reasoning that any invasion had now most likely been postponed ’til spring, I spent the winter devising advanced radio-frequency gear that would jam the navigational systems of the little squirrel jet packs of
Amy and Sean, ooops, I said it again Splinter-LesS Construction. And to deal with any squirrels that managed to slip through, I installed one of those ornate squirrel fountains in my yard. Only instead of water, Jack Daniels coursed through its pipes. Finding this a pleasant watering hole after a long journey, the squirrel invaders would soon forget their mission, losing themselves in sunny afternoons of Lynchburg-inspired reverie (and strategically positioned bird feeders, too).
So, to make a lengthy conspiracy-theory interminable, I should just simply add that the squirrel army invasion was successfully put down. Except for a few drunk squirrels hanging out by the fountain and occasionally breaking into old song, it wasn’t a disagreeable outcome. I had gained a reputation that has earned me perpetual klouty-ness in the Twitter-sphere, the respect and admiration of all my peers and colleagues, and not to mention a very good deal for any of you on a slightly used squirrel garden fountain (please, someone…take this thing off my hands!).
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About John Poole (9 posts)
John Poole is a computer scientist and technologist. His mysterious Second Life, however, is almost singularly driven by an all-consuming passion for carpentry, woodworking, timber framing, and the restoration/renovation of old colonial homes, of which he currently has two ongoing projects. In his copious spare time, John enjoys rowing, skiing, sailing, reading, and sometimes even a little gardening.