MY PARENTS WATCH SQUIRRELS, WHAT DO YOURS DO?

Remember the incredible GEICO commercial where some secret agent is trying to escape via helicopter and his ride is late … then his phone rings and he answers it, expecting to talk to his companion, only to hear his mom on the other end talking about how ‘the squirrels are back in the attic. Your father says it’s personal this time’. Are you familiar with this 30 seconds of commercial genius? Arguably one of the best commercials GEICO has put out. It makes the gecko look a little dull if we’re honest.

If for some reason you are not able to recall the commercial I’m referencing, no worries. I’m clearly fantastic at illustrating the most minute of details and you should have a good understanding of what it’s like visually. It’s also not overly critical to my point here. Well, I guess a little bit, but not in a major way. The real star of this post is the squirrels. As it should be. Who doesn’t want, nay, need, more squirrels in their life? The answer is nobody except my parents.

Squirrels are a curious creature. Aesthetically, they are not the ugliest fur covered animals that exist. Believe it or not, ugly fur covered animals is a predefined Google search and there are some horrifying creatures that are living among us. I fully regret my decision to click on the link that specified ‘with pictures’, but here we are. Besides their physical appearance, because true beauty is found on the inside (duh), squirrels are a simple creature. In my experience observing them, there’s only two things they want – nuts and whatever the birds are eating. 

Sound familiar? Squirrels kind of remind me of the animal version of us. Always wanting what someone else has. And sometimes going to extremes to be like those people. Including, but not limited to, scaling greased poles, making daring leaps from fences towards the greased pole, waiting on the ground to catch crumbs that fall down, using a buddy system to scale the greased pole, etc. Ok, sure, those examples are highly specific to the squirrels, but use your imagination to apply it to the greener pastures we often chase.

Besides being cuddly looking and spending the majority of their time thinking about food, what else do squirrels really do? Become an invasive species on college campuses everywhere? Practice their hide and seek skills? Go on tree branch jumping adventures? Adorably tackle other squirrels as they try to climb trees? Pause. Let’s talk about how much I love seeing a squirrel come out of nowhere and absolutely wreck another squirrel’s journey up a tree. To what I’m assuming is a hidden nut stash. No sexual pun intended. Do you think they do it maliciously or are they playing with each other? Hard to say.

Now feels like a good time to point out that prior to about a year ago, I never really paid attention to squirrels. Or thought that much about them. They were just living their lives and I was living mine. Then, my parents decided to put a bird feeder in their backyard and the morning quarantine ritual became drinking coffee and discussing the ridiculous attempts by the squirrels to eat the food they bought for the birds. Discussing might be a generous way to put it. Imagine eating a peaceful breakfast with your father, only to have him space out in the middle of your conversation and, without any indication, leave the room to go out on the back porch and yell at the squirrels.

COVID gave a lot of us more time at home, and a chance to re-center. My parents chose to re-center and become the people who get annoyed with the ‘damn squirrels!’ I chose to re-center and thoroughly just enjoy those moments. And also accept that my parents have entered that phase of their lives. Sipping coffee and grumbling about squirrels. Spending countless hours thinking of ways to deter them from the bird feeder. But I love them anyway!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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