Supporting a friend with the help of a crazed squirrel

It was crazed squirrels, not the police, who drove Thelma and Louise into the Grand Canyon.

Yesterday, I posted “I just found a squirrel in my car” as my Facebook status. I did this as part of a Breast Cancer Awareness movement on social media. Before long, those who weren’t aware of the movement began to leave panicked comments like, “What the @#$% is HAPPENING?!? People are finding squirrels in their cars EVERYWHERE!! Do they want our NUTS?!? Are they RUSSIAN?!? CANADIAN?!? High on ROCKSTAR?!?”

To anyone currently locked in a safe room eating military grade rations after reading thousands of “squirrel” statuses, I apologize. However, it doesn’t mean the squirrel threat isn’t real.

Several years ago while visiting the Grand Canyon, my chance to enjoy one of the world’s greatest natural wonders was marred by an unprovoked squirrel attack. Anyone who’s been there can tell you that the park is completely over run by hordes of crazed, hyperactive squirrels. It’s gotten so bad that the park service installed coin-operated food dispensers, the idea being that tourists could feed the squirrels while remaining blissfully unaware that the pellets were, in effect, simply a diversion meant to save their lives.

The problem is that the squirrels are now SICK of these pellets, which tourists still purchase, but now hurl directly at the squirrels while fleeing back to their cars. In most cases, they never get to see the Grand Canyon at all, choosing instead to escape by turning their windshield wipers on high and dislodging enough squirrels to navigate their way into the nearest Sequoia patch.

(Movie note: Thelma & Louise originally ended with them eluding the police, then tragically plunging into the Grand Canyon in a hail of gun fire, food pellets and flailing squirrels.)

I bring this up because of an e-mail I received from Janet Blevons of Ashland, Ore., who sent me a Associated Press news story headlined:

Squirrel Terrorizes Town

According to the article, residents of Knutsford, England are living in fear following several attacks from “a rogue squirrel” that is apparently attracted to (and who isn’t) nacho-flavored Doritos.

“It’s very unusual behavior,” said a British zoologist, who didn’t specify whether he was referring to the attacks or the rodent’s choice in snack food.

What is clear is something I’ve known since that fateful day at the Grand Canyon—which is that squirrels can’t be trusted.

And I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Students at the University of Washington have created a website called, which records attacks from what students say is “a well-organized gang of squirrels” wearing tiny leather jackets with No Fear stitched on the back.

And, just like in Knutsford, these squirrels have an affinity for nacho-flavored Doritos.

I know what you’re thinking:

As long as I stay away from Doritos, I won’t become a victim.

I’d like to say yes.

But the fact is, I’d probably be sued by Frito-Lay.

Besides, there were no taco chips involved when a wet squirrel leaped into a 10,000-volt power station in France, knocking out electricity to 5,000 homes and causing hundreds of injuries as French residents, in a wide-spread panic, all rushed into the streets at the same time to surrender.

Scare tactic, or stupid squirrel?

We’ll never know for sure.

What I do know is that if you’re serious about protecting yourself and the ones you love, then it’s time to start thinking about wolf urine. That’s right. For some reason, squirrels really hate this stuff. There are several ways to go about obtaining it. For the frugal-minded who refuse to pay in-store prices, there’s always the option of going out and getting it yourself. Needless to say, this presents several challenges, including—but not limited to—being eaten alive.

Another option is to leave urine gathering to the professionals and simply purchase one of the many squirrel repellents now available without a 10-day waiting period. One such product is Shake-Away, which only sounds like a new weight-loss program.

Actually, it’s a repellent made from dried fox urine that supposedly offers 6,000 square feet of protection in each 20-ounce bottle. Since the product is all natural, it’s completely non-toxic, which means it can be sprinkled around gardens, door ways, or even directly onto things you wish to protect.

Starting with nacho-flavored Doritos.

I’d like to point out that, much like the mind of a crazed squirrel, I have gotten way off topic from the original purpose of this post: Raising Breast Cancer Awareness. I realize breast cancer awareness month was in October, but a recent diagnosis of a friend was a stark reminder that the fight against breast cancer continues 12 months a year, during holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. If I can show my support, along friends on Facebook, by “finding a squirrel in my car,” then hell — I’ll get a mini van and pack it full of nuts.

Or even nacho-flavored Doritos.

To my friend Terri, I hope this brings you a few much-needed laughs and a sense of the support you have from folks in our own community as well as those from beyond it. As people, we don’t have to know someone to care about them. However, it’s the caring that makes us people.

To everyone else, I hope you’ll join me in finding a squirrel in your car. (Disclaimer: In the event you find an actual squirrel in your car, do not attempt to pet it.)




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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

38 thoughts on “Supporting a friend with the help of a crazed squirrel”

  1. The threat is real, there was a recent attack on residents of nearby retirement center by a pack of squirrels. I guess they are mad and just won’t take it anymore…whatever “it” is.

  2. Oh! THAT’s what it’s all about. What an odd way to raise support for breast cancer awareness. My mom was fortunately able to detect her breast cancer early on, through a routine mammogram. And with treatment, she beat it. Our thoughts and prayers are with Terri on her grand adventure.

    As for the squirrels, I need to pass on the wolf urine info to my husband. We don’t get wolves, but we do get coyotes in our yard, near the house. And Hubby’s always out there, scaring them off. Perhaps it’s best if we let them hang around a bit.

    1. Thanks for the kind support for Terri, who is a resident of a small town nearby. She an amazing single mom of two who lost her husband two years ago — and now she is fighting cancer. I will pass along your kindness.

      As for your coyote problem, maybe you guys should install a coyote urinal in the yard? Just a thought…

  3. Quite a post Ned. Where on earth did you learn about fox urine. I’m thinking the Grand Canyon should now start dispensing that stuff for our viewing protection, lol. Loved the squirrels with jackets, lol. 🙂

  4. So, Randall reminded me today that you’re funny, and I thought, could that be true? Still?

    Anyhoo… so, hope you’ve had a good day.

    Hahahahaa…. just kiddin’, Spud Newman, yes, you are still rolling out the serious ha ha’s and displaying your brilliantly shining heart. Still so Nedilicious – as always.

    1. Thanks, Robyn! I might even be able to pull off being funny tomorrow, too! But Friday…? There’s no telling 😉

      Great to see your great smile and hair here 😉

  5. As long as I stay away from Doritos, I won’t become a victim.

    As long as I stay away from Doritos, I won’t become a victim.

    As long as I stay away from Doritos, I won’t become a victim.

    As long as I stay away from Doritos, I won’t become a victim.

    There, I feel better now.

  6. Good day Ned! Hope this finds you well and not too squirrely. Just thought I’d drop by and say ‘hi’ and leave you this link, thought you might recognize a name/link or two 😉
    Hope the weekend treats you kindly. 🙂

  7. My wife used to feed the squirrels in our neighborhood – who would come right to the front door – until our toolbag neighbor starting trapping them.
    Not sure why I’m sharing this, especially if our neighbor suffers an unfortunate “accident”…

    At any rate, be well, Ned.
    Good job, by the way.

  8. Aw, darn. More squirrel fear, totally unjustified, I might add.

    I’ve been trying to build up my squirrel and rabbit army the past few years, keeping them in my yard with birdseed and leftover apples and fruit from overnight work events. I was hoping they’d go out and fight evil, but all they’ve done is keep the cats away from the birdbath and yard and provide my dog with exercise by letting her chase them all around the yard and up the trees each spring and summer.

    I suppose I should go back to clones. Clones don’t rely on the seasons so much.

No one is watching, I swear...

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