Friday, July 18, 2014

Can You Hear Me Now?

My life is ever Seinfeldian.  Let me prove it to you, and for those of you who have never watched an episode of Seinfeld, ever, I think you may still enjoy the following:

ACT I.  The Speed-Dial. Scene opens with Nance answering her cell phone.  On the other end is her mother, St. Patsy, who is visiting her sister Shirley in Gettysburg.

Nance:  Hi, Mom.  I hear you're ready to come home already.
St.  Patsy:  Hi, Nance.  You're number four on my speed-dial.
Nance:  What?  Okay, but what, now? Number four?  How am I all the way down at number four?
St. Patsy:  Well, Voicemail is number one.  Then Bobby (my brother, with whom she lives) is number two. Coley (Bobby's daughter; Coley is a nickname--don't ask.) is number three, and you're number four.
Nance:  What the heck!  How is Coley ahead of me?  When the heck do you ever call her?  For anything? How does she rate the number three spot?  I don't get this at all.
St. Patsy:  Well, you're ahead of Patti. She's number five, and Susan at number six.  So, it's Bobby, Coley, Nance, Patti, Susan.  Maybe it's alphabetical order.  I don't know.  But you're number four.
Nance:  Oh, brother.  Well, maybe the next time you need a ride to the doctor or to Gettysburg, you should call Good Old Number Three, then.  See if Coley can haul your ass all over the place.  How about that? Why did you call in the first place?  Just to taunt me with your Speed Dial Hierarchy?
St. Patsy:  No.  I wanted to tell you that Shirley and Dick are bringing me home, so you don't have to drive to Gettysburg after all.  Isn't that nice?
Nance:  Yes.  For Coley.


ACT II. The Squirrel. Scene opens with Nance walking outside to take out the trash and recyclables.  She notices a baby squirrel barely moving on her deck.  Upon closer inspection, she sees it is badly wounded, bloody, and intermittently covered in flies.

Nance:  Oh no!  You poor baby!  Damn it.  Those damn hawks.  First my fish and now you.  I don't know what I can do for you.  Damn it. Damn.  Let me go look and see what I can find to help you.

(Leaves to go and look up a wildlife or metroparks rescue number...or something.  Shortly after, Rick comes home.)

Nance:  (greets Rick in garage)  Oh, Rick.  It's terrible.  I need your help with something.
Rick:  What happened?  What's wrong?
Nance:  Rick, it's this poor baby squirrel.  Something got it and it's all chewed up and mangled.  We have to help it. I feel so bad.
Rick:  Nance.  What are you talking about? Like, take it to the vet? I don't want to be on the hook for a huge vet bill and then have to bring home some wild squirrel.  I just got home. Where is it?

(Nance shows him the squirrel, who is now barely breathing.  Its eyes are glazed, and its body is covered in flies.)

Rick:  Nance.  This thing is dead.  Or practically.  There's nothing anyone can do.  Look at it.  I feel bad, too, but it won't even survive a car ride to a vet.  Or anyplace.  You have to let it go.
Nance:  I called the metropark office number and got a machine.  I left a message.  There's no place else to call.  I feel sick.  Rick, you have to do something. We can't let it suffer. (taps out a message to her friend in Maryland, Leanne, who relays it to her husband, Jim; pause)  Jim says to use a flat-edge shovel and break its neck.  Ugh.  That will behead this poor baby!  Rick.  Do something.  I'm not able to.
Rick:  Nance, what would you like me to do?  I don't want to kill it, either!  We just have to let Nature take its course.  It's sad, but there it is.

(An hour later, Nance goes out and finds the squirrel dead.)

Scene 2.  The next morning, Nance's cell phone rings.

Nance:  Hello?
Caller:  (brightly) Hi, Nance? This is Amy from the county metroparks returning your call.  How is the squirrel?
Nance:  Dead.



Summer has been busy.  I promise to get back to posting more often as soon as I can.  And I owe so many people so many emails and blog comments.  Where is my time going?  Fun places mostly.  Be back soon, and I will try to get back on track!



  1. Seinfeldian is right - I have been over here sniggering at my computer & Mike is wondering what the heck :)

    So sorry about the squirrel (I won't tell Mike that story), by oh my word, your speed dial conversation with St. Patsy. Ha!

