. . . doesn’t mean they’re not after me. I’m not making up this stuff. Let me offer this series of unfortunate events that I believe would make Lemony Snicket shudder.
Sometime in December, my brother e-mailed a photo of a baby squirrel, a critter so tiny it looked lost in the palm that held it. He said he’d rescued it.
I have no idea where the rescue took place–perhaps in the cat’s mouth, maybe beneath a tree. Don’t know its sex or why my brother named it CAKE. I am not a very inquisitive squirrel aunt. He sent pictures of Cousin Cake to his nieces and nephews.
One reason I did not show much interest was sciurophobia–fear that I’d receive a squirrel as a Christmas gift or perhaps as a January Birthday Cake. It seemed wise to maintain a low profile.
A later set of photos reassured me. I could start answering the doorbell again. Little Cake was obviously in the care of professionals.
Maybe I’ll knit it a little vest for Valentine’s Day.
Perhaps I sound overly dramatic about squirrels. But before you judge, there’s more. No kidding. Cake was just the icing on the. . . you-know-what.
Dearly Beloved and I spent our first Christmas away from home this year. We didn’t even decorate beyond slapping a wreath on the door. No tree, no holly decked halls, no Carolers on the mantel. (I’ve mentioned before about those sweet dolls with craters where their little noses used to be–all thanks to an attic invasion of nose-fetishist squirrels one year.)
Instead, we drove to Virginia Beach and spent a most delightful holiday with our son and daughter-in-law. Even Scout the Wonder Dog was welcomed.
We’re not one of those families that sits around watching sappy Christmas movies. That’s DB’s doings because I like sappy Christmas movies. His choice is always National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The guys in the family always vote with him and the girls don’t care as long because it offers a respite from TV sports. Over the years, the guys have brought along their moose mugs, their Cousin Eddie quotes, and various CV junk. including one wearing a green dickey. Oh wait, that may have been DB.
This year, things got even more authentic. The night before we left for Virginia, our toilets made a gurgling noise that strikes terror around here. Sewer line backup. Or, Yep, we , as Cousin Eddie explains it, “Sh*tter’s full.” Ours was, we learned $300-$400 later, was caused by roots of the large oak tree across the street growing into the sewer line.
Christmas morning in Virginia Beach, I was the last one up. I schlepped blindly into the kitchen for a wakeup cup of coffee. When I was able to open my eyes enough to see daylight, here’s what was in front of me:
A freakin’ nightmare, right? Two more cups of coffee and it was still there. It sat beside me on the sofa and stared at me while we opened gifts. Even fake squirrels can give the evil eye.
Ee returned from Virginia to find the damnsquirrels were partying in our backyard. One was sitting ON the squirrel baffle, raking seeds out of the bird feeder with greedy little paws, like it had hit the jackpot on a One-Armed Bandit.
Since the best place to buy Christmas tree ornaments here is at our favorite hardware store, I headed for their after-Christmas sale the day after our return. Some of the best ornaments had already sold out, but there were plenty of these:
That’s it in a nutshell. Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Future.
The strange little glass-domed ornament? Yeah, I bought one. Maybe I’ll pass it along to BroJoe next Christmas, A remembrance of his little cupCake.
“SQUIRREL!” – Clark Griswald, Sr. – Christmas Vacation
“It is difficult, when faced with a situation you cannot control, to admit you can do nothing.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish