Dear friends who may or may not be the best,
First, I’d like to ask the loud mouth with the radio announcer’s voice sitting a few seats away from me to pipe down. I haven’t gotten my noise-cancelling headphones yet (birthday present hint, hint, hint), so I still have to listen to your insufferable gasbagging, which, incidentally, is the only sound that permeates the tunes I’m jamming out to. For the love of all that is awesome is this world, like slip-on shoes, pandora.com, Necco wafers (yes, flipping Necco wafers, son!) and musical theater, put the brakes on your yapper.
Thank you, BF’s for indulging me in a little rant. But how am supposed to churn out hilarity when my thoughts are being drowned out by the extreme verbosity across the room?
Anyway, it’s been a big week in Vermont. The gays can now get married, no homo. Real-life pirates from Somalia captured a ship captain from Underhill. Yar! And my crazy old lady neighbor put a squirrel feeder on her porch. No really, a squirrel feeder. Who knew squirrels needed special feeders? I thought bird feeders were sufficient enough for them to plunder and pillage. But no, now they need their own feeders. Doesn’t that take away the fun of raiding the bird feeders though?
In order for you to get a complete picture of just why this squirrel feeder has me in a royal tiz, I need to give you a brief history of my neighborhood, specifically the old lady’s house. Pretty much every day, the old lady, who we’ll call Geraldine, leaves a pile of bread crumbs under a tree on the greenbelt for the pigeons. My dog is quite fond of these little treats and it takes every ounce of strength I have to yank her stupid face out of the pile. In addition to the bread crumbs, Geraldine leaves heaps of peanuts, in their shells, on her front stoop. That’s for the squirrels. The dog isn’t particularly interested in the nuts, but if there’s a squirrel noshing on them, the dog loses her peabrain. At 7 a.m., this is just too much to deal with.
This issue of feeding the neighborhood vermin is a multifarious problem. I’ll try to explain it in as orderly a fashion as I can. Here are the basics: because of Geraldine, the neighborhood- a sweet little one-way street with babies, dogs, chickens and a half-finished geodesic dome- is now a scavenger shantytown. It’s become the vermin food shelf of the Old North End. The pigeons and the squirrels know that they’ll never go hungry as long as Geraldine is cashing in her Social Security check to buy bulk bags of peanuts and sliced bread for them.
This is gross. Who knows where his feet have been?
I don’t mind the squirrels. I think they’re cute, industrious and goddammit, they can walk up and down buildings. They get my respect. But pigeons make me barf. That’s all I can say about them without reverse perastalsis setting in. Geraldine, who according to another batty neighbor (the one with the half-baked geodesic dome), has Alzheimer’s or some sort of memory impairment, seems blissfully unaware that her actions are destroying the sanctity of our ‘hood. She’s into vermin. And the vermin are into her.
A couple months ago, I bought a bird feeder and filled it with premium birdseed. Starving children would have been happy to chomp on this seed. I loved the bird feeder. It was the source of great joy for me. (I’m using the past tense is to alert you to the fact that the bird feeder is no longer a source of great joy for me. That’s what we in the literati community call “allusion.” You’re welcome.) The feeder attracted finches and cardinals, blue jays and sparrows. Not too exotic, but still entertaining to those of us easily entertained by moving things. One day I even saw a massive pileated woodpecker swinging back and forth on the feeder, pecking the bejesus out of the cheap plastic.
That all stopped when the pigeons discovered my feeder. One minute I was enjoying the ornithological bounty at my window and the next I was banging on the glass trying to scare off the flying rats. To no avail. Those pigeons are not easily swayed when there’s premium birdseed around. And to my great sadness, that was the end of my experiment in urban bird feeding. Curses on you, Geraldine, and your gee-dee breadcrumbs! Now I’ve settled for a “spicy Cajun” suet cake, which all the neighborhood avian creatures are summarily ignoring.
I’m pretty bummed about Geraldine driving out all the non-pigeon birds from the ‘hood, but I was getting over it… until I saw her latest attempt to curry favor with the neighborhood vermin. Geraldine now has a squirrel feeder, as I mentioned earlier. Literally, this is a wooden house with a jar attached that’s full of peanuts. See photo below (only Geraldine’s actually looks like a house).
This is a squirrel nut house.
Now I didn’t realize that squirrels needed help finding food. They seem to be pretty good at finding treats without our help. What they are not very good at is cleaning up after themselves. Once they’ve shelled the peanuts, they scatter the remains all over the sidewalks, lawns and porches of our neighborhood. I find peanut shells in the basket of my bike, on the hood of my car, in my underwear. So annoying.
Please tell me who invented this squirrel in a jar situation. Because I’d like to ask him what the eff his problem is. And why he doesn’t care that he’s ruining my life? I have half a mind to ask Geraldine to cease and desist with the vermin feeding, but I’ve heard from a reliable source that her house is full of guns. Guns on the wall, guns in a safe, guns in the refrigerator, guns in the shower. A veritable armory just two houses down. I’m not trying to lose my life over squirrels and pigeons, but I am VERY tempted to liberate this squirrel house from her yard. Who’s with me? No one? That’s what I thought.