January 23, 2013

BLOG: Squirrels, the animal kingdom's practical jokers

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — I have a love for great practical jokes and physical humor. Watching Chris Farley fall numerous times over the course of his stint at Saturday Night Live has left me with many happy memories.

With this sort of joy in mind I decided to write today's blog a little differently from my more recent entries. Today I want to pay homage to greatest practical joker in the animal kingdom; the squirrel.

Recently, a squirrel got into a distribution pump at the water treatment plant in Chickasha, destroying a newly repaired electric motor. This action will cost the city thousands of dollars and cost the squirrel its life. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it's mischief that did in the squirrel.

This isn't the first time I've heard of a squirrel giving its life in service of humor or monkey business.

On New Year's Eve, 1999 a squirrel bit through a power line in north Dallas at 12:02 a.m. The rest of the world witnessed the Y2K hoax and felt no fear progressing forward in life. But for a select few, panic and horror set in as the power went out, and given that this was before the era of every one having cell phones, there was a communication breakdown leaving hundreds in the dark, worried that the Earth had stepped back into the dark ages.

A few hours later the problem was fixed and lights came back on, but not before a small charbroiled squirrel was found near the downed power line.

These bushy tailed critters are something else. They bring excitement into our lives and I can't help but wonder what other shenanigans are due to work of squirrels.