Monthly Archives: January 2012

Attack of the Squirrels, Part 3.

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Author: Kara Mae Adamo.

 I used to have a cat. Actually, I kind of still do have a cat, only he lives with his father (the ex) and my visitation rights are only loosely fulfilled. Thor lives on the other side of town in a townhouse I helped him move into and it is only on the rare that I hear much about him other than the fact that, evidently, he thinks he is an outdoor cat now.

This does not a happy Kara make.

But I digress. The reason I am even mentioning said feline is that, in the wee hours of the night, I sometimes enter a state of delusion where I forget important things like, oh say, I no longer have a pet. Keep all of this in mind as you read on.

So one night, Kira and I were in a girly mood. Fed up with the headaches of dating and the headaches of alcohol, we decided to stay in and just watch a movie. We vegged out and ate comfort food and watched The Daily Show with every intention of just falling asleep in front of the TV. It was the perfect dose of laziness meant to counter the long hours at work and the many hours of socializing we do on a weekly basis.

So I’m watching Stewart point out the most recent disturbing circumstances revolving around the presidential candidacy situation (I’d specify which one, but at this point I’m so over it that I’d really rather slip into a coma until it’s all over and done with anyway), when suddenly I felt something on my back.

Aww, Thor-baby, was basically the un-verbalized thought that skimmed the surface of my drifting consciousness.

I felt the thing move a little.

*a beat*

My eyes snapped open. I don’t have a cat!

I glared at the red head to my left, thinking she was messing with me.

I froze.

Wrapped up like a burrito, Kira was snoring away within the folds of her comforter.

I kicked her. “Kira! Kira, wake up!”

She snorts herself awake. “What?”

“Kira, something’s in your bed!” A furry thing darts across her pillow.

I spring up into the air like Julie jumping onto the car in The Next Karate Kid. “Holy shit! It’s a rat!”

“Wahhhh!!” She screams.

A furry tail curves up over its head.

“Squirrelllll!!!!” I scream.

I sprang from her bed and flew out the door. Running down the hall, I realize that the half-awake Kira has been left to fend for herself. I whirl around in a valiant stroke of white-knight-protective instinct, intent on facing our foe head-on…

…only to see it running towards me with death in its eyes.

I turn-tail and run out the front door.

I slam the door and press my back against it as if a grizzly was on the other side, threatening to claw my face off. Breathing heavily, I look to my right. My neighbor Andrew has just walked out of his apartment. Cell phone in hand, he searches my panic-stricken, paling face. “…are you okay?”

“Squirrel.” I breathe, “Squirrel…ran across my back,” *swallow*

“There’s a squirrel in your apartment?”

“Yes.”

“Is your roommate home?”

“Oh, shit,” I back away from the door, realizing that not only have I prevented the squirrel from leaving, but I’ve trapped Kira as well. Cautiously, I crack open the door.

An angry red head burst through it, running past me like an orange tornado in a purple bathrobe. “You left me in there!”

“I tried to come back for you!”

“You just fucking screamed ‘squirrel’ and ran off!! I was still asleep!”

“Well now what do we do?” I ask.

My neighbor came to the rescue. “The same thing happened to us once. If we turn off all of the lights in your apartment and open the door, it’ll go towards the light.

So our plan was set. We sent our rescuer (a much better white knight than me) in to contend with the squirrel. He searches our apartment high and low, unable to find it. We then turned all of the lights off and opened the front door, hoping the light from the hall would lure it out of whatever crevice it lurked in.

We called the security guards at our complex and told them what happened—you know—because they are going to handle a fucking squirrel break-in. I idly wondered if furry creatures could be trespassed.

After about twenty to forty solid minutes, we gave up. We sighed and tiptoed back into Kira’s room, which we decided was squirrel-free. We stuffed a towel under the door and did our best to fall asleep.

The next morning, we crept out, looking cautiously for our furry friend. He was nowhere to be seen…but tiny little squirrel teeth had nibbled at the peaches sitting in the bowl on our kitchen table. Furry little mooch.