  2. Poor baby squirrel. We have a local place that will take in animals like that, thank goodness. But I suspect Rick was right, and it wouldn't have survived the trip even. Truthfully, I feel badly for this one because it was a baby and it was wounded, but generally, squirrels are idiots. The run right in front of cars ALL OF THE TIME. They, like so many animals, have not evolved the smarts to wait for a break in traffic, which makes me very sad.

  3. That conversation with St. Patsy made me laugh!

    That squirrel situation was painful. Squirrels just chewed three new holes in our screen (yes, the same screen we had redone on our porch a few years ago after they'd done their evilness). So we're not exactly fans, but I would not want to see a hurt baby squirrel. :-(

    I'm glad you're having a fun summer! Don't rush away from that on our account.


  4. Poor little squirrel. I'm sure it died knowing its little heart-of-hearts that you were watching over it.

    Love the conversation with St. Patsy. Always good to know exactly where you stand. Wonder what you'd have to do to get bumped up to number three?

  5. Ally Bean--I challenged my niece to an arm-wrestling match. She works out, though, so it may not go so well.

    The hawks in the area are really getting to be a problem. One benefit, however, has been the distinct lack of stray cats. I haven't seen a single one all summer.

    Shirley--I wonder why the squirrels are so in love with your screening? Are you keeping something yummy on your porch? Can you treat the screening with something icky? I tried the cayenne pepper treatment on our birdseed--read that squirrels would be deterred by it--and to no avail. Wonder if that bitter apple spray/gel that deters dogs and cats would work...? I know it definitely stopped Marlowe and Piper from chewing on cords when they were kittens.

    I've been doing a lot of traveling and a lot of Going To The Lake-ing. July has been beautifully temperate here. And we had an idyllic extended jaunt to NotL over Independence Day. This summer has been Simply Lovely.

    J.@jj--Squirrels are big dummies, agreed. Here in our 'hood, we have overhead wires and a heavy tree canopy. The squirrels still manage to miss their mark/footing when making flying leaps and fall down hard onto the street below. They lie there, stunned and motionless, for a long time. Once, after about twenty minutes, Rick went out with a paper bag and a shovel. He barely touched the squirrel with the shovel to scoop it up, and the darn thing came to, flipped over, and ran like hell.

    After I told the woman on the phone that the squirrel was dead, she told me she was sorry and that there was nothing she could have done anyway. No place exists in the county that takes in injured or sick wildlife. Strange but true.

    Bug--I know, right? Mom is feisty.

    Sad to know The Professor is not a Dept. reader, but in this case, just as well.

    Just took a look and believe it or not, in a nice coincidence, St. Patsy is #4 on my "Favorites" call list on my trusty iPhone. Ha!

  6. Love the Seinfeldian dialogues, especially the speed dial. I remember doing a webex once with a book publisher I work closely with, and at one point I had to switch screens to search for one of her emails. I have all my incoming work mail sorted by message rules so that stuff I get on a regular basis goes directly to that person's folder instead of being jumbled together with all my incoming mail. As I was scrolling down to find her email, she said "Oh, I see we're quite far down on the list." So I pointed out that it was just alphabetical. She brightened when she noticed that she had her very own sub-folder within the publisher's folder. Rank is everything.

    Poor little squirrel. And shame on the Metroparks. There should be an "animal 911" ! (Yeah, I know, it's called the vet.)

  7. Ortizzle--Rank IS everything. We all need to know where we rate. For example, Rick is certain that he is a distant Number Two to the Kittens. In some cases, that is accurate, but until they learn to use power tools, build fires, or open stubborn wine foils, he will still be Numero Uno most of the time.

    Funny you should mention the Metroparks and the vet. The woman on the phone from the Metroparks--after things "nicened up" between us (and it didn't take long) told me that they often get calls from vets regarding wildlife brought to their offices. Now, shouldn't that be a signal that there is a need for a service of some kind like that?

    The county metropark system in NEO is vast and well-funded, somehow. I'm curious as to why there isn't any sort of animal clinic/re-homing part of the package.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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