By now, some alert readers may have noted a subtle theme running throughout my sporadic communiques: specifically, the theme that I am an utterly ridiculous person. Fortunately for me, most other people are pretty fucking ridiculous as well and I am at least self-aware enough to sometimes enjoy my own absurdity.
One particularly illustrative example of my fundamental silliness is that I am so fearful of empty carbohydrate calories that I regularly order a special high-protein bread designed for bodybuilders (it tastes like rubber).
I think the whole thing started when I read an interview with some MMA dude (yes, I sometimes read interviews with MMA dudes- I am sad little man) that alarmingly and hyperbolically proclaimed that “white flour is white death.” As a person who loves sandwiches very much and cannot dream of living in a world without them, that was very troubling news indeed. Hence my stupid bread. Please note, however, that I am not actually so insane and paranoid that I truly believe that white flour will kill me, but that quote did make me hyper-aware of how everything I put in my body should have a purpose. I merely recognize that consuming empty calories is stupid if you want to remain thin and pretty forever, as I so desperately, desperately do (I am 100% certain that if I keep eating well and sending out headshots, my modeling career will totally take off within the next six months).
Anyway, a few months ago, my comically bumbling UPS guy left a case of bread on my porch, amusingly propped up against a door with an “all deliveries inside” note posted on it. According to the package tracking on the UPS website, my package only sat on the porch for about ten or fifteen minutes before I retrieved it, but that was apparently plenty of time for the various squirrels in my yard to set upon it en masse. I managed to heroically rescue three of the four loaves, but went back inside slightly shaken at how quickly those little bastards had managed to tear through a fairly thick cardboard box and how intimidatingly focused and united they had been in doing so.
Weeks passed. I forgot about the incident.
Then, one day a few weeks ago, I heard a loud crash that sounded like it came from my kitchen. I went downstairs to investigate and found a large, fidgeting squirrel in my window sill. Upon seeing me, he scurried back across the patio and disappeared into some vines. I shrugged and went back upstairs. Moments later, there was yet another crash, so I hurried back to the kitchen once more. Again, there was a large squirrel in my window sill, but this time he looked a little too close. Then I noticed some boxes of quinoa by my feet and realized that the squirrel looked a little too close because he was actually inside my kitchen. Hoping not to get ferociously clawed or bitten, I slowly advanced and he thankfully scurried back out onto the patio, at which point I realized that he had actually torn a large hole through the screen in my window. Impressed, I closed the glass part of the window and started to go back upstairs, but then stopped when I saw that the reason my quinoa was on the floor was because the squirrel had actually jumped up onto an inconveniently high shelf to devour more of my high-protein bread (successfully, I might add). Interestingly, there was plenty of other, easier-to-get food sitting around my kitchen, but he either ignored all of it or viewed it entirely as obstacles standing between him and the bread. Also, I remembered that I had just made a sandwich with that bread- the lingering smell must have some sort of weird power to drive squirrels insane with desire.
I again shrugged and went back upstairs.
A little while later, I heard more noise and saw that the squirrel was back in the window sill, desperately trying to squeeze himself though the very small space that I left between the window and the sill. Thankfully, he failed. Also, he seemed visibly mad at me.
Afterward, it occurred to me that I probably broke a very dangerous cycle in the nick of time: my fuzzy adversary probably needed enormous amounts of protein to get strong enough to rip though my windows in order to get more protein in order to be able to keep ripping through my windows (and so on). I suspect that if he had been able get his thieving little mitts on just one or two more loaves, he probably would have been able to bust through my walls like the fucking Kool-Aid Man at will. I’m glad that did not happen.
Initially, the lessons I drew from this experience were “there is something in my bread that drives animals mad, which is a bit unnerving if I think too hard about it” and “squirrels are assholes that do not respect my boundaries and/or personal space.” Also, “squirrels are incredibly fast-acting and organized when they want to be and it is very important to try to stay on their good side.” I idly and half-jokingly contemplated leaving a detailed map on the patio of how to get to the bread company’s headquarters in hopes of maybe taking the heat off myself for a while, but ultimately decided that there weren’t really enough hours in the day to enact every single half-baked, pointless comic idea that popped into my head solely to fleetingly amuse myself.
A few weeks later, however, I saw World War Z and was introduced to the concept of The Tenth Man: in fictional Israel, it is the role of the tenth man in a council to assume that the other nine members are wrong whenever there is a consensus and to act accordingly. So I tried that out for myself with my squirrel situation and realized that I had absolutely no idea how long the hole in my window has been there, what else the squirrel has been doing in my house since making that hole, or what his actual motivations may have been. For example, he easily could have read some of my Nietzsche and opted to boldly unfetter himself from slave morality in hopes of becoming an uber-squirrel. I am certain that Nietzsche would be horrified at such naked, amoral social Darwinism occurring in his name (taking food from some unsuspecting chump simply because you are smarter, faster, and more numerous), but it is highly unlikely that a fucking squirrel has the intellectual foundation necessary to interpret Friedrich’s words properly. That’s the system’s fault, not the squirrel’s.
On a related note, I also have some books about the Baader-Meinhof Group, so yet another possibility is that my squirrel fancies himself as a communist urban-guerrilla engaged in a class war, which I have decided is probably the likeliest and most logical possibility (as well as the most noble). While it may seem exasperatingly reductionist to me, it is certainly possible that an animal from my yard could look at me and think “There goes a privileged white male who stockpiles delicious bread in his freezer while we have none. And people like him have ensured that squirrels are so marginalized in contemporary American society that we will never have the means to purchase such bread ourselves legally. Let’s make an example of that fucker.”
Of course, all of that is mere conjecture at this point, as it is impossible for me to know my squirrel’s true motivation without speaking to him and there is no fucking way I am going to do that, as I vastly prefer to remain cowering in my apartment with my windows bolted shut.