So the office sends a guy out to us who sets up a trap. Evidently, back when we were having problems with our AC in July, the geniuses that “fixed” it created a hole thing near the AC to allow something to drain (hey, I’m a writer, not a handyman. I don’t know how it works).  When they finally really fixed it, they never patched up the hole.

Hens, we had a squirrel visitor.

So he sets the trap by the hole and tells us that, in the event the squirrel gets trapped, we are not to let it out because it will just come back in.

So Kira goes to the restaurant and I start an article for work and neither of us think too much of it…until later that night. I heard a rattling in the cage and a squeaking noise.

Aww, I think to myself, it wants out!

But I have been given very specific orders to not, under any circumstances, let the squirrel out of its cage. Kira comes home and Holz comes over. Holz checks the squirrel. She tells me it’s a tiny little sugar glider. Great. Now I feel even more terrible than I already did.

Oh, well, I think, a couple more hours and they’ll let it out or something.

 So the following morning, while I’m getting ready for an appointment, I hear a knock at my door. I open the door. The creepy old pest guy from before is there and tells me he just wants to check the squirrel. Unsure of whether the caged squirrel or the creepy guy have me more freaked out, I brush past him on my way to my car.

At this point, I want no part of it. “It’s fine. Just don’t hurt him, okay? I have to run.”

“No, here, I just want to show you…”

“No, seriously, I’m okay.”

“Here, you should look at it—oh.”

I pause halfway down the hall. “What?”

“It’s dead.”

“What??”

“It’s dead, look.” He then swings the cage at me. Inside is a catatonic, rigid squirrel.

I freak out, fly down the stairs, and peal out of the parking lot faster than I ever have before.

It seriously looked like the squirrel from Ice Age whenever it’s frozen in a block of ice.

Ever since, I swear to god, a totally different squirrel has lurked near the foot of my stairs. Holz and Kira and my friend Greg can vouch for me on this one…it straight blocks the stairs when it doesn’t want people to go up.

Now the question is, is he a security squirrel trying to protect me? Or is he seeking revenge for his lost brethren? Either way, no squirrels have tried coming in through that stupid hole thing they still haven’t patched up…and I feel guilty whenever I see the other squirrel.

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Attack of the Squirrels, Part 2

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he looked something like this--but needed an inhaler

 Author: Kara Mae Adamo. 

Not too long after I got back from Monterey, (see Attack of the Squirrels, Part 1), I found myself smack-dab in the middle of another squirrel attack. This time, I was not alone.

The Asthmatic Baby Squirrel

One morning, after several rainy days in a row, my roommate Kira and I woke up to the pale glow of mid-morning sunlight. (Yes, our names are Kira and Kara—you can’t make that crap up.)

Eager to soak up the last rays of sunshine of the season, we decided to take advantage of this welcomed change by lounging out by the pool with a couple of books.

We were not alone in our decision. There were already several girls relaxing with magazines and one father was playing with his little six year old daughter in the pool. The sunlight danced happily across the water, reflecting in little beams against our skin. I curled my toes in happiness as I flipped through my now-worn copy of Bugliosi’s Outrage and listened to the trickling of the slated waterfall-styled fountain behind me.

And then I heard it.

A shrill, hair-raising scream pierces through the air, cut through the golden sunlight, zeroes in on me, and stabs at an unsuspecting nerve.

I jump and look up to see one of the girls propped up on her lounging chair, limbs rigid in fright.

“YELLLGHH!!!!” she squeals again.

The hell?

 Another girl wearing what has to be noise-cancelling headphones suddenly drops her iPod and springs up onto her chair like she’s just realized the patio is made of molten lava.

Blind to what was causing the commotion, I take my reading glasses off to see a tiny little brown fuzzy thing on hind legs staring the headphone girl down.

…squirrel..?

 It jerks its head up and down.

It leaps.

The headphone girl springs back, up and off of the chair, nearly falling onto the step behind her.

The squirrel looks at the first girl. It darts at her. She, too, flies backward, almost knocking her friend over in the process.

The little girl in the pool sees the squirrel.

“Daddy! A squirrel! A squirrel!” she says happily, splashing around, seemingly oblivious to the impending danger.

“I see that!” her father says, clearly relieved to be in the pool and not on the patio.

