> A Squirrel Story > > I never dreamed slowly cruising on my motorcycle through a residential > neighborhood could be so incredibly dangerous! Little did I suspect ... > > I was on Brice Street - a very nice neighborhood with perfect lawns and slow > traffic. As I passed an oncoming car, a brown furry missile shot out from > under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me. It was a > squirrel, and must have been trying to run across the road when it > encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time > to brake or avoid it - it was that close. I hate to run over animals, and I > really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me. > I barely had time to brace for the impact. > > Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels, I discovered, can take care of > themselves! > > Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on > his hind legs and facing my oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve in his > little beady eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he > screamed and leapt! > > I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for, "Bonzai!" or maybe, "Die you > gravy-sucking, heathen scum!" The leap was nothing short of spectacular > ...as he shot straight up, flew over my windshield, and mpacted me squarely > in the chest. > > Instantly, he set upon me. If I did not know better, I would have sworn he > brought 20 of his little buddies along for the attack. Snarling, hissing, > and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I was dressed > only in a light t-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans this was a bit of a > cause for concern. This furry little tornado was doing some damage! > > Picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a > t-shirt, and leather gloves, puttering at maybe 25 mph down a quiet > residential street, and in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And > losing... > > I grabbed for him with my left hand. After a few misses, I finally managed > to snag his tail. With all my strength, I flung the evil rodent off to the > left of the bike, almost running into the right curb as I recoiled from the > throw. That should have done it. The matter should have ended right there. > It really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the > pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have > headed home. No one would have been the wiser. > > But this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary pissed-off > squirrel. This was an EVIL MUTANT ATTACK SQUIRREL OF DEATH ! Somehow he > caught my gloved finger with one of his little hands and, with the force of > the throw, swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing impact, > he landed squarely on my back and resumed his rather anti-social and > extremely distracting activities. > > He also managed to take my left glove with him! The situation was not > improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were continuing, and now I could > not reach him. > > I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw, > only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and my jerking > back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the > throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a Valkyrie can only have one > result. > Torque. This is what the Valkyrie is made for, and she is very, very good at > it. The engine roared and the front wheel left the pavement. The squirrel > screamed in anger. The Valkyrie screamed in ecstasy. I screamed in ... well > ... I just plain screamed. > > Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in > jeans, a slightly squirrel-torn-t-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, and > roaring at maybe 50 mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential > street on one wheel and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man and the > squirrel are both screaming bloody murder. With the sudden acceleration I > was forced to put my other hand back on the handlebars and try to get > control of the bike. > > This was leaving the mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did > not want to crash into somebody's tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had > not yet figured out how to release the throttle .... my brain was just > simply overloaded. > > I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little effect against the > massive power of the big cruiser. About this time the squirrel decided that > I was not paying sufficient attention to this very serious battle (maybe he > is an evil mutant NAZI attack squirrel of death), and he came around my neck > and got INSIDE my full-face helmet with me. As the faceplate closed partway, > he began hissing in my face. I am quite sure my screaming changed intensity. > It had little effect on the squirrel, however. > > The RPMs on The Dragon maxed out (since I was not bothering with shifting at > the moment) so her front > end started to drop. Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome > cruiser, dressed in jeans, a very raggedly-torn t-shirt, wearing only one > leather glove, roaring at probably 80 mph, still on one wheel, with a large > puffy squirrel's tail sticking out of the mostly closed full-face helmet. > > By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse. > > Finally I got the upper hand ... I managed to grab his tail again, pulled > him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This > time it worked ... sort-of. > Spectacularly sort-of ... so to speak. > > Picture a new scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off on > a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some > paperwork. Suddenly a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed > in jeans, a torn t-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing only one > leather glove, moving at probably 80 mph on one wheel, and screaming bloody > murder roars by and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade > directly into your police car. > > I heard screams. They weren't mine... I managed to get the big motorcycle > under control and dropped the front wheel to the ground. I then used maximum > braking and skidded to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign of a > busy cross street. I would have returned to fess up (and to get my glove > back). I really would have. Really. Except for two things. > > First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about > me at the moment. When I looked back, the doors on both sides of the patrol > car were flung wide open. The cop from the passenger side was on his back, > doing a crab walk into somebody's front yard, quickly moving away from the > car. The cop who had been in the driver's seat was standing in the street > and was aiming a riot shotgun at his own police car. > > So the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to "let the > professionals handle it" anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I > could clearly see shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery from the > back seat. But I could also swear I saw the squirrel in the back window, > shaking his little fist at me, shooting me the finger ... That is one > dangerous squirrel. And now he has a patrol car. A somewhat shredded patrol > car ... but it was all his. > > I took a deep breath, turned on my turn-signal, made a gentle right turn off > of Brice Street, and sedately left the neighborhood. I decided it was best > to just buy myself a new pair of gloves. > And some Band-Aids.