The squirrel darts toward another of the girls. This girl laughs. She grabs a little pool toy (a ball) and rolls it toward the squirrel.

The squirrel—I shit you not—runs after it, pushing it along and rolling around with it like a puppy.

The tension clears for a moment. The squirrel is a baby. It is only playing. That is when the first victim goes “he followed us all the way from our apartment!”

…like a stray dog that follows you home…

This squirrel suffers from identity confusion.

Kira and I laugh and shake our heads and watch as people start trying to take pictures and videos with their phones as the baby squirrel rolls around with the ball.

The child in the pool makes another splash.

The ball be damned.

The squirrel spins around and makes a beeline for the pool. The child-thing screams. The squirrel’s tail bristles. It now stands at the edge of the pool bobbing its head up and down like a lizard. It is angry at the child-thing…and so am I.

Kira chooses this very moment to get up and rinse off so she can cool off in the pool. She goes to turn the pool shower on. The squirrel turns. It looks at her…and it takes off.

Kira runs away, screaming, “agh!! It’s wheezing! It’s wheezing!!”

Me: “It’s wheezing?”

Kira (who is now half-way around the pool): “I think it’s got rabies!!”

Me: “Idiot. It’s not frothing, it’s just tired.”

Kira: “No! It’s sick!”

Splash.

She resurfaces and swims immediately to the center of the pool, joining up with the father and the little girl that distracted the squirrel from his ball to begin with.

I, remembering my recent run-in with his kind, gingerly place my book down on my chair and tiptoe away from it, over to the waterfall fountain.

The squirrel’s ears perk up. It dashes after me. Kira is right. It is wheezing.

I panic. I sprint away, rounding the corner at speeds unsafe for those of us with gravitational issues, and nearly slip on the pavers. The squirrel is now gaining on me. I have no choice: I launch myself into the pool.

I come up for air to see that it is glaring at me. Its beady little eyes and wheezing breaths are but a foot away. It’s crouching low—it’s about to jump in after me.

I kick water in its face and splash it. It darts into a bush.

At this point, one of the office ladies comes out to see what the hell is going on.

The fucking thing leaps out of the bush and onto her shoulder.

She laughs at it and walks out the gate with it just riding there like a goddamn parrot.

I am now leery of any and all squirrels in my apartment complex.

Synthetic Urine

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Author: Kara Mae Adamo.

Earlier today, I grabbed coffee with a good friend of mine. For the purpose of this blog, we shall call him…oh, say, “Ben.” I figure, since I don’t have a lot of guy friends named Ben, that it is a safe enough go-to-name.

So, briefly, let me explain how I know Ben. For Valentine’s Day last year, Rob bought me a trip to a really, really nice day spa where I was given the “Rose Petal Treatment”—which consists of a full-body massage and a pedicure. Ben happens to be one of the massage therapists at said day spa. He turned out to be wicked cool and we wound up staying in touch.

Recently, in an effort to emancipate himself from this day spa, Ben decided to look for a part-time gig as an on-call massage therapist at a new venue.  He did the leg work and sent out his resume to some really nice places.

Ben is a massage therapist. As in the case of most servers I know, if you’re a massage therapist, marijuana is pretty much a part of your daily uniform. And so, figuring he was unlikely to hear back from these people for another four months or something, he went about his merry way enjoying the holidays in a green-tinted haze of herbal bliss.

Within a week, his munchy-inspiring fog was permeated by the sound of a phone ringing. He un-macramé’d-his ass from the couch to go answer it and found, to his delight, that it is one of the five-star hotels calling him back.

So he goes in for an interview and passes with flying colors. They like his resume and want to offer him the on-call job he is looking for…

…and they would like to schedule a urine test.

Ben’s brain nearly implodes. He’s been smoking several times a week for years—there is no way he has enough time to clear his system of the THC and residual weed. There simply isn’t enough Cranberry Juice in the world to pull this off. What to do, what to do, what to do?

Fortunately, a secret mad-scientist in civilian’s clothing happens to be around the corner when Ben is informed of the test date. The guy brings him over for a chat. He gives Ben a clear Macgyver-rigged flask with a strange liquid inside and tells him that it is synthetic urine.

All he has to do is tape this thing to his leg and squirt it out when it comes time to take the test. It’s basically vinegar, a few nitrates and some other random substance. It’s pretty simple and does the job. Ben is saved.

Now for the catch: if this man-made-pee doesn’t temp out at a minimum of 92 degrees, he fails immediately. His new mad-scientist-friend has thought of that, however. He hands Ben a hand-warmer that should do the trick.

So it comes time for the test. Ben wakes up bright and early and has a 1980’s Tom Cruise type of a morning. Everything is just clicking. He works out a little, takes a shower, makes himself some breakfast, shaves his beard, brushes his teeth—he can practically hear the hot-to-trot theme song playing in his head. He’s got this.

He goes to warm up his flask of pee…and the hand warmer doesn’t work.

He looks at the time. It’s still early: he can still make this work. He takes his flask over to the microwave and zaps it for about thirty seconds. It beeps and he goes to take it out only to find that it is now scalding hot. He can hardly grip his fingers around it. There is no way he can strap this thing to his leg so dangerously close to his, um, phallic friend.

So he grabs his roommate’s neck-thing that she uses when said neck hurts and wraps his pee flask inside of it hoping that this will cool it off. It does—but now it’s too cold. There is no way it’s testing out at 92 degrees. He looks at the time. Now he has to hurry. He zaps it in the microwave one more time and puts on a second pair of underwear hoping that it will keep the flask from scorching his nether-regions.

Now, Ben is a smart guy for the most part, but like most of my guy friends, there is still a strain of window-licker blood flowing through his veins somewhere.  It doesn’t occur to him that the mad-scientist meant for him to use Duct tape to attach the flask to his leg. Instead, he uses the same roll of tape he used to wrap his Christmas presents. He goes to walk out the door and realizes that not only is his Piss Flask falling, but it is making a papery tape sound. There is no way he is pulling this off.

He takes the flask and puts it into a coffee cup and heads out the door. His neighbor goes to say hello. The poor guy was evidently not awake enough to handle the image brought to him, because he just stops and blinks and blows a mental fuse trying to figure out why Ben has a coffee cup holding a clear flask of pee inside.

Ben laughs nervously and jumps in his car and heads to the place. He gets there and re-straps the flask to his leg. The tape on his leg is barely holding the flask, so he keeps his legs closed together as well as possible as he attempts to walk inside the building. In his words it looked “like I had a dildo or something up my ass.”

He walks in only to find out that he got the time wrong. The appointment was for fifteen minutes ago. As a punishment, they make him wait an additional forty-five minutes while other people go and his fake pee gets cold. Now he figures he’s really screwed. There is no way this stuff is temping out at 92 degrees at this point but he really can’t leave, either.

So they call his name and tell him to take the cup and fill it and bring it back. He takes it into the restroom and attempts to “pee.” The flask is a man-made device with some flaws to it. It really only works once because the vacuum affect of squirting the synthetic urine out sucks in a decent amount of air in place of it. He manages to fill it to the line and even sprinkles some on the seat so that it looks real enough. He’s a detail-guy.

He brings the cup-o-pee to the woman and she smacks her forehead. “Oh, no! I told you to fill it to the wrong line! I need it this full,” she says as she shows him a slightly higher line. “Either you can fill it up or you can wait here for another forty-five minutes and I’ll tell them you had a shy bladder and you can come in some other time.”

“No, I think I can pee some more,” Ben says, cringing internally at the thought of doing this again.

So he goes back inside and shakes some pee out of his flask…and proceeds to “pee” on his second pair of underwear. Now it looks like he had an accident.

He walks in, still keeping his legs tight together, mind you, doing his best to hide the fact that there are now “urine” spots coming through his jeans. He gives her the cup and she doesn’t even check the temperature strip.

He then proceeds to avoid eye contact with anyone as he makes his way to the door to change his panties.

He calls back three days later figuring they’ve found him out.

As his father always used to say, “The Lord takes care of drunks and children.” He got the job. He’s been happily smoking weed and massaging people for almost a month now.

And all things are in their rightful place in the universe.